Using PR to Create Goodwill for Your Franchise Business

So, you’re a franchisor, and you have the perfect business model. You offer a low barrier to entry for entrepreneurs, a smokin’ hot value proposal, and the time is right to dominate your chosen market segment.

With everything in place for success, why would you need help from a franchise public relations agency? It comes down to what your franchise business is actually selling. Here at Ripley PR, we’d argue that what entrepreneurs who might sign on the dotted line are looking for a franchise chain with a great reputation and a reservoir of goodwill.

The Importance of Goodwill

As you build your franchise network, you’re also, story by story, building up the non-material assets that can break your company or push it to the heights. A good name and a great are tremendously strong marketing tool for you.

In March, United Airlines found itself in yet another PR disaster when a person who claimed to be a passenger said their dog had died after crew forced them to keep it in the overhead bin. The company issued an apology, but, according to a story in CNN Money, it fell flat and that expectations for the company were already very low:

For United, or any company, it’s a public relations disaster. But United is in a particularly tough spot given its recent history.

Last April, United was roundly criticized when a passenger was violently dragged off one of its planes to make space for commuting crew members. Dr. David Dao’s treatment gained national attention in part due to United’s bungled response.

How PR Can Help Your Franchise Business

Goodwill matters. Once you’ve lost your good reputation, you’ve lost the communications battle without experienced help. Keep that from happening by partnering with a franchise PR agency. A focused social media strategy and outreach to public and the media will keep the good news about you company in the forefront.

The experts at Ripley PR are ready to help. We can boost your name recognition, promote your business, and helping develop contingency plans to keep your good reputation intact even during a crisis. Contact us today.

Joel Davis, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on April 24, 2018


Playing matchmaker for automotive businesses

From the Model-T of yesteryear to today’s driverless cars, Americans have been infatuated with the automobile. And companies in the automotive industry have been wooing them the entire time.

Sometimes suitors need help, however. An automotive public relations firm can serve as matchmaker in these relationships.

Technological advances, such as rear-view video cameras and self-parking systems, can be bewildering to consumers, especially if they haven’t bought a new car in the past few years. Shade-tree mechanics are going the way of the gas jockey. How do consumers know where to turn?

Automotive public relations is one of Ripley PR’s specialties. We can put news about your automotive company in front of writers and editors at key general and trade publications. We can spread the word about new products and technology through social media, where Americans now go to find out what to buy and where to find it. Ripley PR also can help manage customer feedback, a particularly important factor now that online reviews have become crucial in attracting new customers.

Sometimes even the best relationships hit rough patches. Vehicle recalls, parts failures and other incidents can shake consumer confidence in your business, even when the cause is out of your control. Public relations professionals can help you develop a plan to address these crises and support you in delivering a forthright and effective response to crises large and small.

Knowing how to make – and sustain – a perfect match between businesses and consumers lies at the heart of public relations. Ripley PR is a global public relations agency specializing in franchise, manufacturing, construction and automotive industries. Call us at 865.977.1973 if you want your automotive company to make a lasting impression.

Scott Barker

This post was written by on April 20, 2018


Four Ways Content Marketing can Help Grow Your PEO

Having an online presence is everything. It is the bread and butter of your company, and your website is your lifeline to the audience you’re wanting to reach: prospects and clients. As a professional employer organization (PEO), your company has the unique flexibility to partner with various industries.

If you’re not capitalizing on digital content to explain the benefits of those relationships (and showcase your client success by partnering with you), you’re missing out on not only potential clients but on revenue as well.

As a leader in PEO public relations, we at Ripley PR understand the importance of catering content to your audience. We know how to elevate your company and your brand above your competitors with strategic website content.

