Communicating Your Franchise Story to Potential Owners

Every franchise network has two major stories to sell. Both are about value.

One story is for the customers, the people who are buying goods and services from franchise locations. The other story is for potential franchisees. Successful franchise public relations requires that your brand understand the difference between them.

Speaking to Your Customers

When deciding to do business with a franchise location, customers aren’t simply looking for a product or service to buy. They are buying into stories that other customers tell about their experiences, about the good things franchise locations do in their communities and about the quality of what they sell. This means you need to attention to online review management and know the right way to spread the good news about franchise locations on social media.

Speaking to Potential Franchisees

Before an entrepreneur is going to invest in your franchise network, they will want to know more than just numbers about expected profits and costs. They will want to know about the brand’s corporate culture and about the experiences of individual owners.

How to get these kinds of stories out in front of potential franchisees? By getting media placement for thought leadership articles by brand executives and by finding ways to generate media coverage for franchise owners and their successes.

Staying on Message

Whatever the case, your franchise brand will need to know how to tell its stories simply and clearly. Don’t overcomplicate the message. Writing in Forbes, Steve Olenski emphasizes the power of clearly communicating a brand’s story to the desired audience:

Doing this, will ensure the brand is intrinsically linked to the story’s message. This can range from ensuring your brand is known as one that will deliver quality results, to perhaps setting the brand above its rivals, be it as a champion, a maverick, or both. In either case, the brand needs to stand out, which sounds simple, but can easily be forgotten, especially in an overcomplicated story.

Let Us Help

If your franchise brand needs help promoting its stories and reaching its target audiences, Ripley PR’s team of experts can help. We’ll promote your brand’s messages through social media and earned media coverage. We know how to craft blogs and articles that can catch the attention of the media, customers and potential franchisees. Call (865) 977-1973 or check us out online.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on August 22, 2019


Best Practices for Promoting Your Construction Business

Promotion trumps advertisements in today’s world.

Gone are the days of television commercials and billboards. No one watches traditional TV anymore and when is the last time you gave someone your business based on a billboard sign?

Nowadays, your construction company needs positive promotion. You need to build trust and credibility with your new audience – and that takes a certain skillset. It’s an art.

And construction public relations can help take that burden off your shoulders because PR professionals are trained in the art of promotion.

In the meantime, here are some best practices to keep in mind when promoting your construction business.

Utilize Social Media

If you don’t already have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts set up for your construction business, that’s a good place to start.

Those platforms have two main things in common: They are popular and they are visuals-based.

Popularity is important because you want to reach as many potential clients as possible with each post you publish.

Visuals are important because they are fun and, most importantly, engaging.

And that’s what social media is all about – engaging with your audience. They’ll remember your brand if they’ve had a chance to interact with you. And social media is the perfect place for interaction.

Always Announce New Developments

Are there any new products you’ve started using? Any new technologies you’ve incorporated into your workflow? Any new business expansions or acquisitions? All of these things are new developments worthy of, at the very least, a blurb on your website. Or, at the very most, a press release for pertinent news and media outlets.

Announcing new developments makes your construction company look relevant and fresh. It promotes a feeling of growth and keeps you from looking outdated and stagnant.

Showcase Testimonials

Don’t be afraid to be loud and proud with positive client testimonials on your website.

Anyone who lands on your site is going to be someone who’s looking for a construction company. Which means they have project needs to be filled. Which makes them potential clients.

If the first thing they see is a past client vouching for you, that’s going to make for a pretty good first impression.

Also, be sure to include visuals. Make sure you have photos of smiling faces and completed projects waiting to welcome whoever finds your site. PR professionals know the ins and outs of positive promotion – and our team at Ripley PR specializes in serving construction businesses. We’d love to help you out. Contact us today at Ripley PR to find out more.

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This post was written by on August 20, 2019


PR helps you put your best tire forward in a competitive automotive industry

In the last year, my family has gone car shopping twice. The first time was a year ago when our 2001 sedan finally gave up the good fight. And then just last week, we had to replace a second car. Our little two-door was only 10 years old, but it decided its time had come.

