As a franchisor or franchisee, you are most likely constantly thinking of new marketing techniques in order to boost brand awareness. To help construct a positive impact on the way people view your brand, public relations strategies should play a central role in the marketing plan, both on national and local levels.
It’s important that franchisors and franchisees become empowered to develop relationships with the media to establish themselves as reputable and trustworthy industry sources for stories.
Although media coverage is a great tool for creating awareness, it is often easier said than done. The following are four compelling tips to help increase your chances of securing media coverage:
- Research the Media Outlets: Before you reach out to a reporter, you want to conduct extensive research to help you identify reporters who cover topics pertaining to your industry. Some options for researching reporters include going to the media outlet’s website to read recent articles the reporter has written, searching YouTube for related videos if the reporter is with a television station or following the reporter on Twitter.
- Incorporate Timely News into Your Pitch: While you may think your brand is the greatest thing since sliced bread and you have growth numbers to support that claim, some reporters quite frankly might not care. When reaching out to the media, you want to present them with something that is timely. For example, if you are in the restaurant industry, pay attention to studies released by Technomic. Also, the media tends to favor stories that incorporate a human interest element. For example, if you own a weight loss franchise, incorporate an example about a client who has successfully lost weight. Before you offer a story about a client or customer, make sure you receive permission from that individual to have their story shared.
- Pay Attention to Your Email’s Subject Line: Reporters receive hundreds of emails a day. The subject line is the first thing they see and is an important aspect of getting the reporter engaged. The following are a few tips on how to create an effective email subject line:
- Create a headline: A solidly written headline entices you to read a story. The same rule applies to subject lines. Write the subject line so that it reads how you would like the headline of the article to read. The headline—and subject line—needs to be compelling and motivate the reporter to keep reading.
- Have fun with the words: It is perfectly acceptable to combine words to make up new words in your email subject line. For example, when talking about a baby boomer who is an entrepreneur, you can say, “boomerpreneur.”
- Follow up, follow up, follow up: Because of the number of emails the media receives each day, there is a strong chance a reporter might not have seen your first email. Conducting follow-ups is a necessary act. In addition to a follow-up email, don’t be afraid to give the media a call. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind while following up with the media:
- Respect their time: When you give a reporter a call, don’t just jump into your pitch. Ask them if they are available to talk. If they are not, find a later time in the day to talk for a few minutes.
- Be prepared for questions: When you get a reporter’s attention, they may have questions about the information you are presenting to them. Try to anticipate the questions they may ask you and have a cheat sheet with that information in front of you. However, if there is a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest with the reporter and let them know that you will send them an email later that day with the answer to their question.
Securing media coverage for your business takes patience, persistence and a lot of planning. With the right guidance, though, you can be on your way to securing coverage with media outlets like Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.
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