Here are four ways you can use strategic content marketing right now to help your PEO grow:

  1. Increase visibility and boost SEO (and sales) – By creating content that is relevant to your audiences, you can leverage your company’s expertise and put you in a position that dominates your Google ranking, and your industry.
  2. Get in front of the right publics – There are lots of businesses out there that would greatly benefit from partnering with a PEO. It’s possible these businesses have considered a PEO before or, maybe they didn’t know you were an option. By providing custom content to the right audiences, you can maximize awareness of the benefits of partnering with your company.
  3. Give you credibility – Utilizing website content will solidify that you’re an expert in your field and will give you the credibility clients are looking for. Not only does your content instills trust in your clients and provides them with comfort, it helps prospects who need a subtle nudge knows they’re choosing an expert who can meet their needs.
  4. Provide custom content – Prospects recognize the value of custom content that speaks to their pain (and just as importantly: how to remedy it). Your clients are special and cover an array of industries. Publishing articles that are relevant to them will demonstrate your investment in their industry, and in turn, their company.

If you’re interested in generating content that works as hard for your business as you do for your clients, give Ripley PR a call at 865-977-1973. We have the expertise and experience needed to help grow your PEO.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on April 18, 2018


Constructing Your Construction Image

Does Construction Really Need Public Relations?

In the construction industry, professionals use materials to build structures. We can watch a store, bank, or school take shape into something concrete (sometimes literally).

Public relations professionals also use resources to build something of substance – your brand. It’s just a little harder to envision.

Brand Building concept - Construction public relationsBrand Insurance  

Building projects inherently carry risk. For instance, a bridge that is under construction can have a catastrophic collapse, or a dispute with a local business owner could go viral. In moments like these, public relations expertise will be critical. You’ll need someone to manage the fallout and help protect your image. However, PR isn’t only for a crisis. It should be part of the building plans for your business.

In trade industries like construction, trust is crucial, which means your name/ brand is everything. Whether you want to generate B2B leads to build corporate headquarters, or B2C for new remodeling jobs, you need a potential client to know you exist and trust you enough to hire you. So how do you get someone you’ve never met to know or trust you? This is where construction public relations comes in. At Ripley PR, we help get your brand in front of decision makers in a way that builds credibility. We have a team of people who understand both the construction industry and the media, which is a rare combination.

Blueprint for Success

Public relations isn’t voodoo. We follow a blueprint that works. We have genuine storytellers who help identify what is unique about your business, craft compelling stories, and then engage our media contacts to encourage positive coverage. That’s different than just getting your name out there in a paid advertisement, which jaded consumers may distrust or ignore. There is certainly a time for advertising as well, but it can’t be your whole strategy. In this digital and social media age, savvy business owners engage with the public in different, more personal ways. They have blogs and social media strategies. If you’re busy working on project bids or hiring new contractors, how will you manage your image on social media (especially if an angry client decides to rant about you online)? These are things experts like the Ripley PR team can handle.

Engineering an Image

We don’t want to give away all our trade secrets, but I can tell you we go way beyond writing a press release and sending it to the media. Here is a truncated list of some of the services we provide to construction companies:

  • Identifying and Crafting Key Messages
  • Social Media Posts and Image Management
  • Blogs
  • Media Pitches
  • Press Releases
  • Crisis Planning/ Management
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Trade Show Support & Planning

For more information on how we can frame your construction image, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on April 16, 2018


Ripley PR can propel your PEO to the top of its field by displaying its value

The booming economy and record-low unemployment means companies in all industries are experiencing rapid growth and struggling to keep up with the demands of internal staffing management.

Professional employee organizations (PEO) help companies externally manage human resources, payroll, benefits, workers compensation and training. Their services are needed more than ever. But is your PEO positioned to cash in on demand? We can help.

Ripley PR, a Knoxville-based B2B public relations agency with global reach, knows how to elevate your PEO above competitors and showcase your strengths. We can connect you to the right businesses to create a partnership that is mutually beneficial. We know the value a PEO can bring to any company and we know how to hammer that point home.

Executives at all companies spend a vast amount of time consumed by payroll, health insurance, worker’s compensation and other human resources demands. We know business owners would rather not be spending their valuable time on these tasks.

Ripley PR has expertise in the franchise, construction, software, home services and staffing sectors and we understand your business needs. Not only do we know the value your company has to offer, we have the strategic intellect to put you at the top of your industry.

We’ll get you in front of the right audiences. We know there are numerous companies out there that could benefit from partnering with you. Let us use our digital skills, media contacts and industry knowledge to urgently impart the importance of your PEO.

As we connect you with potential partners, we will educate and demonstrate the value you can bring in freeing business owners to grow and hone their business, not manage employees.