Navigating the market

For those of you who haven’t gone car shopping in a while, let me go ahead and say it’s nerve-wracking. With the first purchase, my main concern was cost and the impending car payment. Luckily, my other half was a bit more logical and looked at safety ratings and the like. With this second car, which would be his primary driver, safety, reliability and the rest were the first things he checked.

You see, there’s a wealth of information easily available to consumers, and it’s not all good. Take this Auto Remarketing article that uses the words “abuse” and “mayhem” to discuss vehicular cybersecurity. Identify theft has become so commonplace, it can even affect our vehicles. The bigger the purchases — cars, houses, appliances and electronics — the more time a consumer will spend researching, which means they’ll be able to find stories like this, reviews — both good and bad — and plenty of other information that can sway their opinion.

PR helps you highlight the best parts of your business

Does your automotive company have a PR strategy in place? Can it withstand less-than-stellar reviews? Are your achievements and noteworthy bits highlighted for those intrepid consumers? If you can’t say “yes” to any or all of these questions, you need to be working with an automotive public relations agency like Ripley PR.

We specialize in creating plans and strategies that showcase your strengths. Those plans could include:

  • Boosting name recognition by getting your company opportunities with local and national media.
  • Creating strong content plans that include social, blogs and other editorial content.
  • Dealing with damage control just in case the worst ever happens.

Our talented team of public relations professionals is ready to help you create a strategy that will help you build a stronger brand. You need to be prepared as consumers gain more access to your information. We can help, so contact us today or give us a call at 865-977-1973.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on August 14, 2019


Three things to look for in the right B2B tech public relations agency

In many ways, business is business, and the principles of public relations are the same regardless of the particular industry or market you’re working with. Clear messaging and a coherent strategy are just as essential for brand-new consumer brands as they are for legacy companies, and managing a public communications crisis for an automotive company requires the same skills as managing one for a university or restaurant.

But the devil is in the details. Executing a strategy takes specific knowledge and expertise. In a crisis situation, you want the team guiding your communications to be familiar with your product, your company culture, the current state of your industry, and the reporters and editors who will be asking you questions.

A real and measurable difference

B2B tech companies, whether SaaS providers or hardware manufacturers, may seem like the least likely businesses to benefit from public relations. In the B2B world, reliability, consistency and value outweigh novelty and sex appeal. But effective B2B tech public relations  can make a real and measurable difference. In fact, in an industry where PR is often a low priority, a great PR effort can provide your company a significant advantage.

But make sure you’re getting the right agency for your B2B tech needs. Here are three things to look for when considering a B2B tech public relations agency:

  1. Experience: Don’t be tempted by PR teams that have done splashy consumer work. You might get the results you’re looking for working with them, but an established, proven agency with B2B tech PR experience is a better bet. Don’t pay for someone else’s results.
  2. Relationships: An agency with specific B2B experience can hit the ground running, especially if they have proven experience in your industry. They’ll have established relationships with the media insiders and industry thought leaders who can help your brand, and their familiarity with the industry means they’ll quickly help you craft the right message at the right time for the right audience.
  3. Results: Working with a PR agency in your specific field means you can compare apples to apples. You don’t have to wonder if that spectacular consumer PR work will translate to B2B. An expert B2B agency will have concrete results that demonstrate exactly what they can do for you.

If you’re ready to take your B2B tech brand to the next level, Ripley PR can help. Contact us online or call (865) 977-1973.


 

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on August 12, 2019


The ABCs of Z

Recruiting Gen Z for Manufacturing Jobs

The world is changing. So is manufacturing. For decades, the reality has been that manufacturing is a high-tech occupation requiring specialized skills and training. Now public perception is being to catch up.

Changing Views

Manufacturers are having to compete harder than ever to recruit the highly skilled and well-educated workforce they require. One pool of potential employees reaching their working years is Generation Z, which has been growing up in shadow of the millennials.

Members of Gen Z have a better perception of manufacturing than their older counterparts. The 2019 L2L Manufacturing Index, found that members of Generation Z , aged 18-22, are more likely to think of  manufacturing as a viable career:

Better still, the survey also found that Gen Z is intrigued by careers in manufacturing. They are 7 percent more likely to consider working in the manufacturing industry and 12 percent less likely to view the manufacturing industry as being in decline, both compared against the general population. These findings may be in relation to Gen Z having a larger exposure to the industry compared to previous generations.

