So, let’s talk about Local PR. As a franchisee, or any business owner, what’s one of the most important factors that determines your success? We realise that we’ve already given you the answer, but a question is a great way to make a point, isn’t it? This all-important and not-so-secret key to success centres around your ability to generate positive publicity and build a strong reputation within your local community.
Why? Well, forgive us for saying but if people don’t know you exist, they’re unlikely to buy from you. And, arguably worse, if they do know you exist but don’t like or rate you, then not only will then never buy from you, but they may influence others not to either. Yikes.
Here is where local PR – public relations – comes in. Local PR is all about creating a positive image of your business within your local community. And it can be incredibly effective in generating buzz, attracting customers, and building trust.
Just do it (local PR)
It can feel daunting to put yourself and your business under the spotlight. Many franchisees (and franchisors for that matter) tell us that they simply don’t know what to talk about or where to start. Never fear, Team Rev is here!
Here are our top tips to get you started:
- Identify your target audience. Before you start creating your local PR strategy, it’s important to identify who your target audience is. This could be potential customers, investors, or even other businesses in your community. Once you know who you’re targeting, you can tailor your messaging and tactics to appeal to them.
- Build relationships with local journalists. These contacts have great influence and can be powerful allies in generating local PR for your business. Take the time to research local journalists who cover your industry or niche, and reach out to them with a friendly introduction and a pitch for a story. Building relationships with journalists takes time and effort but will pay dividends in the long run.
- Host events and sponsor local causes. If you’re just starting out, a grand opening event is a must and the ideal way to generate your first pieces of local PR. But what about if you’re already well established or never got round to (read ‘underestimated how important it was to’) holding one? In this case, hosting a timely, themed event or sponsoring local causes is a great way to get your business in the spotlight. Consider partnering with a local charity or non-profit, inviting some of their key stakeholders along and genuinely doing your bit to raise money, awareness or make a difference. Or why not host an open day or experience, a free trial or a community-focused event that aims to bring people together and tackle a local issue.
- Create valuable content. This is key to generating any PR for your business, but especially local PR. What issues are affecting people in your area right now? What questions do your customers have? What information and knowledge do you possess that your target audiences need to know? This is a classic case of ‘give a little, get a lot’. The beauty of this type of content is that not only does it generate local PR and, therefore, raise awareness of your brand, it also sets you as a local expert and a business that people can trust. That’s what we call a win-win. Don’t forget you should squeeze every last drop out of this content by repurposing it for use on your blog, across social media and even as video content.
- Leverage local social media. Social media is often seen as a sweeping, national and even global monster that cannot be tamed. But that’s just not true. Used thoughtfully, social media can be a powerful tool for generating and spreading local PR for your business. Research appropriate local groups and identify key influencers – be that by industry, interest or even location. Build relationships and look for ways you can genuinely work with influencers that will benefit both audiences.
- Monitor your reputation. Not exactly a lead in when it come so to generating local PR, but important to mention, nonetheless. It’s important to monitor your reputation – both online and on the grapevine – to understand what your customers and prospects are really thinking and saying about you. Responding to feedback, be it positive or negative, in a professional and timely manner is vital. Be honest, be transparent and be gracious. A no-BS approach to these kinds of interactions will help to build that all-important trust and credibility and it’s one of the biggest ways to turn loyal customers into raving fans.
Keep it local
Sounds obvious but if you want to be in your local media, make sure your stories and news items are locally focused. Hyper local is perfect! The more local references you can bring in, the more village, town or city history you can cite, the more generations of a local family linked in, the better. Remember to include those details in your pitches to really grab the attention of your media contacts.
Generating local PR for your business takes time and effort – all the best things do, right? But with an ongoing focus and commitment, you will attract new customers, build trust, and position your business for long-term success. What’s not to love?
Team Rev regularly write articles about hot topics and share PR advice 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 you fancy a chat about local PR in more detail then get in touch. Email email@example.com or call 07921 572554.