1851’s Quarterly Transparency Report: Q3 2016
1851’s Quarterly Transparency Report: Q3 2016

Each quarter, 1851 will publish a transparency report to give you, our readers, factual information about how the publication is operating.



Causing or tending to cause disruption.

Whenever something is truly disruptive, it causes fear and uneasiness in those who wish to compete with it and in those who don’t understand it. 1851 is currently disrupting the franchise industry with content and storytelling. Those that preach the mantra of “this is how we have always done it” want to kick, yell and scream about what 1851 is doing, but there really is no need to. Here’s why:

Each quarter, we will publish a transparency report. This will give factual information about how the publication is operating.

1851 was born out of No Limit Agency, a Chicago-based full-service communications firm that offers PR, marketing, digital, social media, creative and advertising services to its clients.

Currently, there are 50 brands using 1851’s technology platform, a platform in which they are given a custom section of the publication to create a timeline of their brand’s story. This includes content created by 1851’s team of writers (as highlighted by a sponsored tag), traditional media coverage (aggregated from traditional news sources), 1851 main site content (stories we cover), columns (leadership opinions) and videos.

After a story is posted on a brand’s custom publication, leadership from that organization, franchisees and suppliers share the stories that were written. When 1851 writes the story, it is no different than writing a press release, simply posted on their page with the writer’s name included. When a press release is written at No Limit Agency, we send the release to the client for approval and then use it to tell a story to the media or to post on a PR news wire. Same structure with 1851.

Content marketing is alive and well. Brands use it on a daily basis to tell their stories. Think of 1851 as a content marketing platform for brands, too.

We currently have about 300,000 monthly readers to the site. The number varies because we set up the site with subdomains so that brands can have control of their audiences. 300,000 is the collective number, with about 150,000 monthly visitors on the main site.

Today’s traditional media has transformed into taking a blended approach of paid and earned opportunities. You can buy product placement or segments or news pieces within major publications (like the franchise section of the Wall Street Journal). There are benefits to being an advertiser within those publications and media outlets. Sometimes, brands will even negotiate various segments as part of a media buy. We, too, at 1851, provide additional coverage for our advertisers. We don’t believe this clouds the story – as we are simply telling the stories brands want to tell.

Some have argued that our news is too positive. Perhaps. But, if a brand hires a PR agency, the agency’s job is to put that brand in the best light possible. Thus, we try to keep the lights way bright.

1851 is establishing a voice in franchising because we love franchising. I have had the privilege of being in the franchise community for more than a decade. I am a Certified Franchise Executive, as is Sean Fitzgerald, our Chief Development Strategist, who has been in franchising for 20 years. We love it. We want to have a positive voice in the industry.

We want your stories. This is as transparent as it gets. Even if you work with another agency – or are an agency – we want to tell your story to as many people as will listen.

1851 is a for-profit business. We want to work with anyone. Our product doesn’t compete with anyone. Thus, even if you have a PR firm and don’t wish to use No Limit Agency for PR at this time, you can still use 1851. We will even gladly provide access to your agency. We don’t see agencies as competitors.

We have had a few agencies tell us none of their clients will ever be featured in 1851. We are sorry to hear that. If you change your mind, please share your story with our editorial department at [email protected].

We welcome questions. We want to provide you, our readers, with all the answers. We have nothing to hide – we are just focused on great storytelling and content. You can even email me personally at [email protected] (See, I told you we were an agency) and I will address your concerns (as long as they are not threatening).

Look out for the next transparency report in Q4.