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Public Relations - and what it means for your Franchise

The First Rule for building a Successful Franchise Business is to establish a great PR operation. You need to build a good reputation and as quickly as possible. You have to understand the value and the overwhelming benefits that flow from having an impeccable, transparent and reliable reputation so make this a major goal, as the continued success of your franchise business depends on it. To achieve this goal you need to embrace the concept of Public Relations and a continuous communications program. Public Relations or PR, what is it? PR is the promotion and marketing of the goodwill of you franchise business to the various interest groups in order to establish with them, a better understanding of your business, its place in the community and most importantly, community visibility and recognition. Here are some of the interest groups your Franchise Public Relations need to engage with: The Community in General, Local and National Newspapers, Radio, Television News and Current Affairs, Magazines, Church Groups, Parents and Teachers Associations, Sports Associations, Political and Legal bodies, Unions, Employer Associations, Charity Groups, Local Volunteer Groups, Social Clubs,Business Associations - Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce.

Don't make the mistake of thinking PR and Marketing is one and the same, they are not. Public Relations like advertising is a part of your marketing mix; use it well and it will lead to increased community acceptance, community recognition and bottom line profit. As an example of PR; consider creating a perpetual trophy to be centered on a local/regional high profile project, (The best green school – Keep the county beautiful – The friendliest school)to be competed for by the high schools in your franchise district. This is a very News Worthy Subject that the local media, and if you do it right, the State and possibly the National media will pickup on and want to cover. The beauty with this type of project is that it repeats itself every year at little cost to you, but delivers a heap of goodwill.

Publicity requires effort and the more effort that you put in to understanding how to achieve good publicity and more importantly how to handle any bad publicity, the quicker your reputation will skyrocket. Ideally you should allocate the responsibility for PR to an experienced professional either internally or from a reputable PR consultancy company. If you don't have this as an option then let me suggest you look for a retired PR consultant or newspaperman in your area and ask for their help. They may be happy to give you a couple of days a week. Many franchisors have a national PR consultant and control this activity of their franchisees very closely, especially when the national or major media is involved. They do this to protect the reputation and good name of the franchise. You should make use of this PR Consultant as much as allowed. If nothing else they can be a great sounding board. You have bought a franchise business and now that you are up and operating, developing a well planed franchise public relations program, which together with an enlightened local marketing program will ensure community acceptance, visibility and increased profits. Walter Raleigh – Copyright 2006©.


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