John Hall, author of “Top of Mind” and co-founder of Influence & Co., mentioned recently in his weekly Forbes contribution that the trend of increasing aversion to traditional advertising is, well, increasing. He cited a study conducted by Nielsen Ratings in 2015 that placed actual ads at the bottom of a list of most-trusted sources of advertising. Leading the pack were people the consumer personally knows, branded sites, editorial sites and online reviews. In other words, we’re moving toward a world where the battles of business are won and lost on the grassroots (albeit often digital) fields of reputation and word of mouth.
Speaking candidly, I’m inclined to agree. Working in public relations, I find myself paying more attention everyday to moments of “consumer-speak” from those around me. If a restaurant is recommended, the proposal is always positioned as “Hey, my friend told about…” or “I heard about this place a few weeks ago, and it’s rated a 4.9 on…” One thing I never hear anymore is, “I’d like to try this place because I just saw an ad running on the local news.”
Consider a franchise – no – consider YOUR franchise. The product you’re selling is someone’s future, their means to put their children through school and their method of retirement, so do you believe anyone is actually investing in your franchise startup fees because they saw a television ad, radio spot or billboard alone? Are you investing only in franchise advertising or franchise public relations?
Just like a customer making a purchase, it’s a safe bet that the overwhelming majority of franchisees have consulted with trusted friends and colleagues, browsed countless reviews and read hours of both opinion articles and listed rankings before making their decision to invest in you. An experienced franchise public relations agency understands that overall reputation, top-of-mind awareness and effectively managing online reviews are keys to success. They can develop a campaign to help position your brand as a leading choice, getting the influencers and industry leaders that matter to go to bat for you with referrals and recommendations.
This strategy can be applied to both of your two key audiences – prospective franchisees and the customer bases that keep each of your locations operating successfully.
To find out more about how your overall brand awareness can benefit by partnering with an experienced franchise public relations agency, contact Ripley PR today.