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How to Market Your Franchise Opportunity Part 1: Franchise PR

High-quality public relations efforts are crucial to franchise success on all levels. Here are the top five things to consider when building a PR plan.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 10:10AM 10/17/22

Tacos 4 Life, a franchise that provides one meal to a child in need for every taco, bowl, salad, quesadilla or order of nachos purchased, knows the importance of brand awareness all too well. A PR plan is essential for the continued success of any franchise model, and getting the word out about a brand’s story is a massive part of the need.

“As a franchisor, I oversee many aspects of the business for our brand and mission to be successful,” said Austin Samuelson, co-founder of Tacos 4 Life. “Everything can’t run smoothly without a dedicated and winning team by your side, including PR professionals. The PR team understands how to connect with our audiences and earns great coverage to help elevate our brand further.”

Brand awareness is a great way to drive more clients, customers or guests to a brand while gaining the awareness and confidence of prospective franchisees.

“At its core, strong PR helps build brand awareness and create strong relationships in a way that traditional marketing cannot,” Samuelson added. “The Tacos 4 Life mission is incredibly important to us, and through PR, we’ve been able to craft effective brand messaging that allows our mission to reach a broad audience while still highlighting the quality of our food and services.”

When working to draw in prospective franchisees, finding owners whose ideals align with those of an organization is often a top priority. For franchisors, the importance of this may come from a motivation to maintain a pure company culture or identify franchisees who have a true passion for the brand and mission. 

Spreading the word about a franchise opportunity through strong PR can be a great way to ensure a unified message is being put out and prevent the intended audience from losing sight of core values.

Samuelson shared his top five “must dos” when planning for and executing a PR plan.

1. “Align with your entire team on strategic messaging that will be used across the board.” Having a PR plan in place is great, but it is far less powerful if it is not consistent and aligned. One of the most impactful aspects of high-quality communication is how it draws the audience in and cultivates a level of recognition of and identification with a brand. Ensure messaging is consistent and all parts of the team know how and when to use it before beginning PR efforts.

2. “Ensure the PR and marketing teams are aware of each other’s plans for the upcoming quarter.” Again, fragmented marketing is not good marketing. The idea of a marketing plan spans far beyond a PR strategy or paid social media ads that stand-alone — marketing should be a coordinated effort. Working to connect all teams that will play a role in a larger marketing effort will give everyone the chance to understand the larger picture and collaborate in a way that could strengthen the approach even further.

3. “Host quarterly planning meetings to discuss key events and projects.” PR efforts tend to exist in very quick-moving, “in the now” environments. Designating a moment to step back from what is going on today and discuss any company events, anniversaries, promotions or even national holidays that are coming up in the next quarter allows a PR team to get out of their own heads. Large overview meetings can keep everyone in the loop, even those working across teams, but there must be space to put some real thought and planning into the quarterly plans discussed at multi-team gatherings.

4. “Meet weekly or bi-weekly to ensure timelines are being met and there are no oversights.” This may feel like a more obvious step, but setting the expectation that check-in meetings will happen on a regular, predictable basis ensures nothing gets forgotten or swept under the rug in the content of fast-moving PR work. Preestablished meeting times also block time for any immediate support needs that cannot be predicted at quarterly meetings.

5. “Think outside of the box. You never know where the ‘big ideas’ might lead you.” While consistent, recognizable brand messaging should not be abandoned altogether, innovative ideas should be welcomed. In a fast-paced space like the PR and media world, it can be useful to embrace fresh ideas. Encouraging team members to propose unique — or even unconventional — ideas welcomes diverse perspectives and can potentially uncover an effective new approach.