Three reasons franchises need public relations

If you’re the director of franchise development for a franchising business, you might feel pulled in a lot of different directions. You have to sell more franchises in order to keep your job, but you also don’t want to abandon those owners who you sold in the past. Meanwhile, you want to make sure your company’s brand is strong, familiar and carries a good reputation with it.

Man holding card for franchise opportunity

While franchise public relations can’t eliminate these pressures, it can be a useful tool for fulfilling all of the aforementioned needs. PR can let potential owners know your business is open for investment. It can help existing franchisees increase sales, which might lead to those owners wanting to open more franchises. It can also help strengthen the brand in the public’s mind, which can make it easier to sell additional territories.

Here are three ways a public relations agency can help franchise businesses can make help make a franchise development director’s job a little easier.

  1. Sell new territories

One of the top concerns of any corporate franchise office is franchise development. Signing new development agreements is crucial to the success of any franchise over the long run. If your business is relatively new to franchising or isn’t a well-known name nationally, franchise PR can help get the word out that your business presents a great entrepreneurship opportunity. After all, people can’t invest in your business if they don’t know about it.

  • Support existing franchises

Franchise PR, marketing and advertising support is a big selling point for many prospective franchisees. Knowing the home office has their back and is going to assist with their marketing needs puts confidence in those owners who are less experienced in owning their own business. Utilizing PR to generate sales for franchisees is a great way to increase owner satisfaction. Public relations can be a way to get the word out regionally, directing traffic to regional offices. Any franchisor will tell you that an owner making money tends to be a happy one.

  • Build the brand

Whether you’re looking to raise awareness of your franchise’s brand by simply getting the name in front of people’s eyes or are looking to establish your business and its owners as experts in your field, brand building is a key benefit of franchise public relations. A company is only as strong as its brand, so franchisors want to make sure their business’s brand is strong.

Ripley PR has extensive knowledge of franchising, and we’ve worked with many franchise clients. To start getting your franchise in the news, contact Ripley PR today.

Chris Martin

This post was written by on April 24, 2019


The Power of Video in B2B Public Relations

One could argue that one of the advantages a B2B company has in delivering its message is that most operating in the B2B space occupy a niche and have a very clear audience. B2C companies may have an ideal customer base and some key demographics, but more often than not B2C companies shoot far and wide while relying on flashy advertising, catchy slogans and jingles, and savvy marketing messages that reflect their knowledge of current trends.

While B2B companies may know exactly who they need to talk to, sometimes they’re a little behind the times when it comes to executing that communication. As the younger generations grow and occupy more decision-making roles, B2B companies must recognize how better to meet them on their terms and capture their attention. One of the best to communicate your brand in 2019 is through video, and an experienced B2B public relations agency can help your videos deliver the right impact to the right audience.

Two B2B representatives deliver their messages on camera.

Here are a couple statistics that point toward the urgency of adopting video as a primary vehicle for communicating your brand:

  • A 2015 study by Google discovered that 70 percent of B2B researchers watched online videos as they made their purchasing decisions. Nearly 50 percent watched more than 30 minutes of video – and that was four years ago.
  • The same study found at the time that millennials, the first true “digital natives,” comprised nearly half of all B2B researchers. This percentage has increased and will ONLY increase until the post-millennial generation begins to occupy more of these positions.

So how can partnering with the right B2B public relations agency help you maximize your video content?

An experienced agency can help you use your videos to:

  • Humanize your company and display authenticity – Syed Balkhi recently wrote in Entrepreneur, “How do you get consumers to trust your company? You do it by showing them the human side of your brand.” By showing off your team and personality on social media and your website, your likelihood of convincing B2B researchers to choose your services will increase as they become more familiar with who you are behind the branding.
  • Secure key media placement – By using video to modernize the age-old press release and augment expertly crafted pitches, your PR team can catch the media’s attention in fresh ways and give them a better idea of the dynamic visuals and interviews you and your brand can provide.
  • Tell your story in a memorable way – According to a 2017 Forbes article, messages delivered by video are retained by 95 percent of viewers as opposed to only 10 percent retention when delivered by text.

To find out more about why your B2B company should be using video in 2019 and how an experienced B2B public relations agency can help, contact Ripley PR today at (865) 977-1973.

Grayson Shockley

This post was written by on April 22, 2019


Does Influencer Marketing Work for B2B?

Influencer marketing has been around for longer than Instagram and Snapchat. In the 80s and 90s, we called it “celebrity endorsement.” But the social media age has put everyday people on center stage, giving them a voice and allowing them to attract loyal followers.

The business world took notice, and influencer marketing was born.

