Can your franchise owners handle a crisis?

You can protect your owners and national brand by working with a franchise public relations team to implement a crisis plan.It’s always unexpected, inconvenient, and can make a franchise owner feel like they’re all alone in an uncomfortable spotlight. Maybe a consumer complaint goes viral on social media, or perhaps an investigative reporter sets up a sting and catches an employee acting or selling a service inappropriately. Whatever form it takes, a crisis can be damaging and demoralizing to both the local owner and your national brand. However, if your company has partnered with a PR team that has experience with franchise public relations support, your owners, and your brand, will have an extra layer of protection when crises do inevitably happen.

At Ripley PR, we’ve worked with franchise brands for almost 10 years, and we’ve promoted their very best news, celebrated their victories, supported their conferences and, when crises arise, protected their image. We understand it’s a matter of when rather than if, and we also know what it means to be prepared in advance. Each day, information travels a bit faster than before, and we recommend seeking a true partnership with a PR team you can trust to establish a crisis plan now and keep your entire franchise system competitive for the years to come.

Crisis “Insurance”

  1. Establish a plan: Whenever we develop a crisis plan, we do hope it collects a lot of dust. That said, having a proven, actionable plan to work through when a crisis strikes is paramount to getting through to the other side and maintaining a positive reputation. If you’ve partnered with a franchise PR team and a crisis plan hasn’t been mentioned or offered yet, ask for one to be developed. Yesterday is the best day to put it in place.
  2. Learn to spot a crisis: Sometimes, a crisis can be sneaky. They don’t always start life as a major news story, and learning to spot them early can help you act you quickly and control the narrative from the beginning. Work closely with your franchise public relations team to create a list of examples to share with your owners so they can remain alert.
  3. Keep calm, work the plan, then carry on: It’s critical to take a breath when a crisis happens. It can be tempting to react impulsively with emotion, but that’s when crises take on a life of their own and gather steam. Having a plan in place means that, while the situation is most certainly urgent, you can lean on your PR experts and step through the plan together. After you’ve issued any necessary statements and taken the best course of action, it’s important to put a strategy in place for getting back on track with positive franchise public relations efforts to bury the bad news with the good.

If you don’t have a crisis plan in place that will protect both your national brand and your franchise owners, contact Ripley PR today to learn how our experience with franchise public relations strategies can help. You can reach us here or by calling 865-977-1973.


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