Clients turn to PR for a variety of reasons – but the reasons a franchise system specifically may seek PR support is for that very reason; support.
Franchise systems both large and small often grow rapidly, and when they do – it can be hard for the internal teams to manage all practices internally, which often include marketing and media relations. That’s where we come in. As an agency that specializes in franchise PR, our main job is to provide support.
Media support, yes – but more importantly, support to the larger corporate team in effort to make their lives and roles easier. While the role of a publicist is to focus largely on media relations, it should also be part of the job to win over franchisees. Getting press is great, but when the corporate team knows that franchisees at a lower level are fully supported and understood, that is an equally ideal takeaway. Publicists should take the time, whether with seasoned franchisees or new, to get to know them, as it will help with press and beyond.
Even when a franchise is small – as it continues to grow, it becomes nearly impossible to do all things on their own. As the PR team, the franchise system will rely on us to be their eyes and ears on both a national and local level to scour for opportunities and inclusions more so than they would be able to individually. Public relations firms add a new level of support that the franchise system comes to rely on. The agency becomes an extension of the brand that they trust to carry out their needs, making it one less thing to worry about themselves. Essentially – we as their agency become a piece of the puzzle that they cannot be without.
Also, we unite a voice from the top down to the newest franchisee, and create one shared voice that is carried out as a whole by the brand – ensuring messaging remains consistent and the brand has a clear presence to consumers everywhere.
And perhaps most importantly is the role of an agency in times of need. Because inevitably, bad things will happen. And when they do, it’s our role to divert and manage any crisis that may arise. We know the press cycle and will have a better handle on what’s appropriate to say, and when. It becomes our job to guide the franchisee with a response, or lack of response, when approached by the media. The guidance agencies provide when crisis arrives is invaluable and can save the brand from making a situation worse.
Lastly, it’s significant to note that as publicists, it’s our sole job as to fight through the white noise and make our clients stand out. Making them relevant and inserting them into timely conversations is our purpose, and because we are a team of experts, the franchise system can rely on this expertise to do what they cannot alone.