‘Public relations’ is often something that people have heard of but don’t necessarily know how it would impact their business or brand. Our latest infographic looks at how PR affects franchise recruitment – you can download the full thing here but stick around for five minutes for some extra insight.
The infographic splits PR into three sub sections – franchise, B2B and consumer – and looks at how activity in each can impact the decision-making process of someone looking at investing in a franchise. The reason we split these out is because the decision to buy a franchise in the first place, and the process to choose which franchise to ultimately buy, is multi-faceted.
So, this week, we’re going to look at how franchise PR – that’s activity aimed at generating you coverage and producing content for the franchise media – affects franchise recruitment in more detail. This type of PR, which targets media traditionally used in a prospective franchisee’s decision-making process, is more easily accepted by franchisors as a sensible use of budget and resources.
Here’s what the process looks like:
- Target prospects with a PR campaign – you can read several of our blogs on how to create and execute PR activities including how to speak to your audience and identifying an interesting story from your brand.
- Prospects see your PR coverage – this might be the first time they’ve come across your franchise during their search for a business or it may just be the first time they’ve come across your brand without it being a paid-for promotion. Either way, the non-salesy informative and/or inspirational coverage, will increase trust and credibility.
- Prospects keep researching – on average, people will see or hear about a brand, product or service at least seven times before they will take action to buy. People are savvy when investing their hard-earned money and, when it comes to buying a franchise, they want to find the right fit for them in terms of personality and culture, as well as financial returns.
- Consistent PR campaign coverage – if you want to hit that minimum of seven times your franchise opportunity has to be seen. Spread your PR across as many media channels as possible and you have a consistent plan of PR activity over the year. Consider pitching to print, online and broadcast channels to reach as wide an audience as possible but keep your message consistent within the parameters of your PR content – what is your brand the best at and what has that done for the lives of your franchisees?
- Prospects start considering you as an expert – your consistent PR coverage popping up as people continue their research has begun to establish you as the expert in your field. If a prospect was considering a franchise in your sector, then you may have made it on to the shortlist. If they weren’t considering a franchise in your sector, they might have changed their mind because…
- Prospects’ trust in the brand increases – the more your PR coverage makes an impact, the greater the trust in the brand. After all their research, spurred on by the number of times they see interesting or entertaining content from you, prospects start to make contact.
- Prospect enquiries increase – your consistent PR efforts are paying off. As trust increases, prospects are more likely to move to the next stage of their decision-making process – speaking directly to the franchisor. They become a bona fide franchise lead for you but it’s important to not become complacent here.
- Prospects see more content during the recruitment process – the content you have pulled together for the media can also be used as part of the recruitment process. Longer form content like franchisee case studies can be used in tailored communication to heighten the bond between prospect and franchisor. And when a prospect continues to see positive coverage in the media during the recruitment process, they begin to feel an associated pride that this is the brand they are about to partner with.
- Prospects’ trust in the team increases and they join – your PR efforts have combined with your marketing activities and relationship-building process to maximum effect.
- New franchisees provide more great content for PR – when you have decided you wish to award the franchise to a prospect, they will become part of the content driving your PR campaigns forward, catching the attention of new and existing prospects.
You’ll see an arrow at the end of our process showing its cyclical nature. Keep up your franchise PR for franchise recruitment and you’ll see significant returns in terms of brand profile raising and trust levels.