Expert Advice

Brand Camp: raising profile through PR

by Amy Renardson
Business & Marketing Executive, Coconut Creatives

What is PR? PR is the process of building trust and credibility with your prospects and lets them know that you are an established and thriving brand. It helps you to showcase your brand and your success stories in order to survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive market, and get through to that all-important target market.

When used alongside an integrated marketing campaign, PR can be a great tool to help you promote brand awareness and get the right messages out to the right people. PR can often be the first time a prospect encounters you or your brand: they could be flicking through a magazine or scrolling through search engine results when your story captures their interest and they decide to read on.

When producing PR you must also consider those prospects who have already seen you elsewhere and are now completing their due diligence by gathering as much material as they can find about your brand.

For these reasons, you must ensure that your PR is professional, reads well and portrays your brand in a good light. Would you invest in a franchise with a team who can’t construct a proper PR piece? You must also make sure that your PR does not present an overly biased view of your franchise. You can do this by including customer or franchisee testimonials to offer relativity to the prospect.

How do you make sure your PR breaks through the noise?

As with any other business, you are likely to have competitors in your marketplace who are also trying to reach the same prospects. By providing more interesting and RELEVANT information than your competitors, you present a benchmark by which a prospective franchisee can measure you.

What can you offer to a franchisee that’s different or outstanding? To make sure you’re not feeling around in the dark, you must first decide exactly who it is you’re trying to reach.

Make sure your PR is reaching the right people!

Before setting out on any marketing campaign, you need to know exactly who your target audience are. Profile your existing franchisees to make sure you have a good idea about the people who are drawn to your franchise in terms of interests, desires and business goals.

This will help you to hone in on exactly where your PR should be sent to reach those people. If most of your franchisees play golf, you don’t want to be placing your PR in a motorsport magazine! There’s so much more to PR than just getting the information out there and hoping the right people see it.

Try to get your PR pieces into as many print publications as you can but ensure that every single piece is also available online. Many franchisees will try to find out as much information about you online as they can before contacting you to progress further through the recruitment process. By ensuring that you publish your PR on your own website, franchise recruitment websites and anywhere you can to make sure that franchisees can see your success stories clearly and easily.

Although you may not receive hundreds of direct leads from your PR efforts, it acts as a means of raising your brand profile and making sure that you’re visible to the right people. Remember that a prospect must see or hear about your brand 7-12 times before they will interact with you and by making sure your PR is prominent in every place of their research, you can ensure that your brand will be at the front of their minds when they come to make a decision.

Coconut Creatives specialises in marketing and training for franchisors and franchisees. Find out more on the company’s profile page.

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