Why do you need strategic public relations for your business to succeed? Fishman PR’s Chief Operating Officer Debra Vilchis joined Jeff Allen, host of Deal Talk, to discuss this very question and the vital role that PR can play in securing the type of media coverage that will drive traffic to your business.
The conversation is part of a podcast series posted by Morgan & Westfield, a professional services firm specializing in selling and appraising small-to-midsized, privately-owned business.
Who Is Debra Vilchis?
Debra is an experienced public relations professional with more than 15 years’ experience in franchise industry PR. As COO of Fishman PR, she is responsible for training, management and oversight of teams and accounts and ensuring overall agency best practices. Debra also manages crisis communications for the agency’s clients and conducts media interview training workshops for franchisors and franchisees.
Key Insights From the Interview
At the bottom of this article you can listen to the interview between Jeff and Debra in full, but we want to pull out some of the insights that should resonate with you as a franchise operator or franchisor.
What PR Means to Business
PR is probably the most important thing for a business owner to do that they don’t do. It should be at the top of their to-do list, and most often, unfortunately, it’s at their bottom. And it’s mostly because business owners are busy, you know, they’re worried about paying their bills, meeting their payroll, and operating their business on a day-to-day basis. But all of those things are actually tied to sales and there is a direct correlation between PR and sales. It positively impacts their sales.
How to Approach PR Strategy
How does a potential or future buyer for your business find you? What are they looking for? They’re going to be tracking industry news or local news and looking for businesses with potential. Maybe they’re going to be going to industry events or local events. Maybe they’ll talk to industry analysts. But the bottom line is the people who might be interested in buying your business are going to be learning about you through your marketing and PR efforts.
And secondly, you have to be constantly putting positive content out there and you do that primarily through PR, press releases that you put out on your own, and then media relations efforts that are going to result in positive media coverage by third-party outlets. When you Google a business, those are the things that you’re going to find. If you don’t find anything, that’s going to impact the value of a company.
How PR Can Influence Business Outcomes
Probably the two biggest ones would be credibility and awareness. When you place an ad in a newspaper, or a magazine, or on TV or radio, sure, it builds awareness. People are going to hear about you. But in the end, every consumer, every customer, they’re going to know that that was paid for.
With positive media coverage that appears in a newspaper, magazine, radio, or TV—where you’re just doing an interview and you’re showing yourself as an expert, and you’re really speaking up on an issue in the community, or even being covered for some kind of charitable outreach that you’ve done—that is seen as tremendous third-party credibility that you just can’t buy with advertising.
Click below to listen to the full interview and go more in-depth about strategic PR’s impact on lead generation, franchise development and brand awareness.