Franchise brands have handled a lot of ups and downs in 2020, but a new year is about to begin. So rather than dwell on the past, why not make a pledge to do your brand a favor by implementing a public relations reset? Think about how to best start off a new year with a strategic PR campaign focused on franchise development.
There are many reasons to be positive about 2021 for franchisors looking to increase sales and attract new franchise prospects. There are predictions from various sources that say 2021 could be one of the best years for franchise expansion in many years. It is probably too soon to make conclusive forecasts about the future, but we can say it’s definitely looking good.
Some franchise businesses believe, once all the figures are calculated, they will come out ahead in 2020. In fact, Business.com recently provided a list of franchise industries that did well despite the massive COVID-19 closures, including senior care services, home services, fast-casual food, commercial cleaning (sanitizing) services and property management to name a few. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also notes that sign franchises did exceptionally well as other businesses needed signage, and fast.
In order to make 2021 your best year yet, think about the ultimate marketing and PR plan you’d like to implement, and then take an honest look at your franchise brand’s in-house staff or team. Will they be able to meet your needs and desires? For most franchise brands, your in-house marketing staff isn’t large enough to have experience or skills in every facet of PR and marketing. That’s where hiring a professional, expert franchise PR agency could be the answer.
An experienced and successful franchise PR agency can partner with your brand and help you take control of the future. An in-house team or staffer can do only so much, and as franchises start operating at 100%, reconsider hiring additional staff, and imagine what a franchise PR agency can do to refresh and re-invigorate your brand.
PR agency staff can act as an entire franchise brand team for you, but you don’t have to replace your staff if you already have a team. PR agencies are often hired as an addition to in-house teams and work together closely as one team, boosting your franchise brand’s PR efforts in areas where your team lacks the expertise or the time.
Some of the many advantages of engaging a professional franchise PR firm are:
- You get more bang for the buck. A franchise PR firm employs experts in every possible facet of public relations, skilled positions a business might not have the ability to keep on staff at all times.
- The results are easy to quantify. A professional PR agency provides detailed reports, at regular intervals, with explanations of the work provided and the results the work achieved in an easy-to-decipher format.
- You receive quick turn-arounds. Even if the project is complex, or time-consuming, a PR agency is made for this type of work. They are experts in working fast and efficiently to maximize your ROI.
- They use the newest technology and techniques. Professional PR agencies don’t have the time to mess with inefficient or old technology. Their teams are on the cutting edge of all technologies and programs because they have to be.
- They know the right media outlets and reporters to work with. Experience counts when it comes to getting your brand the attention and media coverage it deserves. Professional agencies do this for a living, and they are on the ball 24/7.
- They are social media leaders. Social media best practices change so frequently one person or a small team can become overwhelmed. Franchise PR agencies can filter through the clutter, helping your brand target the best platforms to invest in, and write the perfect posts for you.
- Your blog content is key. So you want the content experts writing all your blog content. Don’t let just anyone write your blogs, only SEO experts know what keywords to use, where to use them, and why they matter.
Your best purpose for your franchise brand probably isn’t plodding through the weeds, managing your marketing and PR. You have more important work to do, and you can focus on your business better when your PR agency “gets” your franchise business.
Heather Ripley is CEO of Ripley PR, a global public relations agency specializing in B2B and franchising. Orange Orchard, a division of Ripley PR, champions franchisors that cater to environmentally-conscious consumers. For additional information, visit www.ripleypr.com or www.orangeorchardpr.com.