With different priorities and media consumption patterns, Gen Z is immune to the recruiting and marketing techniques that work with previous generations. That’s where Ripley PR, an experienced manufacturing public relations agency can help.

Reaching Gen Z Where It Lives

Where to reach these potential employees? It’s not on Facebook. Young adults in Generation Z have very different social media habits than their older friends and relatives. They use Snapchat and Instagram and turn to YouTube as a source of information, according to Adweek:

On YouTube, Gen Z is looking for something a little different than music-loving millennials: education. Unlike past generations, Gen Z prefers to learn via video. A YouTube video about how to decorate cakes is unlikely to make millennials look twice, but Gen Z is hungry for how-to clips that showcase new products and skills.

Finding Social Media and PR Help

The team at Ripley PR has years of experience in manufacturing public relations and social media management. Call us at (865) 977-1973 if your manufacturing company needs to helping hand when it comes to developing and implementing the right public relations and social media strategies to reach the right potential workers.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on August 8, 2019


Branding Needs to Extend to Your Customer Reviews

No company wants to make their customers unhappy, it’s not good for any business. But even if you have the best intentions, people get mad sometimes. It’s part of life.

Negative reviews are increasingly public, and one customer’s bad experience can become a permanent fixture of your company’s search results and social pages. For home service companies, this can be challenging because your customers are looking at those pages to determine if they trust you to come into their home. A home service public relations agency like Ripley PR can help manage your online reputation by monitoring major platforms and responding to your reviewers quickly and professionally.

Bad Reviews are a Branding Opportunity

Here is your opportunity to put those value statements into action. Many business owners feel defensive when on the receiving end of poor feedback and want to discredit the reviewer. Maybe you did everything you could and ultimately the customer was unreasonable. Start your response with a statement in line with your values and speak to your intentions of only providing the best possible service to your customers.

Speak to Your Other customers

While you should try your hardest, you may not be able to turn the reviewer’s experience around. Keep your other customers in mind when you respond as they likely will be more interested in how you resolved a complaint than the context of the complaint itself.

Keep “policy” out of your response

Policies are decided by you and by relaying back to them in your resolution only communicates to your unwillingness to waiver or reconsider them if they are not serving your customer base in the best possible way. Policies change and by using them in a resolution response, it’s much like saying “I’m not listening to how this affects my customers”.

Just Apologize

Companies are often hesitant to say “I’m sorry” because they fear admitting fault could make them liable for damage and cost. Apologizing for the way an experience made a customer feel shows empathy. Sometimes empathy is all a customer is looking for in a resolution.

Ripley PR represents some of the best home service companies in the country. We know how impactful customer reviews can be to your business. We have a team of expert customer engagement specialists the help you keep your branding consistent with your customer interactions.

If you would like to know more about what home service public relations can do for you, give us a call at (865) 977-1973 or contact Ripley PR online.

Kaitlyn Clark

This post was written by on August 6, 2019


Keeping the ‘Care’ in ‘Healthcare Tech’

Tell Your Patient-Focused Story with Great PR

A tweet caught my eye today. Dr. Sachin H. Jain of CareMore Health had these words of wisdom about healthcare technology:

What if — rather than “innovation” in healthcare — we committed to a simpler idea: radical common sense. 

Committing to “radical common sense” means that we drive towards making the right thing happen — not just the expedient thing — when someone needs our help.

What he’s saying resonates with anyone who provides or receives medical care. When you’re ill or injured, you need the assurance that all providers are acting with your best interest — the patient’s best interest — at heart. And those providers include creators of healthcare tech.

Doctor using virtual reality healthcare technology

While healthcare IT innovations can make life easier and workflows more efficient for providers, that can’t be the core of their mission. To maintain that vital element of patient trust, everything in healthcare should be focused on improving patient outcomes, including tech used by providers.