But influencer marketing isn’t just for B2C businesses selling the latest fashion trends. It can work for B2B marketers, too. An experienced B2B public relations agency will have the know-how and tools to craft a solid influencer marketing campaign that will reach decision-makers in your field.

Call Them Ambassadors

Many B2B businesses choose to call influencers by other names, most likely because of the term’s connection to B2C marketing. Those names could be brand ambassadors, thought leaders, or opinion leaders. But whatever you call them, influencers are effective for B2B marketing.

As trust in traditional advertising and media wanes, consumers and decision-makers at all levels are turning to recommendations of individuals they trust before they buy. Harvard Business Review says 90 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by peer recommendations, and 84 percent of them are starting the purchasing process with a referral.

Where to Find Them

B2B influencers, for the most part, aren’t found on Instagram. For that matter, they might not be on social media at all. Instead, try social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, and expand your search to include bloggers, authors, and public speakers.

In addition, you might not have to initiate a fresh relationship with influencers. It’s possible they are already your customers or already talking about your product or service. Start looking for the people who are already talking about or reviewing your product. Chances are, they’d be willing for formalize the relationship and become an influencer.

Legalities

Since influencer marketing is paid advertising, there are some legal factors to consider before taking the plunge for your B2B business. First off, make sure your influencers disclose the nature of the arrangement, acknowledging to their audience that they were paid for the content they publish for you.

In addition, since your influencers are likely professionals in the field, make sure that their relationship with you doesn’t constitute a conflict of interest.

Getting Help

The market is always changing, and in the digital age, it’s changing faster than ever. A B2B public relations agency like Ripley PR can help you navigate the trends and find the right strategy to get your message in front of the right decision-makers to increase leads and grow your business. To find out more, call (865) 977-1973 or contact us online.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on April 19, 2019


Changing mindsets begins with a good PR campaign

My grandad was considered an expert carpenter, and often, he had a waiting list of folks who wanted him to build them a home. I suppose he’s what you would have called a blue-collar worker, though, and for a lot of parents, that might term might as well be a four-letter word. My grandad was respected and provided for his family, but white-collar jobs are the ultimate goal, right?

That’s a common misconception, and it’s one we’re trying to change as a home service public relations firm. A shift is happening, and the notion that a college education is the best — or only — option for today’s high school graduates is quickly becoming outdated. Just ask Mike Rowe.

These might be the most
important jobs in the world

We work with a lot of home service clients at Ripley PR. They’re some of the nicest folks you could meet. They’re also some of the most successful. We have a lot of moving parts with each and every one of them, but these are two ever-present goals:

  • Help them be seen as experts in their industries
  • Dispel the myth a blue-collar job doesn’t have a good future

There are just some things you can’t live without

There are a lot of professions that don’t impact your daily life in any way, like a mall Santa Claus. If you don’t have kids, you don’t need him, right? But … what happens when the toilet backs up into your bathroom? Or the HVAC dies when it’s 90 degrees outside, or even worse, it’s in the teens? What do you do if a pipe bursts? The breaker box is buzzing? Smoke’s coming from an outlet? I could go on, but you get the gist.

We believe home service companies have some of the most important jobs in the world. They’re what keep our worlds running smoothly. We’re helping our clients be seen as experts and trusted sources in their local media markets, and we’re also helping them with recruiting efforts by changing mindsets. We’d love to do the same for you, so give us a call.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on April 18, 2019


How To Build Your Business With Franchise Public Relations

You’ve got a great franchise concept. You’ve set up a system that works. But the phone calls and emails aren’t coming in — or you can’t convert the ones you get into new deals.

So, what’s your next step?

That would be developing a franchise public relations strategy. A great franchise PR team can help you establish brand awareness, build and maintain brand reputation, prepare you for worst-case scenarios and, most important, deliver the right message to potential franchisees to help your company grow. 

Franchise PR Strategy

Here’s what franchise public relations can do for your business:

  • Generate positive media coverage. PR professionals distribute press releases and leverage their relationships with editors, producers and reporters in national, local and trade media to get coverage for their clients. These stories build awareness, establish credibility and attract franchisee interest.
  • Manage negative media coverage. The experienced social media experts at the best PR firms monitor your social media accounts for negative reviews and other potentially damaging content. A PR agency will also help you manage crisis situations, so bad news doesn’t get worse.
  • Reach the right audiences. You’ve got more than one target audience for your franchise. National business magazines can help you build a reputation as an expert. Franchise trade media can reach serious potential investors. And local and regional coverage in your target markets can reach new franchisees and help establish a loyal customer base.

