When it comes to helping your franchise succeed, you’ll do whatever it takes. Marketing? You’ve got that covered. But what else can you do to get the word out about your franchise when it first launches?
Public relations, the flip side to the marketing coin, is one tactic that could help you increase the number of people who know about your franchise’s opening. Public relations, or PR, includes a number of activities, such as building relationships with the media in the hopes that they’ll write about you, and writing and publishing press releases.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is simply a news announcement: in your case, it might announce the opening of your new franchise. You can publish your press release online through a distribution service like PRWeb, which will then disseminate your news to dozens of news and niche websites.
The benefits are twofold (maybe more). First of all, you get a boost of SEO juice when several sites link to yours. Because you’ll have a link to your website from each place your press release is published, you essentially have dozens of websites linking to yours, which Google takes as an indicator that your site is important, and may move it up in search results.
Second, people—and journalists—who may be interested in your franchise can find out about you. Let’s say you’re opening a new salon franchise in your town, and in your press release you use the keyword phrase “hair salon in Wilmington.” If someone searches this phrase, they may come across a link to your press release. They quickly skim the release, find out you’re offering a discount to new customers next week and call to book an appointment.
That customer might not have found you any other way. So a press release can serve as another channel to direct traffic to your website.
Keep Your Press Releases Newsworthy
There’s been a lot of abuse of press releases in the last few years, as every company fights to rank higher in search results. Many brands use them as thinly-veiled advertising tools, but press release distribution companies are now cracking down on this abuse.
To ensure that your press releases always get approved by editors, make sure each one is actually newsworthy. Some topics your franchise might want to announce include:
- Opening of new franchise
- Special promotion for grand opening
- Partnership with local community group
- Award won
Connecting with Journalists
Once you publish your press release, try to get some local attention on it by identifying journalists that cover business or your specific industry. Follow them on social media, and try to build a relationship with them before you pitch them. When you do, send a short email introducing yourself and your company, and share a link to your press release. Ask if it’s something they’d be interested in covering.
Don’t be pushy; success rates at getting journalists to write about you tend to be low, but if you work on nurturing the relationship beforehand, you’ll stand a better chance.
Press releases, combined with a comprehensive marketing strategy, can help you expand your reach and attract new customers to your franchise.