Three ways Ripley PR can massage your manufacturing message

Managers and owners of manufacturing facilities already have a lot of concerns on their plates. There are raw materials to procure, labor to manage and products to ship. It’s understandable if public relations is not top of mind, but it should be. Here are three examples of ways that Ripley PR, a Knoxville-area agency with global reach and expertise in the industrial, home services, franchise and construction sectors, can help with your manufacturing public relations messaging:

  1. Tariffs: Was your sector roiled by reports the Trump administration wants to place tariffs on raw materials such as steel? Is this an issue for your manufacturing business? Corporations enjoy First Amendment rights, too, and if you want to speak up, we can get your message out. Pro or con, we can craft the message that’s right for you and position you as a thought leader and expert in your field. We have a vast database of media contacts that cover the manufacturing space.
  2. Automation: Replacing workers with machines, or vice versa in some circumstances, is a controversial topic. While some see automation as a threat to good middle-class jobs traditionally offered by manufacturing companies, others see it as inevitable part of the workplace revolution. We can massage your message to reflect whether your automation processes are a one-off human resources issue or part of a long-term effort to make your business more profitable and nimble on the global manufacturing stage. Either way, this is a headline-grabbing issue that’s of obvious concern to workers and their families. You need a consistent message to calm jitters among your workforce and communicate your message to stakeholders. We can craft that message to position you as a thoughtful industry leader.
  3. Crisis communication: Every business needs a crisis plan in place. You may need to respond to a tragic incident of workplace violence, or you may get hacked. As part of your automation push, you may have to lay off workers, and there may be pushback from labor. Your manufacturing business needs a solid game plan to address these issues. We can craft a crisis management plan that ensures management and owners stay on the same page, with the same message. Ripley PR can ensure you’re never caught flatfooted should an emergency or issue arise that could negatively affect your image.

The manufacturing sector is booming – for now – along with many other American industries and companies. But there will be bumps in the road, and be they internal or external forces, Ripley PR will make sure you have the best possible public relations responses to ensure your manufacturing company can maintain the positive brand and image your company has worked so hard to build.

Contact Ripley PR for more information.

Thomas Fraser, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on May 22, 2018


Are your annual franchise events boring?

Holding an annual franchise event is your chance to show your owners what being a part of your franchise is all about. Your event should be the one that all the franchisees are excited about and can’t wait to attend. And after it’s over, it’s the one they can’t stop talking about.

This is your chance to let franchisees know how important they are to you. It should offer them a chance to learn new ways to grow their business, network with other franchisees and solidify their reasons for buying a franchise in the first place. This is also your chance to show off all the milestones and successes from the past year.

A major event is a lot of work, and it’s a big investment and commitment on your part, but what makes it worth it is hearing positive feedback from your franchisees and knowing they are going back home filled with ideas, excitement and a renewed conviction to build their businesses and increase revenue to new levels.

Of course, working with a professional team of experienced franchise public relations professionals is going to give you your best chance of success, but here are some tips to develop events that get results:

  • Book speakers that will garner excitement and attention

Plan well in advance (sometimes years ahead of time) to attract attractive speakers and vendors. (You will need to pay for a keynote speaker.)

  • Develop and execute a carefully-timed marketing plan for the events

Send event promotions to your email lists using a well-planned schedule. Not too many, not too little, and combine these with website, social media and other online promotions for a good mix.  (Ask us about helping you plan a Discovery Day within the event!)

  • Get media attention to help promote your events

Not an easy task, but if you have relationships with key industry media, or are good at pitching, this is a crucial way to attract attention.

Franchise events can be one of the best methods to promote your franchise. If you need help planning your event, contact Ripley PR at 865.977.1973 to learn more.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on May 18, 2018


A Light Touch: Finding the Right Tone in Franchise Social Media

As a franchisor, you work hard each and every day promoting your brand. It’s serious business, and it can encourage a serious tone in everything you do; however, the best franchise public relations involves knowing how to set the right tone for marketing and public relations efforts on social media.

Not Just the Facts

Writing in Forbes, entrepreneur John Rampton cautions businesses about being overly serious when it comes to social media:

Your followers and audience want to see that there’s actually a person or people behind the logo. But, how can you achieve that? For starters, you can share some personal information like your favorite hobby or book with your followers. You could also share recommendations on blog posts or products that you find informative. You could even tell your followers about what your typical day is like.

Potential customers aren’t just interested in facts. They want to engage with your brand through informative and entertaining posts. Potential franchisees like getting a glimpse into the culture of the franchise network. Nobody wants to tie themselves to a toxic, humorless environment.

Picking the Right Social Media Platform

To complicate matters, different tones are appropriate for different social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter are more informal. On Facebook, consumers can be offered information on products and services, given important information, and engaged through entertaining posts. The platform can also be used to recruit workers for individual franchises. LinkedIn, used for networking and brand recognition, requires a more professional tone.

Let Us Help

Social media doesn’t have to be complicated. Partnering with an experienced franchise public relations agency takes the guesswork out of developing a social media strategy. Want to know more about how social media can play a role in marketing your franchise?  Contact Ripley PR today.