If you’ve got a fantastic franchise opportunity but need help growing, franchise public relations could be your next move. At Ripley PR, we’ve got an experienced team who can help you deliver the right message to the right audience to build your franchise.

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on April 16, 2019


Recruiting Talent Through Construction Public Relations

Construction firms like yours are no longer solely in the construction business. They are now in the full-time business of recruiting and retaining the skilled laborers needed to do the job. Partnering with an experienced construction public relations agency can help develop a long-term recruitment strategy that uses social media and mass media to fill your talent pipeline.

A PR Recruitment Plan

When the housing market crashed in 2006, the labor pool never recovered. An estimated 30 percent of construction workers exited the field and never looked back. To find skilled workers, construction firms need to be able to think creatively of how to reach potential applicants.

Construction public relations can help companies recruit skilled labor.

According to “Attracting Young People into Construction Field Positions,” a report prepared for The Foundation of Wall and Ceiling Industry, construction businesses have to have a recruitment strategy in place if they hope to stay competitive:

 “The mindset has to completely change. It’s not about drywall. It’s about the talent that puts up the drywall,” said Mark Breslin, an expert in construction leadership, strategy and labor-management relations and founder of Breslin Strategies, Inc., Alamo, Calif. “You are in the business of talent development. If you don’t view it that way, one day you’ll realize you can no longer go to the market and readily source people — they’re not going to be there. If you don’t have a game plan, you’re going to suffer. It’s going to show up in supervision, and it’s going to show up in the composition of your workforce.”

Social Media and Earned Coverage

Where is the best place to find potential employees? Online. Where is the best place for potential employees to find you? Same answer. Most people turn to corporate social media pages when looking for jobs. They’ll also search for news about your company or check out its website. If nobody is writing good news about your business, it won’t go unnoticed.

That’s where Ripley PR can help. Our experts can craft the right recruitment-focused construction public relations strategy to get your business in the news and to help reach potential employees on social media. Contact us today at 865-977-1973.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on April 12, 2019


Raising visibility: A beginner’s guide to PR for your B2B tech startup

B2B tech isn’t sexy. It doesn’t have the same appeal as the B2C market. Digital assistants for the common man, health and wellness wearables, foldable tablets and smartphones – these items by default are novel and capitalize, to a degree, on that novelty. Some may never even make it to market, or if they do, they don’t last very long. But while B2C tech companies create something neat with a shine that all too often wears off quickly to the general public, most B2B startups are solving complex problems and addressing real needs for businesses.

tech team discussing public relations in office conference room

So why aren’t these companies getting more press in the mainstream media?

Well, for one thing, many of those complex business problems are generally considered uninteresting and potentially dry – especially if they are complex and require sufficient industry knowledge to understand the why of what is being done. Some might even say that B2B tech is *gasp* boring.

But just because a company isn’t delivering VR for the masses or bringing back dead celebrities for cameos doesn’t mean they are any less deserving of exposure to the general public. So why isn’t your B2B tech startup getting more exposure? The answer might simply be that your story isn’t being told properly.

Story is paramount for mainstream media, regardless of product or audience. Look no further than this recent L.A. Times article about the $1.65 billion B2B tech startup ServiceTitan (disclaimer: ServiceTitan is a Ripley PR client). ServiceTitan is a software company serving the home service industry — plumbers, contractors, HVAC technicians and the like. Boring, right?

Not so fast. ServiceTitan founders Ara Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan started the company as a way to give back to their own fathers, immigrants who worked hard as home service contractors to make a living for their families in America.

See how a simple shift from “what” the product is to “who” is offering it and “why” they started the company can make an interesting story? ServiceTitan is an immigrant story. It’s a story of two friends in partnership. It’s a story of fathers and sons.

Regardless of your market, regardless of what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to, compelling stories win out.

So what’s compelling about your business? Why did you start it? Who are the people behind it? Who are the people you’re helping?

These are just a few of the questions you need to ask in order to tell your story in a way that interests media beyond the trades to create visibility for your business (and to potential investors).

If you’re not getting the media coverage you’re looking for, give us a call 865-977-1973. As B2B tech public relations experts, we’d love the opportunity to dig into your story and come up with exciting ways to tell it to the media that matter most to you.

JD Sizemore, Account Director, Client Services

This post was written by on April 8, 2019


Manufacturing PR Keeps your Company Healthy

The health of your manufacturing company has many more layers than profit margin alone. An effective PR strategy can promote your company to keep investors interested and entice new recruits. 

Manufacturing public relations can help promote your company and boost your growth.
Manufacturing professionals celebrate growth

Small changes in manufacturing make for big stories. Effective manufacturing public relations can share your company’s growth story to garner media and keep the momentum going towards bigger changes and milestones.