Contact Ripley PR today to find out how we can help propel your PEO to the top of its field.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on April 12, 2018


5 Reasons to Hire a Professional to Manage your Social Media

According to an article published on AdWeek.com, 88 percent of companies are using social media for marketing and by now, you’ve witnessed the power of social media – both good and bad. It can have a tremendous impact on your business and create a long-lasting ripple effect, if used properly.

Ripley PR is a global public relations agency comprised of a team of communications professionals, trained to take your business to the next level with strategic plans of action.

Specializing in franchising, manufacturing, technology and building trades, we have the skills necessary to grow your company’s social media presence. We use our thoughtfully refined techniques – that have proven success – to create and maintain your brand in this digital age.

Check out these five reasons why hiring a professional agency to manage your social media accounts is in the best interest of your business.

1. Increase brand recognition: Having a strong presence on social media allows your company to keep your finger on the pulse at all times. We can connect you to the people who need you the most.
2. Crisis management: We all know that accidents happen but, when the going gets tough, who do you want to handle your public-facing communications? An inexperienced employee or a team of skilled practitioners who can stay on message and protect your business from detriment?
3. Have a consistent voice: With so many different outlets to reach the public, it is crucial to maintain a steady brand. This includes your tone of voice, brand imaging and all written communications. Staying consistent helps your clients understand who you are as a company and about the services you offer.
4. Attract new business: A strategic advertising campaign that targets your audience is a simple and effective way to draw in potential clients.
5. We’re professionals, just like you: At Ripley PR, we work hard on the strategy of marketing your company so that your company can remain focused on what you do best.

We know your company is your pride and joy and when you partner with Ripley PR, it becomes our pride and joy, too.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on April 10, 2018


The Human Element – How Franchise Public Relations Can Help Achieve Growth Through Storytelling

Franchise media followers regularly read the usual reports of sales figures, location growth and financial stability, and potential franchise owners will scan myriad digital indexes in hopes of finding the perfect, most fail-safe franchise for their investment dollar. With the wealth of information available online about franchise brands available for purchase, it can seem as though those cold statistics and dollar signs will always trump inspiration. However, Ripley PR, an agency experienced in franchise public relations, knows that one of the most valuable tools a franchise system has in their marketing toolkit truly comes to light when a new location opens.

That tool happens to be the genuine, compelling and unique story of the franchise owner.

When a newly opened franchise is placed in the spotlight of a national press release or a story in the media, there is an opportunity to make the franchisee and his or her journey to ownership relatable and therefore a terrific vehicle with which to sell your brand. From background information and prior work experience to their often-unique inspiration for choosing your brand, getting your owners’ stories in front of other potential franchise owners can help them realize, “Oh, I want this too.”

Of course, another benefit to relating the stories of owners is humanizing the franchise for potential customers in their local market. Having a sort of knowledge about the faces behind the business inspires confidence and creates comfort in customers, and the familiarity can lead to more positive reviews and a higher likelihood of referrals and word of mouth business. Franchise public relations can help your business speak to these hyperlocal audiences as well as the national franchise business media, and happy franchise owners can help sell the entire brand.

To find out more about how Ripley PR can help your franchise system by telling the stories of your owners, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on April 6, 2018


Automotive PR: When Your Products Are Really People

In the world of automotive public relations, the stories that sell are never really about products. They’re about people.

Your company may make sophisticated components for today’s high-tech automotive industry, but what it is actually selling is stories. Did your airbag technology save someone’s life? Do people tell stories about the incredible lengths you’ll go to provide the best customer service? Did your product mean the difference between life and death for some kids who had a wreck on the way to the prom?

The very best automotive public relations used these stories to hook potential customers for your technology, whether someone in the purchasing department or in the biggest office in the C-suite. Writing in Forbes, Steve Olenski quotes the then-country manager for Jeep U.K.  concerning the power of storytelling in automotive PR:

“Storytelling in the automotive industry has been key in marketing campaigns for some time, especially since the advent of interactive/social media. This can be something metaphoric, yet simple, like a journey, to something more in-depth, with use of roles and a plot for the more adventurous. Portraying your brand as the protagonist in either case is essential.”

