How to Use Earned Media to Attract New Franchisees

Franchise prospects believe third party endorsements over paid ads


When it comes to franchise businesses, potential franchisees are like consumers – they place a higher significance on bylined articles, media coverage and client testimonials than on splashy ads. Why? The impression potential customers or franchisees retain from paid ads may help with branding in general, but most buyers don’t believe paid ads present unbiased, truthful information. Even if the advertisements are truthful, there is still skepticism regarding the ad’s veracity.

So, how does a franchise business garner earned media coverage and attract new franchisees?

Write a great press release and send it to the right media

This sounds easy but in fact it’s one of the toughest nuts to crack in the earned media world. Watch the news in your franchise industry, follow your competition and read their press releases. Note which publications publish their release news and nurture a relationship with those media outlets and staff. Follow writers and comment on their social media with positive remarks.

Show your business is an expert in your franchise field

Identify respected and well-read industry publications and the specific staffers who cover your business or your competitors and offer your CEO or other spokesperson as an expert who can comment on industry issues. Be available the minute a writer contacts you.

Pitch your news to the media at the right time

Once you have created a list of industry writers, study the publications’ editorial calendars and submit potential stories well before publication dates.

If you do acquire earned media coverage, leverage it through repetition in all your social and online platforms and add it to your sales materials. Post, tweet, link and repeat while the subject is fresh and newsworthy. If you don’t have staff to follow these steps religiously, retain an agency with expertise in franchise public relations to see measurable results.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

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Public Relations