3 Ways PR Attracts Multi-Unit Franchisees

Three Ways PR Attracts Multi-Unit Franchisees

With a Strong PR Strategy, You Can Find the Right Franchise Partners to Grow Your Brand

You’ve developed your business into a successful operation, perfected your processes so it runs like a well-oiled machine and now you’ve decided to franchise your brand.

But ensuring that you attract the right type of franchisees – those who want to improve your brand and expand into multi-unit owners – can be a daunting task, even if your brand already has some regional or national recognition.

While marketing and advertising can get your name out to the public, it’s public relations (PR) that helps you draw in loyal franchise owners who want to become an integral part of your operations and grow their own investment to include several locations.

PR provides key benefits in promoting your company to potential franchisees that marketing and advertising cannot. Here are three ways PR gets your message out to future partners.

1. PR Showcases Your Growth

When potential franchise owners look to invest in your company, they want to know that your brand is solid, popular and, most importantly, growing.

While you can point to your numbers and inundate potential franchisees with Excel spreadsheets, nothing beats an organic third-party endorsement. Studies have consistently shown that consumers, which include franchise owners, put far more faith in earned media content over any advertising or marketing campaign you can buy.

Growth is a key goal of any company, but especially for franchised ones. Franchised companies not only need to grow their customer base, but they also need to grow their franchise locations to be successful.

So, when you want to show would-be partners how your company is expanding, using links to articles on local news sites or in trade publications builds more confidence in these prospective franchisees’ minds than simply showing them your advertising budget.

Prospective franchisees want to know they will be successful with your franchise. And the right PR agency with experience working with franchised companies will know how to position your business as one that is growing within the market. Leveraging your company’s examples of growth into real-world success stories is a staple in a solid franchising public relations strategy.

2. PR Promotes Your Awards

In addition to showcasing your growth strategy, promoting your company’s awards and accolades can also attract the right kind of franchise owner. Landing on top of the franchising awards lists like those found in FranchiseWire and Entrepreneur prove that you are a franchise worth considering. Through a series of press releases, proactive media outreach and social media content, a franchisor can promote their awards to would-be franchisees. But this takes a strategic public relations plan to ensure your awards are heralded in the places prospective partners will take notice.

Awards increase your credibility and show that you are doing something right. They acknowledge that your franchise has built up the expertise and thought leadership skills it takes to be at the top of your game.

This is attractive to would-be franchise owners for several reasons: awards serve to legitimize the quality of your company’s work, improve employee morale and promote your company’s brand. It’s comforting to potential partners to know that your company has achieved the pinnacle of your industry’s recognition.

And, most importantly, awards also allow you to dominate another media cycle. By winning a highly acclaimed award, you have yet another reason to showcase your company and its credibility in press releases, social media forums and on your own company blog.

Good public relations does two things: it builds relationships, and it tells your story.

Franchise owners want to be a part of award-winning organizations and they are more likely to want to expand their involvement into more than one location if they feel your brand is a winning choice. It’s important that you not only apply for awards within your industry but that you highlight them once you win.

3. PR Tells Your Story

Good public relations does two things: it builds relationships, and it tells your story.

There’s a reason we still read books, watch TV and listen to podcasts: human beings like to hear a good story. Since before the written word was developed, storytelling was the way humans communicated, and it’s still a powerful tool you can use to boost your brand.

While it’s true you still need to share the benefits of your brand, you also need an impactful way to reach potential franchisees. Telling stories about your leadership team, your employees, how your brand helps customers and how your company culture benefits everyone involved will attract dedicated franchise owners who want to grow within your organization.

Your story sets you apart from your competition and can attract franchisees who find your narrative compelling. It’s true that a marketing budget is a necessity in any business today, but the fact remains that a marketing or advertising budget alone will not buy you the credibility and excitement that a PR campaign can.

By drumming up the interest of third-party influencers through a series of press releases and social media campaigns that show your growth and your awards, and that tell your unique story, you can attract the multi-unit franchise owners you want to join your franchising family.

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For nearly two decades, Heather Ripley has developed and managed public relations campaigns for the skilled trades and construction (plumbing, HVAC, roofing, electrical, fireplace maintenance, architecture, engineering firms, etc.), B2B SaaS tech, Contech, Fintech, and franchise industries. As the CEO and founder of both Ripley PR, and Orange Orchard in Maryville, Tenn., she has a passion for helping business owners thrive. Before opening Ripley PR in 2013, Ripley served as a marketing and public relations manager and director for companies like Clockwork Home Services and CAP Brand Marketing, where she honed her skills. Growing up in a blue-collar family, Ripley learned about the worth and dignity of the trades early on. Her father was an automotive collision technician, and her grandfather was a truck driver.

When she opened Ripley PR, she took what she had learned in PR and coupled it with the experience of growing up in a family of skilled tradesmen to turn Ripley PR into the nation’s No. 1 PR agency for the home service industry. In 2018, Ripley opened Orange Orchard, a division of Ripley PR. With this division, Ripley is dedicated to promoting cruelty-free, vegan, and earth-friendly businesses and foundations, helping them build a brighter future. In 2021, Ripley released NEXT LEVEL NOW: PR Secrets to Drive Explosive Growth for Your Home Service Business through Advantage/Forbes Books. The book is an in-depth collection of actionable takeaways for home service contractors to implement public relations strategies into their marketing campaigns and take their business to the next level. She is also a contributing author for PHC News and Entrepreneur magazines.

Ripley PR was recently recognized by Forbes as one of America's Best PR Agencies for 2021 and has made Entrepreneur magazine's annual list of Best PR Agencies for Franchise for the past five years. Ripley is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate. She is co-owner of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Foothills in Seymour, Tenn. Specialties include public relations and brand marketing for the home service industry, franchises, tech, B2B and construction industries, crisis communications, strategic planning, media relations, media training, social media and content creation. Ripley PR Inc. is a partner in IPREX, one of the largest global networks of PR agencies, with 120 offices, 1,800 staff and $260 million annual revenue. We have partner agencies throughout the world to help you reach a global audience.
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