Tell a story that sets your business apart with franchise PR

A public relations agency can’t turn a lousy franchise into a great one. Without a fantastic product or service, or a reliable franchise system, even the most dedicated PR firm won’t help in the modern hypercompetitive market.

But a good PR company can help a great franchise succeed.

If you know that your franchise offers value and has potential for growth, a PR agency can help you tell your story in a way that builds your company’s reputation in local markets as well as nationally. A reputation for quality and service attracts customers, and that’s the key to convincing potential entrepreneurs that your franchise is the right one for them.

Everyone has a story, and an experienced franchise public relations firm can shape the narrative you want to tell about your business. Whether it’s a traditional family recipe, an important business principle you learned from your father, or a life-long passion that informs your business, your life and background are essential elements of your business. You and your experience are the most important factors that differentiate you from your competition.

A team of PR experts can help you identify the events and experiences that inspired you to start your business, the ideas that fueled its growth, and the dreams that you still want to reach. In turn, your success will inspire the rising entrepreneurs who join you in your success.

As franchise public relations experts, the Ripley PR team can use use your story to set you apart and help you grow your franchise. Here’s how:

The right version of your story will reach the diverse audiences you target – customers, journalists, trade publications and potential franchisees and other partners.

A recognizable brand establishes trust and authenticity.

A clear, consistent message communicates value and quality to customers and also resonates with people looking for franchising opportunities.

A strong brand identity and company narrative prepare you for emergency situations. If you know where your company comes from and what it stands for, it’s easier to maintain your message during a crisis.

You have a compelling story. We can help you tell it. Contact Ripley PR today for storytelling and branding strategies that will help you build your franchise.

 

 

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on November 13, 2018


Putting Corporate Social Responsibility in the Driver’s Seat of Automotive Public Relations

Promoting corporate responsibility through public relations

Automotive technology companies no longer just engineer components, they have to engineer corporate values that appeal to both consumers and decision-makers. In today’s marketplace, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a not an optional feel-good exercise. It keeps businesses competitive.

Living Your Values

It’s a golden age for automotive technology innovation as billions are poured into the development of self-driving cars and electric vehicles. This matched by the changing awareness of consumers, who want to see the traditionally negative environmental effects of automotive technology addressed by the industry.

In “CSR Activities and Impacts of the Automotive Sector,” a study by the Vienna University of Economics and Business, researchers conclude that social responsibility should extend to companies all along the vehicle manufacturing supply chain:

CSR in the automotive industry comprises a great variety of issues emerging during the production, use and disposal phases. Automotive suppliers should adopt a lifecycle approach paying attention to CSR issues in all stages of their supply. The most important subject in this field, however, seems to be the one of alternative technologies and fuels.

Crafting Values

Not all automotive technology companies are as expert at developing CSR initiatives and strategies as they are at technological innovation. If creating a CSR strategy is not in your company’s expertise, you can partner with an experienced automotive public relations agency to help.

In her article Public Relations Professional as Strategic Communicator, Kristie Byrum, Ph.D., outlines the role that PR professionals can play in helping devise corporate CSR strategies.

While the history of public relations may include facets of “publicity” and “press agentry,” the public relations profession has matured beyond these narrow, tactical functions, rising to accepted positioning as strategic communications. The public relations professional now serves a role as “prescriber” of recommended communications strategies to advance the essential mission of the enterprise. Public relations professionals with access to the CSR decision-making table offer great insights into devising and deploying a corporate social responsibility program that will resonate credibly with key stakeholders.

Call Us

Here at Ripley PR, we can help your automotive business find the right message and help craft CSR initiatives that will resonate with your customers. We’re ready to help. Give us a call at 865-977-1973.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on November 8, 2018


3 reasons HVAC, plumbing and electrical companies should partner with a social media professional

It’s safe to say that no home service business owner would doubt the value of a social media presence in 2018 – to say that it’s anything less than a necessity at this point would require one lengthy explanation and quite a compelling argument.

Acknowledging the importance of not just having a social media presence but running a standout, winning campaign can bring up a few questions regarding execution, perhaps most importantly being the question of who will launch, manage and ultimately own your company’s social media identity.

 

 

Should it be tackled in-house or outsourced?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the best answer might lie somewhere in between. The social media networks most widely trafficked for businesses, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, seem to reward campaigns existing as a healthy blend of planned consistency and genuine spontaneity. Home service companies specializing in HVAC, plumbing and electrical endure seasonal business year, and during the hectic months of summer and fall, updating Facebook and choosing the right filters and hashtags for an Instagram post can fall completely off the priority list.