Joel Davis, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on May 16, 2018


PEOs: Are you using PR to Attract New Business?

If your Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is barely staying ahead of your competition, you might need to hire a professional public relations agency to take your business to the next level. Whether you have similar businesses in your market or not, PR can differentiate your organization from the rest, helping it stand out as a business leader in its industry.

It sounds very simple on the surface, but PR is more than just advertising and branding. Your PEO needs PR to position yourself as the trusted expert in the business, making it an attractive option for companies needing help with payroll, benefits, workers’ compensation, HR and other services.14

PR is essential in order to make your PEO a valued entity in your markets by:

  • Creating interest in PEOs and making sure your community or business area of interest understands what a PEO is, and how your services can save business owners money and time
  • Garnering media attention for your business and gaining coverage in local and national news channels
  • Placing articles about your business and its services in trade industry journals and magazines, establishing you as an expert in the industry
  • Developing content that makes your business stand out though use of the right social media, at the right time, and to the right audience
  • Securing speaking engagements at industry seminars, conventions and educational sessions both in your community and nationally, further establishing your business as an industry leader
  • Helping you find and target the specific business leads you need, reducing wasted time and efforts with email marketing, lead generation and sales call that aren’t directed to the right audience

To be one of the stars of the industry, your PEO needs to find the right mix of PR, and much of the way this is done depends on the market. If you don’t have the ability to do the ground work, research and follow through to make it happen, Ripley PR may be a good fit for you.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on May 14, 2018


Does your franchise have a crisis plan?

At Ripley PR, we’ve spilled a lot of ink on the subject of crisis public relations. As franchise public relations experts, one of the biggest issues we see time and time again is franchise locations that don’t have a crisis plan in place for their specific location. Or if they do, it’s tucked away on a bookshelf gathering dust.

When it comes to a public relations crisis, it’s not a matter of “if” one will happen, but “when” one will happen. If your franchisees don’t have or know how to executive your crisis plan when a crisis happens, you’re risking more than just the reputation of that one franchisee.

As our CEO Heather Ripley once said:

“A good PR agency can help any company prepare for a crisis, develop the best messages to deliver during the heat of the moment, and decide upon the right way in which to deliver them. Make sure you are teamed with professionals with the right kind of real-world experience before you experience a crisis in your company.”

If any of the above resonates with you and your business, we at Ripley PR would love to talk with you. Give us a call today at 865-977-1973.

 

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on May 10, 2018


Clearly Defining Your Healthcare IT Business’s Brand and Key Messages

As a Healthcare IT professional, you already know that your business operates within a niche market. You know the industry you serve very well and likely have ideal target clients lined up, but how clearly defined is your brand to them? Are your values and key messages consistently conveyed through your marketing and outreach?

Ripley PR is an experienced healthcare IT public relations agency, and we know that one of the first steps to standing out and finding success in a niche market is having a brand that clearly and precisely defines who you are and what you bring to the table.  

Sometimes, the best way to begin solidifying your brand is to clearly identify your values. Whatever your values may be, they ultimately shape the way you grow and hire, determine the kind of relationships you develop with your clients, and affect the final service you deliver. Your core values should form the base of your brand and make the high quality of work you hold yourself to evident to your desired customers.

These values should also be recognizable in the key messages delivered in your communications, which your healthcare IT public relations agency can help you craft. Ripley PR can coach you on how to deliver those key messages to the audiences that matter the most through expertly crafted press releases, social content, and pitches to the media outlets most relevant to your customer base.

To find out more about how your healthcare IT company can better define its brand and key messages by partnering with an experienced public relations agency, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on May 10, 2018


PR can protect the reputation you’ve built

Commercial construction companies don’t have to convince the general public they are worth hiring. Instead, they have to persuade other knowledgeable people in the industry they are trustworthy and reliable.

For a construction company, reputation is the foundation of a strong business. You can lose jobs and money if developers and contractors doubt your work – or your word. Bringing in a construction public relations agency can help protect a company’s reputation in the rough-and-tumble construction industry.

A PR agency can protect your company by:Construction Public Relations Ripley PR

Building your brand — Quality work is Job 1, of course, but a stellar job performance should be leveraged into heightened name recognition. A public relations firm can put your company’s name on the radar of decision-makers in the industry. Knowing how the media works and telling your story on all available platforms, from traditional newspapers and trade publications to podcasts and social media, a public relations firm can help establish your brand.

Developing your online presence – Potential clients and customers look to the internet these days to get a first impression of a company. Fair or not, a primitive or confusing website can create the impression your company is unprofessional. Ill-advised postings on social media platforms can be a turn off to many decision-makers. A PR firm can help you put your best digital face forward. And a good PR firm can help develop a strategy to use social media as a recruiting tool.

Managing crises — Unexpected events have the potential to wreck even the most carefully guarded reputations. From bitter labor disputes to lawsuits to on-the-job accidents, the risks are out there. A public relations firm can’t prevent crises from occurring, but a savvy PR team can work with you to put a plan in place that can mitigate and repair the damage.