A Narrative of Trust

That story, the way your tech helps patients get better faster, should be the focus of your marketing message, and that’s what the healthcare IT public relations experts at Ripley PR can help you craft. Yes, it’s important to let doctors and healthcare institutions know how the tech will save them time and money, but look at their mission statements. Without fail, their stated missions go beyond profitability, putting patient outcomes in the spotlight. Find the way your tech helps save and improve patients’ lives, then tell that story to gain traction in the marketspace.

Consider some of these initiatives for patient-focused marketing:

  • Social media: You can reach patients and healthcare providers via social media by providing helpful information and thoughtfully engaging in the healthcare IT conversation.
  • White papers: A well-crafted white paper can analyze the benefits of your tech solution in terms of patient outcomes, presenting data points and research to strengthen your position.
  • Media appearances: Establish your company leaders as trusted experts with appearances in respected media outlets, showing their patient focus and gaining credibility in the field.

Finding Help

If you’re struggling to create the right narrative and gain widespread acceptance for your heathcare IT solution, a healthcare IT public relations agency can help you hit the ideal tone. Ripley PR’s pros have industry experience that will inform your branding and messaging to build trust with patients and healthcare providers. If you’re ready to do the right thing and truly change patients’ lives we would love to hear from you. Call us at (865) 977-1973 or contact Ripley PR online today.

Shannon Bryant

This post was written by on August 2, 2019


Why Your Franchise Needs a Crisis Plan

Great PR Will Help You Plan Ahead

Any business needs a crisis plan — especially a franchise brand. With location owners operating as the face of your franchise in their communities every day, with large numbers of employees spread across the country or even the globe, the chances rise that something could go wrong, that someone representing you could misstep in a disastrous way.

Microphones at franchise crisis press conference

Take Starbucks for example. In April 2018, a Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called law enforcement on two black men. The manager claimed the men were trespassing, but it turned out they were having a business meeting. This was after video of the arrest went viral and the public started to call out Starbucks for racist behavior.

Within two days of the arrest, the coffee franchise started issuing formal apologies, and two days after that, they scheduled time to close all stores for franchise-wide racial bias training.

The lesson here is that even though the corporate staff at Starbucks doesn’t condone racism, someone representing their brand acted in a way that many people perceived as racist. So, the entire franchise, from CEO Kevin Johnson to the barista in your neighborhood Starbucks, had to face the music.

A crisis plan is a crucial part of your franchise public relations strategy. How you deal with crisis says so much about your brand. Do it right, and your franchise may come out better than it went in. But handle a crisis wrong, and you may never recover.

Train for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Everyone in your organization, from the top down, needs some form of media training in case of a crisis, even if the only instruction is, “Don’t talk to the media.”

Before crisis strikes, designate one person within your organization as the crisis media contact. A public relations professional can identify and train this person on how to field questions in case of crisis, ensuring that your message stays open, honest and consistent.

Be Sincere

Your customers can spot a fake or insincere apology a mile away, and they will not be quiet about it. If the online world decides your apology is performative or that the steps you take to correct a problem aren’t enough, your brand will lose market share and credibility.

Although no one can plan for every circumstance, it is best to craft possible responses ahead of time with a clear head, not in the heat of the moment or under stress. A public relations professional can help you put these in place and fine-tune a sincere, relevant response if the time comes to use one.

Our crisis experts at Ripley PR want to help franchise brands like yours through the worst times — and celebrate with you through the best times. We have the skills and knowledge to help your brand weather any crisis and come out stronger on the other side. If you are interested in how we can help your franchise brand, call us at (865) 977-1973 or contact Ripley PR online today.

Shannon Bryant

This post was written by on July 31, 2019


Genera Selects Ripley PR as Public Relations Agency of Record

Biomass solutions company partners with experienced B2B and sustainability agency after securing $118M investment for first ag-based fiber production facility

VONORE, Tenn. – July 30, 2019 – Genera, a Tennessee-based company, has selected global B2B agency Ripley PR as its PR agency of record to promote awareness of Genera’s Earthable® line of sustainable agricultural fiber products. Genera recently announced that it had secured more than $118 million in new investment for its first manufacturing facility, which will produce the company’s Earthable® brand.