Three top reasons that home service companies should at least partner with a social media professional for a blended effort are:

  1. Planning ahead and maintaining consistency – It can be tough to fill in the gaps between those posts snapped at trade shows and the occasional live video. By having a professional develop calendars of meaningful content, you will always keep your feed hot with well-edited educational, impactful and timely content.
  2. Managing social media crises – What happens when a disgruntled former employee or unhappy customer decides to go on a social media tirade, complete with poor reviews and nasty public comments? Partnering with a social media professional means that you have someone else to watch your back during busy times and help craft timely but professional responses to negative reviews. They can also help make the decisions for when users should be blocked and reported and when content should be removed.
  3. Making data digestible – If you think there are a lot of metrics to watch and measure already in running your business, managing effective social media campaigns can add even more to your plate. Between likes, followers, engagement, click-throughs, cost per click and more, there can be a lot to keep up with. Bringing in the lot of business-focused campaign data to measure can be absolutely overwhelming to even the most seasoned personal social media users.

Effectively managing your business’s social media presence across multiple sites can provide measurable benefits, including lead capture, generating referrals, recruiting new talent and simple top-of-mind awareness, and a little help could go a long way.

To find out how partnering with an experienced social media professional can help boost your home service company’s online reputation performance, contact Ripley PR today.

Grayson Shockley

This post was written by on November 7, 2018


Building the Perfect Manufacturing Message

In today’s world, manufacturing businesses fight for visibility in a crowded economic sector. To earn the attention of consumers, decision-makers, and potential employees, your company needs a solid manufacturing public relations strategy.

Like any other manufacturing process, a great PR strategy has several moving parts. So, let’s break it down.

Social Media

If you’re looking for visibility, social media is where the eyeballs are. Love or hate them, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the means to gain attention. It’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition, though. Each platform has its particular strengths, weaknesses, and audience. For example, if your company is seeking to recruit candidates for high-tech positions, LinkedIn is where to find them. A proper social media strategy tailors your company’s messages according to the platform.

Earned Coverage

Scoring a story in local, national, or trade media carries a lot more weight with readers than any advertisement, but how does a manufacturing company earn coverage? It starts with consistently pitching media outlets with story ideas and news releases. It also requires developing relationships with reporters and editors and positioning company executives as experts and thought leaders in their industries.

Content, Content, Content

The third component of a successful manufacturing PR strategy is creating compelling content to draw traffic to your website. Regularly posting blog content that is tailored to the interests of your audience will not only help establish your company’s expertise, but it will ultimately benefit its search engine ranking. As people view the content and share it on social media, it will raise the visibility of your online presence.

Expert Help

Partnering with an experienced manufacturing public relations agency will give your company the right tools to boosts its brand and messaging. At Ripley PR, our team of experts has decades of experience in designing and implementing strategies to earn your manufacturing business the visibility it deserves. Contact us today.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on November 5, 2018


Building a Manufacturing Startup

The role of public relations in startup growth

Building a manufacturing company from the ground up involves crafting your image with the same care as your products. Startups live or die on the ability to get their brand and products out in front of investors and decision-makers.

The best manufacturing public relations strategies are built on three foundations. Let’s talk about them.

Building Visibility

Gaining the attention of potential investors and customers means getting the attention of media outlets and trade publications. Consistently distributing news releases and pitching bylined articles from your company leaders and experts will begin building name recognition.

Meanwhile, executing a social media strategy tailored to the dominant social-media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help build relationships with the public and decision-makers.

Building Content

Producing a steady stream of useful and informative online content such as blogs, infographics, and social media posts can help gain attention for your manufacturing business while increasing its online visibility through search engines.

Writing in Forbes, Jason DeMers emphasizes that each piece of content produced by your company is a building block for visibility:

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable pieces of content, whether they’re for information or entertainment value, for the purposes of growing an audience. Over time, your website will rank higher in search engines, you’ll build a better reputation with readers, you’ll retain traffic for longer periods of time, and you’ll even see higher conversion rates and sales.

Blogs should be tailored to appeal to your audience. White papers, focusing on the applications of your products, can provide just enough technical information to inform decision-makers while being accessible to a wider audience. Online webinars can be used to educate potential customers and emphasize your company’s manufacturing expertise.

Building Up Your Reputation

Not all visibility is good visibility. The fortunes of your manufacturing company depend on its good name, and protecting its reputation in the pressure-cooker world of social media and 24/7 news coverage can be challenging.

