I Just Want Fran Dev Leads! Why Do I Need PR?

I Just Want Fran Dev Leads! Why Do I Need PR?

We were meeting with a new client about franchise development marketing and talking about services he needed to meet the lofty sales goals he had been given. When we mentioned public relations, he interrupted.

“I don’t need PR,” he said. “I just need leads.”

And we replied: “Do you want warm or even hot leads? Do you want leads who already know about your brand? Leads who feel connected to it and are aware of what a great investment it is? And do you want to expand into any new markets this year?

“Then yes, you need PR.”

PR for Prospects

Public relations is generally considered top of funnel, a strategy that offers a wealth of effective tactics to raise brand awareness and build relationships between an organization and its audiences. Nearly all franchises understand that PR can help raise your public profile, tell your brand story and protect brand reputation among consumers.

However, not all franchise systems invest in franchise development PR, and as result, they are missing some great opportunities to speak to future franchisees.

An agency experienced in fran dev PR can help you direct messaging to your target persona. Prospects interested in franchising read franchise media outlets to research the brands they’re considering on platforms that cater to franchisees and those interested in becoming franchisees. Fran dev PR targets those outlets to ensure they are telling success stories about your franchisees to help prospects imagine themselves being successful with your brand, also.

Franchise development PR practitioners also pitch stories and news releases to trade publications that cover your industry as well as mainstream consumer outlets in your target markets. Additionally, they can help you get booked on podcasts that appeal to your persona.

Rankings Give Validation

Anyone who has anxiously awaited the publication of Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500 or the Inc. 5000 to see where they placed can assure you that rankings matter to brands. They also matter to prospects, because such lists and rankings provide third-party validation that you are as awesome as you say you are.

Some prospects may be looking for something specific. A veteran may seek a franchise that has a great reputation for supporting owners who are veterans, and a busy mom may be looking for a franchise that is known for supporting female owners. In either case, they may turn to rankings like those published by Entrepreneur or Franchise Business Review to compile a short list of brands to consider investing in.

Franchises ranked on prominent and specialty lists that have the rights to use the related badge (some are free and some you’ll have to pay for) should use it everywhere they can – websites, social media, email signature, etc. Prospects notice and are duly impressed.

How to Leverage Great Coverage

Of course, getting great placements and earning strong rankings are only the beginning. You also need to capitalize on those big wins by sharing your good news. Share links to articles and podcasts in social posts and email them to your leads. You might want to write a short summary of the article or a snippet of conversation and share it on your blog, too.

To take advantage of rankings, you’ll also want to send out a news release, which you can post on your blog. If it’s a specialty ranking, like Top Franchises for Veterans, you may also want to send it to outlets that cater to veterans. This will help you get on their radar, and many of them publish their own lists.

How to Measure Success

How do you know if your news is resonating with your key audience? Your CRM can help you track how many click through an email to read an article.

Although PR is not usually considered a method of lead generation, sometimes leads may be tied directly to PR efforts! Your CRM or web analytics – or both – can show you “referral traffic” from a particular outlet or article and whether the site visitor converts by filling out a form. Platforms like Entrepreneur also track clicks and referral traffic to see which articles resonate the most with their readers.   Fran dev PR is a specialty area that should include specific goals and strategies tied to building a relationship with your ideal prospects and informing them about your franchise opportunity. Whether PR is laying the foundation for you to engage with leads or actually converting them, fran dev PR can pay huge dividends for franchise brands that want to sell more franchises.