Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to franchise your concept or a seasoned franchisor with 1,000+ territories, franchise development is a consistently top-of-mind issue. The growth of your franchise means more of everything—more units, more awareness, more buying power, and most importantly more revenue to reinvest in the franchise. And regardless of which stage you’re in, your franchise development strategy should involve a level of public relations to generate new franchise leads.
So how can public relations help your franchise? Well, that depends on which stage of franchise development you’re in:
- Startup stage – Also called an emerging concept, this is the stage right after you’ve made the decision to franchise your business. You’ve taken the necessary steps to identify your unique selling proposition, and you’ve consulted franchise experts that say you have the systems and processes in place to start franchising. Above all else, awareness is key in this stage. It’s time to get your name out to the general public to generate buzz about your franchise. It’s time to get your name in front of interested (and qualified) entrepreneurs who want in on the ground floor. An ongoing content strategy, media interviews with the founder to tell his/her story, and bylined articles that share your expertise in a given industry are just a few ways public relations can help with emerging concept franchise development.
- Early stage – Your franchise has gotten off the ground. You have successful franchisees and you’re looking to push your unit and/or territory growth to the next level. In addition to learning from the mistakes you made during the startup stage, now is the time to review what’s working and what needs to be fixed in order to move ahead strategically and with focus. Showing success is key at this stage. It’s time to share the stories of your franchisees. It’s time to tell potential franchisees what they’re missing out on. Video testimonials, franchisee Q&As with the media, and franchise road shows complete with targeted media outreach are all examples of early-stage franchise development public relations tactics.
- Growth stage – You’re a proactive franchisor with numerous units/territories. You’re now in one of two mindsets when it comes to the development of your franchise: To continue aligning your corporate and franchise vision for further expansion, or to consider moving forward with an exit strategy. Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or you’re ready to move on to the next chapter of your life, this stage is all about showcasing your stability while not undercutting your appeal by not being the “hottest” new franchise trend. While tactics will vary depending on your end goal, ongoing speaking engagements, bylines and expert interviews in trade and national publications, and ongoing growth news are all key public relations initiatives to take during the growth stage.
Regardless of where you are in your franchise lifecycle, we want to be your go-to public relations agency for all things franchise development related. If you’re interested in learning more about how Ripley PR can help you grow your franchise, give us a call today at 865-977-1973.