Quoted in an Industry Week article, Daniel Diermeier, now provost of the University of Chicago, spoke about the destructive nature of bad publicity and the need for proactive reputation management:

The lesson you want to draw is that at this point, absolutely every aspect of your business model can get you into trouble and can lead to a reputational crisis… And that makes it really critical to develop reputation-management capabilities.

Reputation management requires monitoring social media and online news, being able to respond quickly and truthfully to issues, and being savvy enough to know the right balance of transparency and discretion. When it comes time to Always have a plan in place for responding to a potential PR crisis.

Need Help?

The manufacturing public relations team at Ripley PR has years of experience in developing and implementing the right PR strategies to protect and grow your company’s brand. Your management team can deal with the important work of building your company while we handle the details of growing your visibility. Contact us today and let us help you develop and implement the perfect manufacturing public relations strategy.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on November 2, 2018


If PR isn’t in your 2019 franchise growth plans, it should be

Whether you’re a seasoned franchisor with thousands of units or looking to start franchising your business in 2019, public relations is a key element of your growth plans that should not be overlooked.

According to a Cision Earned Media Influential in Performance Marketing report, when asked to identify the top three biggest challenges in implementing an earned media strategy:

  1. 60 percent of marketing/communications professionals chose identifying and connecting with key influencers
  2. 52 percent chose measuring financial impact of programs/prove ROI
  3. 42 percent chose creating compelling content

If you’re in charge of an earned media strategy or overall communications strategy for your franchise, these challenges are likely top of mind for you as well.franchise-growth-concept

As franchise public relations experts, we at Ripley PR can address these three challenges for your franchise. Here’s how:

  • Identifying and connecting with key influencers – We have strong relationships with franchise trade media as well as influential writers in national business publications.
  • Measuring financial impact of programs/prove ROI – We provide detailed reports about our PR efforts on behalf of your company. More importantly, we break the data down into usable information to inform strategic decisions and showcase ROI.
  • Creating compelling content – Ripley PR’s team includes former journalists who understand how to tell compelling stories that not only drive prospects to your franchise but connect with the media on a peer-to-peer level.

If you’re looking to grow your franchise in 2019, give the franchise PR experts at Ripley PR a call today at 865.977.1973.

JD Sizemore, Account Director, Client Services

This post was written by on October 31, 2018


Picture This: Using Instagram to Promote B2B Success

When it comes to B2B public relations, everyone thinks of using Facebook and Twitter as part of their social media strategies. The smartest B2B companies know that they have another useful tool at their disposal: Instagram.

A photo-sharing app, Instagram is the sixth most popular global social media platform with more than 1 billion users. It’s an easy and effective way to generate interest and engagement for your company.

Show Off What You Do

Instagram is perfect for showing off B2B products or services. Snap a picture of a product being used or an employee hard at work. Share pictures of clients during site visits. Post a short testimonial video from a satisfied customer.

Share Infographics

Want to share some fast facts about your products? Create and post infographics to Instagram. They can be quickly and easily created through a variety of online tools and mobile applications.

Introduce New Employees

Instagram likes smiling faces. Introduce your new (or old) employees. Share a few interesting facts about them. Don’t be afraid to show off company culture, either. In today’s tight job market, it’s good to show potential applicants the advantages of working for your business.

Be Consistent

One consideration when using the application is creating a distinct identify for your business. Hootsuite reports it’s important to establish a visual identity for your brand on Instagram:

A visual social media report from WebDam found that 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post. By using the same filters over and over, you can establish a style that will become recognizable to your followers. Since your goal is to get Instagram users to stop scrolling once they see your image (in order to engage with it by liking or commenting), the more instantly recognizable your photos are, the better.

Ready to Start?

If you’d like to start using Instagram and other social media tools to boost your B2B company but just don’t have the time, you can partner with Ripley PR. Our team of B2B PR experts can help develop and execute effective social media strategies to help your company grow. Contact us today.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on October 29, 2018


Franchise public relations helps generate leads for franchise sales

I saw an article the other day saying franchise companies need to partner with a PR agency because our full-time job is pitching stories and building our clients’ businesses and relationships while marketing departments can only devote maybe an hour or two a day.

It’s true. Hand-turning-knob-leads-affecting-sales-gauge

We do center our work days on creating business-boosting opportunities for our clients, but we do so much more. Here are three of our favorite accomplishments when it comes to franchise public relations:

Name recognition — One of the best ways to boost franchise development is by getting your name out there. Brand and name recognition not only generates leads for the franchisor, but it also helps create sales for the individual franchisees. It’s our job to make sure you’re seen as an expert in your field, and frankly, we’re good at it.

