Using PR to grow your franchise development funnel
There is no shortage of information written about partnering with a franchise public relations agency to increase your leads and point prospective franchisees toward your sales funnel. But there is one PR strategy that I recommend if your franchise wants to blow away the competition and fill your sales funnel with a lot of eager franchisees.
The PR tactic that works? Positioning a franchise brand as a household name.
As the owner of a public relations agency that specializes in franchise businesses, my team has been very successful at helping our franchise clients obtain great leads through proven PR techniques. The most challenging aspect of franchise PR, however, is creating a franchise brand presence that blows the rest out of the water.
While it takes a lot of work and perseverance, when this type of PR is successful, your franchise brand will reap benefits well beyond your expectations, and for years to come. So, how can your franchise brand become as well-known as McDonald’s? Well, while good PR can increase visibility and create an enviable image, it took a long time for McDonald’s to become iconic. Other franchise brands have followed a similar path to widespread popularity. But it didn’t happen by itself.
How does PR help a franchise brand become a household name?
One of the best ways to get attention for a franchise brand is through authoritative and informative articles. Potential franchisees are going to do a lot of research, and if they see your franchise brand’s name and read articles written by your CEO or other executive, the repetition is going to have an effect. They’ll remember they read about your franchise or saw the franchise name.
Getting your articles printed or posted online by leading industry trade journals and business newspapers (whether online or in print) is no easy feat. A PR partner with experience in franchise lead generation knows the movers and shakers within your industry, and probably knows many journalists and editors personally. The more your franchise is seen as an authoritative and well-respected source of information for the industry, the more likely potential franchisees will be impressed and follow your sales funnel.
An experienced franchise PR agency will have experienced staff, knowledgeable in all things franchise, and some may have previously been journalists themselves. Because they are in constant contact with trade publication editors and business news media, they know exactly what publication staff and media want to hear. Most PR agencies also have writers on staff, and a franchise PR agency should have seasoned writers who know what types of articles or news stories will be most likely to get published or covered. PR agency writers will interview your brand’s leaders and craft expert articles in their voice that can be submitted for publication.
When it comes to the media, how does PR get your franchises’ name in the news and your story covered? It all works hand-in-hand with being a valuable contributor to respected publications and online trade websites. News and trade media scour these publications for informative and well-written articles from industry experts. So, the more your articles get published in print or online, the more visible your franchise brand will be to the media.
A PR agency that specializes in franchise lead generation also has access to trade publication editorial calendars so they can tailor articles to coincide with each editorial calendar. This means the chances that your article will get approved by the publication are far greater.
Using PR to drive new leads into your sales funnel is not new, but leveraging your franchise’s brand through publishing articles and pitching your stories may be something your franchise has yet to try. It can make a huge difference in your ability to close on your leads when they already know your brand and have seen or read your brand’s articles. Brand awareness goes a long way in turning franchise leads into franchise buyers.
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.