Lately, we’ve been chatting to franchisors and presenting a few seminars. Still on zoom, sadly, but those face-to-face meet ups are so close now we can, err, smell them.

Anyway, during each of these events, we’ve noticed that franchisors, of all shapes and sizes, have asked some very similar questions. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, and anyone that makes you feel stupid for asking one deserves a jolly good talking to as far as we’re concerned. So, because they are obviously on a lot of people’s minds right now, here are said questions and our take on them.

How often should I ‘do PR’?

Bit of a goldilocks affair this one. Obviously, you can do too little, but it is also absolutely possible to do too much as well. In this instance, we’re assuming ‘PR’ means traditional media relations. That is, reaching out to the media with your news and stories in a bid to get them to publish it. As a minimum, you need to be doing this once a month – there’s no guarantee it’s going to be successful though. So, the caveat here is, you need to be speaking to journalists, editors etc. more regularly to ensure you are featured monthly in your target media.

What not to do: don’t bombard your media contacts – or any random journalists for that matter – day in, day out. You will end up on a ‘blacklist’. If you find yourself repeatedly pestering with no results, then here’s the thing. It’s totally you, not them.

Who do I send a press release to?

As luck would have it, this leads on very nicely from question one. Ideally, to no one, unless they ask for it. Cue confused silence…

Basically, you should always try to pitch the idea for your press release out to the media before you go to the trouble of writing it. First of all, work out who your target audience and therefore, your target media is – did you know we’ve got a blog for that? Then, build a media list of relevant contacts in said outlets. That could be journalist, producers, researchers – you name it. It’s these people that you need to speak to about your idea. If they are interested, you can crack on and write your masterpiece.

What not to do: lots of businesses (and PR agencies actually, but that’s one for another day) will write the content and then send it out. The old ‘BCC email to 1,000 contacts in the hope that someone will pick it up’ approach. It’s trash. Don’t do it.

How do I write a good press release?

Have you read our blog on how to get the structure of a press release right? We recommend bookmarking that one and referring to it whenever you’re in PR mode. Here’s a quick recap in case TL;DR.

A press release should be no longer than 600 words (that’s about one full side of A4 for anyone our age). Even if they’ve asked for it, anything longer is unlikely to be considered by journalists because, frankly, it will take too long to read. If an outlet wants something longer, they will tell you. The simplest structure to follow is: title, opening paragraph, main body, closing statement and editor’s notes. A breakdown of what to put in each section is in the blog. Told you it was worth reading. Your press release should have a clear theme and be either emotionally compelling, informative or add value for the reader.

What not to do: don’t use a press release as a sales pitch. That’s what the advertising department is for! A journalist won’t give it the time of day if it’s full of marketing spiel.

We regularly share PR advice and posts like this to help you make the most of your PR activity. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. And, if this has piqued your interest and you fancy a chat about this in more detail then get in touch – we absolutely LOVE chatting about this kind of thing. Email or call 07921 572554.

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