Generating brand awareness doesn’t have to just be about what you sell. It can also be about your company culture. How do you take care of your employees? What good causes do you promote? Who are the personalities and experts in your organization?

On other side of the coin, automotive PR is a tool for mitigating the damage of the wrong kind of stories: when your technology fails and someone gets hurt, when a product is defective, or when a worker or executive ends up as a bad story on social media.  That’s when you need a PR team that knows how to deal with a crisis.

Here at Ripley PR, we understand that story makes the difference between a brilliant automotive PR strategy and simply adequate public relations. We also know how to help your company navigate the fallout from bad stories.  Give us a call at 865-977-1973. You won’t regret it.

Joel Davis, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on April 4, 2018


Beating the competition: How PR can help you recruit more skilled construction labor in 2018

According to a January report by CNBC, the construction industry is set to explode in 2018, and even construction equipment distributors are confident that 2018 will be a strong year for both sales and rentals.

construction public relations Ripley PRWhile this is seen as a boon for most in the industry, skilled labor shortages are still a key area of concern for contractors. In fact, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released a survey showing that 75 percent of construction firms plan to expand their headcount in 2018. But even with the expected increase, 82 percent of construction firms expressed that it remains difficult, or will even become harder, to recruit and hire qualified workers.

Construction companies across the U.S. are trying to address this issue through higher wages, more incentives/bonuses, and increased contributions or improved employee benefits. But it might not be enough.

With more construction work in line for 2018 plus a shortage of skilled labor, construction companies are now in a fierce hiring competition for qualified workers. As construction public relations experts, we understand the importance of hiring qualified workers to help you capitalize on the construction boom. We also understand that since skilled workers now have the pick of the litter, their decision to work for your company is going to come down to your ability to communicate your advantages over the other guys.

If you’re in charge of hiring for your construction company, consider how to the use of public relations can impact potential prospects:

  • Thought leadership – Your ability to share your industry expertise and how you operate with the right audiences can improve your visibility to potential candidates. With the right communications plan in place, you can also help share employee expertise, which in turn will show potential candidates that you value their knowledge.
  • Showcase company culture – You want workers who are like-minded and buy-in to the same values that your company has. By showcasing your company, you can attract not only skilled workers but skilled workers who fit your values (and as such, are more likely to stick around, reducing turnover).
  • Social media engagement – Social media is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to connect with skilled workers. The right social media campaign and connect with and deliver the value your company brings to prospects and provide them the reasons they should join your team.

The labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. If you’re looking to recruit more skilled labor and take advantage of growing construction needs in 2018, contact Ripley PR today. We can work with you to craft and implement a communications strategy that will resonate with and help recruit qualified workers.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on March 29, 2018


Is Your National PR Team Nimble?

Knoxville B2B Public Relations Ripley PRThe Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word “nimble” as quick and light in motion, marked by quick, alert, clever conception, comprehension, resourcefulness, and being responsive.

Is this definition applicable to your PR team handling all your local and national PR efforts?

At Ripley PR we pride ourselves on being nimble, among other things. Being a top Knoxville PR agency, we not only help local companies grow their businesses, we also help companies based throughout the U.S. looking to reach a national audience while telling their brand story in their local markets.

If you are looking for the creativity, results, and proven experience that you thought you can only get from a big PR agency based in a major U.S. city, think again.

Ripley PR offers:

  • Global reach. We are part of a global communication agency network with 115 offices worldwide to help you reach your audience and any market you need.
  • Quick and light in motion. Our team will deliver results within the time frame you need.
  • Clever conception and comprehension. We have experience working with B2B and B2C companies in various industries. Whether you’re in the manufacturing industry, want to increase your franchise network, or need vegan public relations for your new plant-based consumer product, we can help.
  • Our specialist team of experts has all the resources you need to develop and execute communication strategies, nationally or locally.
  • Responsiveness. Even though you have a whole team of people working on your account, you’ll have one point person who will make sure everything we do on a daily basis for your business is aligned with your bigger business goals, responding to all your requests, answering questions, devising new strategies and solutions for challenges you might face.

To learn how our nimble team of PR experts can help you grow your business, contact Ripley PR today.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on March 23, 2018


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