If you own a construction business, you’ve worked hard to support your family and provide jobs to your employees. A construction public relations agency can be a partner to help you maintain a great reputation in the industry and your community.

At Ripley PR, we have the talent and expertise to be that partner. We would welcome a call at 865-977-1973 so we can share how we can help safeguard your reputation.

 

Scott Barker

This post was written by on May 8, 2018


Marketing to home service businesses?

They want partners, not just vendors

home service b2b partnershipsWhatever the type of home service company—plumbing, HVAC or electrical—the great ones all have one thing in common: The company’s owner is constantly looking for ways to improve the business.

Some are looking to improve booking rates through CSR coaching. Others offer ongoing technician training to boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and upselling. Others still are looking for software to help streamline their operations. And all of them are looking to recruit top tier talent and make the most out of their online presence. More often than not, they look to B2B companies like yours to help make these improvements.

It’s imperative, then, that you reach home service companies with the right message, and offer more than just another vendor to “deal” with (and eventually let go). As the top home service public relations agency in the home service space, the professionals at Ripley PR have worked with hundreds of home service companies to help get the word out about their business and solve their communication challenges. We know first-hand that the decision makers at home service companies are looking for long-lasting partnerships that will impact their bottom line. They’re looking for no-nonsense solutions that move the needle. And when it comes to shelling out their hard earned cash for your services, they need to know you’re in it for the long haul to help them succeed, not just to make a quick buck.

If you’re business model revolves around these philosophies, and you’re looking to connect with home service companies to tell your story, we want to talk with you. We have the knowledge and skillset to connect your business solutions to the people that matter in the industry, paving the way for partnerships that will stand the test of time.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on May 4, 2018


When it Comes to Public Relations, what is News?

When we think of the news, most of us picture breaking news broadcasts of shootings or political upheaval. That’s why some business owners say they don’t have any news to report (which is fortunate under those standards). But “news” includes more than just conflict and catastrophe. Despite what we may think of humankind, we are not as jaded a species as one might imagine. Stories of kindness, innovation, and overcoming hardship still capture our attention. People watch and share tales of exceptional individuals and experiences. We also like to hear about local heroes and happenings.

For instance, I was talking the other day about Knoxville, TN, and some of our local heroes: people like Peyton Manning and Dolly Parton. Not everyone is a fan, of course, but most residents take an interest in their lives, achievements, and visits. For Knoxville PR, having a local hero like Manning or Dolly (even a much lesser known hero) can help capture interest in an event or endeavor.

In fact, there are a lot of different types of stories a PR professional can present about your company’s contributions.

Potential News Stories

  • An employee with a unique story, or one who goes above and beyond
  • New milestones for the business
    • Growth like revenue, or number of clients or employees
    • Business anniversaries
    • Expansion into a new sector
  • New products or services
  • Notable Hires or promotions
  • Big projects you’re working on
  • Case studies- ways you’ve solved a problem for a customer or client
  • Charitable donations- How is your company giving back?

That doesn’t mean the media will cover every new hire or ribbon cutting your business organizes. However, journalists are always looking for compelling stories. Your company has some- it’s just about identifying them and presenting them to the right people. That’s what a PR firm like Ripley PR can do for you.

 

To find out more about improving perceptions of your business, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on May 2, 2018


Is your manufacturing company ready for a cybersecurity crisis?

It doesn’t take much digging to uncover the monetary impact of cybercrime. Everything from the cost of damages, to training and hiring qualified personnel, to budgets for products and services, are all expected climb over the next five years.

manufacturing data breach crisis - Ripley PRBoardrooms across the world are working with their insurance providers to write in coverage for cyber liability and the costs incurred to respond to a data breach or threat. And with upcoming changes in regulations and enforcement, such as the EU’s GDPR (which will apply to organizations outside the EU if they handle personal data of subjects residing in the EU), there’s no shortage of opportunity for businesses to tighten up their security posture and processes.

If you’re a manufacturing company, it’s important that you understand the risks and subsequent fallout that can damage your manufacturing brand in the event of a cybersecurity crisis. Chances are the Internet of Things (IoT) is already, or will soon be, playing a role in the products you develop. Did you know that the majority of IoT devices have no set standards for security, no regulations, and more than 100 protocols?

Now consider the shelf-life of the IoT integrated devices you’re manufacturing. Is it 5 years? 10 years? How do we protect what has already been sold and is insecurely operating in homes or businesses? What about those devices used in critical infrastructure?

These are just a few of the questions that manufacturers need to consider in 2018 and beyond. How you approach these questions, and how you prepare to detect and protect against cyberattacks—including adding high-risk cyberattack scenarios in your crisis preparedness plan—will help you sleep better at night.

If you’re looking for guidance on how you can help prepare for a cybersecurity crisis, give the manufacturing public relations experts at Ripley PR a call at 856-977-1973. We have experience in developing internal processes and protocols to provide your company with an additional layer of brand protection and preparedness.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on April 30, 2018


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