Manufacturing Story Hooks

What does a great manufacturing PR look like?

  • Legacy: Manufacturing companies are responsible for building things the world has never seen before. They have changed life as we know it and are the threads of our history. Reaching a big anniversary and celebrating inventiveness as well as resilience is a story of growth and staying power. 
  • Expansion: Adding new facilities is likely as a result of greater demand for your products.  Not only does expansion support your sales growth, it shows that you are investing in future growth and expect exponentially higher demand over time.  
  • Providing a solution: Has your product been used to solve a problem in a major project? A public relations agency specialized in manufacturing public relations can craft a compelling case study that explores the problem at hand and how your product created a solution when used in a difficult application.
  • Investment in a community: Big manufacturing companies have a large impact on local economies.Creating jobs locally and sharing the intention to grow and hire shows you are not only invested in your growth but also the growth of the economy in your local market.

Need Help?

The manufacturing public relations team at Ripley PR has years of experience in garnering the right media for manufacturing companies. We learn your company inside and out and tell the stories of your growth to boost your visibility. Contact us today.

Kaitlyn Clark

This post was written by on April 4, 2019


Use Stories to Make Your Refinishing Franchise Shine

Kitchen and bathroom refinishing businesses are crowding into the marketplace, so how does your franchise brand stand out?

The best franchise public relations strategies capitalize on the most important assets of your network: its franchise owners and customers. Strong franchise PR can use the stories of your franchisees and customers to generate interest and leads.

Telling Franchise Stories

It’s not just the bottom line that attracts entrepreneurs to invest in your refinishing franchise. It’s also the quality of the corporate culture and the support given to individual owners. Successful franchisees are the best brand ambassadors.

Each of your franchise owners has a unique background and a story to tell. Whether they are veterans of the U.S. armed forces who found an opportunity for success after transitioning in the civilian business world, or hardworking immigrants who have built prosperous lives, their stories can inspire and inform prospective owners.

Another source of stories is your customers, whether individuals or institutional. Happy homeowners raving about the new life you’ve given to their bathroom or a facility manager talking about how much money they saved refurbishing an entire building will enhance your brand’s reputation.

Other Franchise PR Strategies

But how do you use those stories to promote your brand? Your leadership may not have the time to pursue effective PR strategies. That’s why partnering with an experienced refinishing franchise public relations agency can be an important business investment with significant returns.

Ripley PR’s team of experts can leverage your brand’s stories through earned media coverage and social media promotions. We can develop blogs and bylined articles to increase your company’s visibility and reputation. Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your franchise? Call (865) 977-1973 or check us out online.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on April 3, 2019


5 Tips for a Successful Franchise Social Media Strategy

franchise social media public relations

Creating a franchise social media marketing strategy can be tough and complicated. It requires a lot of thought and planning to make sure you balance a unified voice with the engagement necessary for local audiences.

Benefits of a Social Media Strategy

When a franchise social media marketing strategy is carefully planned and implemented, it allows for franchisees to connect with their target audience. This connection creates a community and encourages engagement, which ultimately means better customer service.

Franchise Social Media Tips

Here are 5 tips to make your social media strategy work for your corporate franchise brand and individual franchisee locations.

  1. Differentiate your franchise brand from the competition — Social media is a great tool for getting your franchise brand to stand out above the crowd.
  2. Determine goals in social media — Lay the foundation for your social media goals by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Is it brand awareness, customer education, an increase in sales, or all of the above?
  3. Listen before speaking — Franchisors should know what is being said before joining the conversation. Listen to what your audience is saying on social media. If they have a complaint, don’t react emotionally. Try to understand where they are coming from and respond with compassion and understanding.
  4. It’s not about the number of followers you have. It’s about engagement. — Vanity metrics don’t matter as much as we often think they do. The real measure of social media success is engagement. Do your followers react, like and comment on your posts? Do they share with their social networks?
  5. Use video — The social media trend for 2019 is video. Why? It sells. One way to use video is to leverage your existing testimonials. Have someone read and respond to testimonials by video.

Incorporating a franchise social media marketing plan into your overall public relations strategy offers brands numerous opportunities to connect and engage with new and existing customers. It also helps you build a loyal client base for repeat business.

If you need help creating and implementing a social media franchise public relations strategy for your franchise brand, consider partnering with the experts at Ripley PR. We have helped many franchise brands create a plan and grow their social media accounts and engagement to get your franchise great results. Email us or call us at 865.977.1973 to learn more.

Kristin Hankins

This post was written by on April 2, 2019


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