It’s a good time to be in the home care space.
With businesses reopening and remote workers heading back to the office, expect more demand for home care services to help with aging loved ones. And need for those services will only grow from there. It’s a matter of numbers, after all. The population of people age 65 and over in the U.S. will exceed the number of people under the age of 18 by 2035, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections. As more entrepreneurs see the profit opportunity in helping care for seniors in their homes expect more competition in your home care franchise space. This means fighting for name recognition in a crowded space if you haven’t focused on your messaging.
A good public relations strategy will focus on building a good name and reputation for your senior care brand while preparing for the crises that are guaranteed to occur at some point in the years ahead. PR is a means of building goodwill for your company to see it through bad times and rough patches.
Building Your Reputation
A reputation as a trustworthy home care brand can help armor your franchise network against bad news and the online wrath of disappointed clients. The effort to build up your good name should start from Day One and be supported with the strategic use of public relations, marketing and branding. It’s vital that your messaging across all platforms provides value to both potential franchisees and the consumers who would use their services. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer report, businesses face high expectations from consumers when it comes to
While the world seems to be clouded by mistrust and misinformation, there is a glimmer of hope in business. This year’s study shows that business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution with a 61 percent trust level globally, and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent. … People clearly expect business to step in and fill the void, and the high expectations of business to address and solve today’s challenges has never been more apparent. The heightened expectations of business bring CEOs new demands to focus on societal engagement with the same rigor, thoughtfulness, and energy used to deliver on profits.
A successful public relations strategy will position the leadership of your homecare franchise as thought leaders in its market space. This can be supported by landing opportunities like bylines and interviews in national media and trade publications, securing media coverage for local franchisees, developing a solid library of useful blog content, and creating an engaging social media presence. It can make sense to look for an experienced franchise public relations partner to develop and implement this kind of involved strategy.
Before a Crisis Strikes
Although goodwill can help a franchise brand outlast a crisis, it’s important to have a communications plan ready to go. This means developing canned media responses and press releases in advance that can be customized when needed. Getting something out to the news media quickly can help contain fallout. Understand that “no comment” is not a feasible option. It will also pay to have a designated spokesperson who has been given professional media training for briefings or interviews. Without advanced preparation and in a stressful situation, it can be easy to make mistakes during a media interview. Before sitting down with a TV reporter or any journalist, the spokesperson should be prepped and be able to stay on message.
Finally, don’t forget the importance feature: senior care franchising of proactive reputation management. Being engaged with online reviews and commentary can help keep small problems
from ballooning into bigger issues. Your reputation is the selling point for your brand and protecting it from damage needs to be of the highest priority. Time invested in building good will and a trusted name is never wasted.
Heather Ripley is founder and CEO of Ripley PR, an elite, global public relations agency specializing in franchising, home service and building trades. Ripley PR has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top Franchise PR Agency three years in a row and was named to Forbes’ America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021. She is the author of “NEXT LEVEL NOW: PR Secrets to Drive Explosive Growth for your Home Service Business.”
For additional information, visit www.ripleypr.com.