Publicity vs. PR in the Franchise Industry

While publicity may provide short-term visibility, franchise public relations excels in cultivating lasting relationships.Many often use the terms “publicity” and “public relations” interchangeably, but for franchise industry professionals looking to set their brand up for the long run, understanding the differences between the two is essential. At Ripley PR, franchise public relations is one of our specialties. We’ve all heard the story about the tortoise and the hare, right? Publicity vs. public relations is sort of like that. By working with both our media relations and content teams, we have helped companies reach their target audiences like never before.

Short-Term Attention vs. Strategic Relationship Building

Publicity often involves achieving short-term attention with one-off events, announcements, or promotions. In contrast, public relations focuses on building long-term relationships with key stakeholders, such as the media, consumers, and business partners over time. For franchisors, cultivating lasting connections is essential for sustained success. By extending your efforts beyond individual campaigns, you create a foundation for ongoing positive visibility and credibility.

One of the ways we help clients do this at Ripley PR is through thought leadership. By consistently contributing valuable insights and commentary, you become a trusted name amongst industry influencers. This can include appearing in podcast episodes, being quoted in franchising magazines, completing nominations for industry awards, or participating in speaking engagements. Eventually you may find that journalists are coming to you rather than the other way around.

Authentic and Consistent Storytelling

While publicity may generate an immediate burst of interest, public relations excels in compelling storytelling. Many PR professionals are former journalists themselves, meaning they understand what’s “news” and how to position your company in a way that’s compelling to the media. Franchises can then leverage this content to either draw in more potential franchisees or increase brand visibility among consumers. Having a long-term strategy also helps ensure consistent messaging across various platforms, including traditional media, social media, and while appearing at industry events. By focusing on more than just promotional content, public relations can help build momentum that results in continuous ROI.

In an industry where competition is fierce and trends evolve rapidly, public relations stands out as the strategic and enduring approach. While publicity may provide short-term visibility, PR excels in cultivating lasting relationships, authentic storytelling, consistent messaging, and thought leadership. By investing in a robust strategy, you can ensure your brand’s staying power, fostering growth and influence that can withstand the test of time.

Interested in learning more about what a franchise public relations strategy can look like to you? Contact us today online or give us a call at (865) 977-1973.


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