7 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Hire a Franchise PR Agency
You found out a competitor is using a franchise PR agency. Or maybe a colleague is hounding you to hire an agency they worked with in the past. Suddenly, you’ve got the urge to reach out and interview PR companies.
Hiring a franchise PR firm is a big decision, and not to be taken lightly. Before you start the evaluation process, make sure it’s the right time to hire a PR firm. If the following reasons are on-point with your current company situation, save yourself (and the PR agency) the inevitable grief and frustration that will soon follow.
DON’T hire a franchise PR agency if:
- It’s too early. My firm is regularly contacted by new brands with an FDD in hand, ready to dominate the world. Not only are new brands usually cash strapped, their brand story isn’t fully baked yet. Without franchisees, and without a track record of success, it’s hard to get your story told to the world. Plus, there are a roster of marketing materials that need to be created before launching a PR campaign.
- You have marketing issues to address… like your FDD. Franchise brands are eager to get visibility on a national level and in local franchisee markets. However, franchisees are unwilling to validate a brand story of success if they are struggling. And prospects fall off the sales grid when they see unfavorable sales numbers. Media coverage can provide third party validation, but it can’t solve sales weaknesses.
- You don’t have the money to do it right. When a franchise brand contacts us and expresses interest in discussing a potential relationship, it’s a flashing red light when they say, “We really don’t have a marketing budget, just tell me how much you would charge for a client like us.” The fact is, successful brands commit to a yearly marketing budget that supports sales goals.
- You are desperately looking for the magic bullet. And PR is your new brand savior. Nothing seems to be working marketing wise. Franchise sales are down, and franchisees are struggling. A big PR push can save the day, right? Wrong. In my opinion, PR is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies around, but PR is only one tool in the marketing toolbox. Find out what’s making your brand sick versus expecting PR to gloss over problems.
- You want to measure PR by how many deals you close in 6 months. This is classic feedback from an uneducated, uber-aggressive franchise sales executive or CEO. When asked what success would look like if we work together, the answer is “the only goal is generating franchise deals.” PR is very capable of driving candidates to your brand, however, its main goal is creating and shaping brand perceptions and trust.
- Your decision maker is always the smartest one in the room. The decision maker won’t trust the PR agency from the start, refuses to set mutual measurable goals and expectations, nor provides the resources it will take to make the partnership succeed. Every agency decision will be questioned and evaluated based on changing expectations. If the decision maker isn’t willing to let the experts do what they do best, don’t waste your money.
- You are too busy / distracted to make the relationship work. I get it. You have a small staff and big goals to meet. However, like any relationship, successful PR programs take time and commitment by both the agency and the client. If you don’t have an internal point of contact to lead the charge and get the right decision makers to weigh in and support the program, you’re not ready to hire a PR firm.
So, there you have it. 7 reasons why you’re not ready to hire a franchise PR agency. When you are ready, I know a pretty good firm I can refer you to.
David Chapman is the CEO of 919 Marketing Company, a national franchise marketing agency located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Check out “The 7 things other PR firms don’t want you to know” on our blog at 919marketing.com. David can be reached at email@example.com or 919-459-8156.
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