“We are confident Ripley PR will be a great partner as we begin to launch the Earthable® brand in earnest,” said Kelly Tiller, president and CEO of Genera. “The demand for non-wood fiber products is continuing to grow. We’re not only offering an environmentally friendly alternative to plastics and polystyrene (Styrofoam-type products), but we’re also helping rural farmers create an additional source of revenue by offering the opportunity to grow sustainable fiber crops. It’s a significant win for the environment as well as the agricultural community.”

Genera will use agricultural crops such as biomass sorghum and switchgrass, along with crop residues, to create sustainable fiber and fiber-based packaging and products, including towel, tissue, plates, takeout containers and other food service products. The fiber is created through a manufacturing process that uses less energy, water and chemicals than traditional fiber production processes, creating a smaller carbon footprint. The Earthable® line is also 100% compostable and can be completely broken down within 90 days.

“As concerns about our planet continue to grow, consumers are becoming more discerning and demanding environmentally responsible products and packaging from the brands they do business with,” said Heather Ripley, CEO of Ripley PR. “Companies like Genera will be at the forefront of a revolution as more and more companies begin to introduce solutions that are environmentally conscious and still financially sound.”

Ripley PR specializes in manufacturing, green and B2B public relations. The global agency offers strategic communications services for its clients, including crisis management, media relations and social media strategies. The agency’s unique combination of strategic business accounting and creative public relations help clients build brand awareness, establish positive reputations and drive increased leads and sales.

For more information visit www.ripleypr.com or call (865) 977-1973.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Heather Ripley
Ripley PR
865-977-1973

About Genera
Genera, a Tennessee-based biomass solutions company, works to simplify supply chains with domestically sourced and produced ag-based pulp and molded fiber products. Partnering with regional farmers, Genera provides a sustainable farm-to-finished product solution for a wide array of applications including compostable food service tableware, to-go containers, packaging, paper, tissue and more. To learn more about Genera, please visit https://generaenergy.com

About Ripley PR
Ripley PR, Inc. is an elite, global B2B public relations agency specializing in construction, franchising, technology, home services and manufacturing. Offering a full range of strategic communication services, including crisis management, media relations and social media strategies, Ripley PR uses a blend of strategic business accounting and creative public relations branding to tell compelling stories and deliver measurable results. Ripley PR is a partner in IPREX, the $350 million network of communication agencies, with 1,800 staff and 115 offices worldwide. For more information, visit ripleypr.com or call 865-977-1973.

Ripley PR

This post was written by on July 30, 2019


How storytelling can help your business during organizational change

woman speaking at organizational conference

How do you persuade people to change? How do you get people to work together? How do you communicate who you are? How do you lead your team and customers into the future?

If you’re in an organization looking to spark change, these are just some of the questions you might be grappling with. Change is inevitable, but in order for organizational change to be successful (and to last), leaders must reinforce change with greater meaning to promote buy-in across all levels of the organization.

Reinforcing Organizational Change through Storytelling

One of the greatest ways to help reinforce organizational change? Storytelling.

Storytelling is one of our oldest and most fundamental methods of communication. As B2B public relations experts, we at Ripley PR have helped numerous clients tell stories about their brand. While the majority of our work is focused on sharing those stories externally (with your customers, potential business partners, stakeholders, etc.), being able to turn stories inward and use them to spark change in your organization follows a similar path and almost always begins and ends with the most fundamental question: Why?

“Why are we changing?” or some variation of this question, is usually the first level of inquiry, and sometimes even pushback, for any organization looking to transform into something new or different.

If you’re a company going through organizational change, or thinking about making a shift or transformation, you have to be able to give a deeper meaning beyond what you’ll be doing and how you’ll be doing it.

As Simon Sinek stated in his TED Talk, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action:

“What’s your purpose? What is your cause? What is your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”

“Why?” is a powerful question, and if you’re not prepared to tell the story of why change is necessary, your chances of generating buy-in to spark a successful change are greatly reduced.

If you’re going through or are considering an organizational change and want to make sure the transformation is successful and that you are ready to answer why, we want to talk with you. Contact Ripley PR today at (865) 977-1973.

JD Sizemore, Account Director, Client Services

This post was written by on July 25, 2019


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