Content strategies — The Ripley PR content team is pretty amazing. They create dynamic content and savvy social media posts for our clients every single day. We have a talented staff that can help you craft and hone your message — literally. From blog content to tweets, strong content can help a franchise grow in both sales and locations.

Revitalization — Does your company logo use Comic Sans? Was your employee handbook written in 1992? Does your website use vector graphics? OK, these might be a bit extreme, but it’s not a joke that franchises can become complacent and their growth stagnant. With PR on your side, though, it’s always onward and upward. Whether it’s helping to develop a new website or craft a new strategy, we work side-by-side with our clients to create a strong presence on every level.

I could go on, but if I spend hours telling you all the ways we serve our franchise clients, I wouldn’t have much time to actually do it. Yes, we pitch stories and boost our clients’ businesses. We help them generate leads through media outreach and related efforts, but our involvement goes far beyond what you read in your local newspaper. Call Ripley PR today and let us show you how we can change your franchise on every level.

 

 

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on October 25, 2018


Auto Parts Manufacturers Need PR, Too

Automotive assemblyEach car that rolls off an assembly line is a feat of modern engineering, with thousands of individual parts working in sync to produce a machine that can travel fast, carry an entire family across the country or tow a trailer from point A to point B.

People have no problem recognizing the final product. There are many hobbyists who can rattle off models and what years they were in production. But that doesn’t mean the multitudes of gaskets, spark plugs, pistons, calipers and other individual parts that make automobiles run have to be the unsung heroes.

In fact, some of those pieces between the wheels have managed to break out and create their own brand (“That thing got a hemi in it?”). Even if your auto parts brand doesn’t become a catchphrase in a commercial, there are still ways to get your product’s name out there.

Automotive PR can get manufacturers’ names in front of important decision makers who may determine which rotaries will go on the next model year. That can be accomplished via a number of automotive public relations strategies. It can also accomplish several goals, such as those listed below.

  • Sales – Whether its news about the product or the company making said product, getting consistent trade media coverage can help make sure your company’s name is consistently out there and potentially in front of buyers and engineers designing the next model year.
  • Recruitment – If you’re looking for skilled workers, you can spread the word that you’re hiring using automotive public relations to get resumes from the best candidates.
  • Spreading good news – Did your facility just embark on a new environmental initiative? Did you just hire 50 new employees? Are you expanding operations or opening another facility? All of these can help boost your brand’s reputation.

Automotive public relations isn’t reserved only for car manufacturers and tire brands. Those companies that are making the crucial components that make our vehicles move have an opportunity to take advantage of good PR in order to improve SEO, attract quality employees and increase sales.

Ripley PR is a public relations agency specializing in franchise, manufacturing, construction and automotive industries. Call us at 865.977.1973 if you want your automotive company to rev up its PR efforts.

Chris Martin

This post was written by on October 23, 2018


Overcome the Talent Shortage with the Right PR Agency

According to the latest Manpower Group “Talent Shortage Survey,” 46 percent of employers across the United States report they cannot find the skills they need in available workers. As it stands, that’s 2 percent higher than the global average report. One of the industries most affected by this shortage of quality labor is construction.

Construction companies and contractors across the nation are struggling to meet their labor needs and retain quality employees, and the much-publicized opioid epidemic is only a portion of the problem. A pervasive “college or bust” indoctrination continues to steer young adults toward four-year degrees that often fail to provide placement, and it serves to further place a stigma on blue-collar jobs like construction.

One answer to this ongoing issue is to partner with an experienced construction public relations company.


The right agency can launch two campaigns for a construction business – one for brand awareness, expert positioning and lead generation, and one to position the company as an attractive choice for employment and even a career.

To launch a successful HR-focused public relations campaign, it’s important to partner with a construction public relations agency that understands the nuances of the industry, how to communicate with the right audiences and the mediums through which to reach your target employees.

Part of the challenge is dispelling the stereotypes surrounding the job, and offering an inside look into your winning culture is key. This not only includes informing prospective employees of your competitive pay and generous benefits but also highlighting the personality of your business, the exciting projects you complete and the impact you have on the communities you serve.

To find out more about how your construction business’s hiring and human resources department can benefit by partnering with an experienced public relations agency, contact Ripley PR today.

Grayson Shockley

This post was written by on October 19, 2018


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