Top 5 PR Agencies for Franchise Brands

 

Partnering with a Public Relations agency that specializes in franchising offers a new host of benefits for both emerging and well-established franchise brands. When a PR firm has experience with brands similar to yours in size or industry, they possesses a better understanding of what strategies will help you business separate from the competition and accomplish your goals.

Part of LSM’s job is to support the overall success of our clients, which can involve collaboration with their PR firms on certain campaigns and initiatives. After 11 years of experience in the franchise space, we have determined 5 PR firms (in alphabetical order) that we recommend your franchise brand consider hiring:


 

All Points Public Relations

Founded: 2011
Brands: Huddle House, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Kona Ice, Junk King, Pearle Vision, The Joint Chiropractic, Dale Carnegie Sales Training, Etc.
Size: 25 Employees

 

All Points PR, which is approaching its seventh anniversary (August 15th), is a full-service PR company that focuses in the franchise space and develops and executes cost-effective, integrated PR strategies. In addition to offering the traditional PR services, they also have a collection of “creative services” that integrate to form a strategic campaign, inclusive of social media and content marketing. These services include national publicity, franchise development publicity, grassroots PR, grand opening support, existing franchisee support, consumer and franchise development social media, content marketing and media training.

 

Fish Consulting

Founded: 2004
Brands: Dunkin’ Brands, Jersey Mike’s, Wendy’s, Massage Heights, The Dwyer Group, FOCUS Brands, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, 1HUDDLE, FASTSIGNS International, etc.
Size: 22 Employees

 

Fish Consulting is a PR agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with operations in Washington D.C. and London. It’s been around for about 14 years, so Fish Consulting has plenty of experience. They offer support for clients that ranges from brand building, national and local media relations, franchisee recruitment, and consumer campaigns to crisis communications, cause marketing, internal communications, and print/digital marketing.

Fishman Public Relations

Founded: 1991
Brands: 85+ franchise brands!
Size: 40+ Employees

 

Fishman Public Relations provides strategic PR and content marketing services for franchise brand awareness and franchise lead generation. For over 25 years, their media relations results and content marketing pieces have driven system growth and closed countless franchise deals.

Franchise Elevator

Founded: 2013
Brands: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, Rising Roll Gourmet Cafe, Dat Dog, Cherry Blow Dry Bar, Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, Cody’s Original Roadhouse, Woops!, Etc.
Size: 7 Employees

 

The smallest and newest agency on this list, Franchise Elevator offers a more personalized approach than other PR agencies. Their services are designed to help emerging franchise brands build their brands. Franchise Elevator’s parent company is Fishman PR, offering their clients both the ideal experience and the personalization from both agencies. Their services include, among others, franchise lead generation PR, consumer brand awareness PR, crisis communications, grand opening PR, and media training.

 

No Limit

Founded: 2008
Brands: Dairy Queen, Checkers & Rallys, Rent-A-Center, Mosquito Joe, MOOYAH, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Etc.
Size: 35 Employees

 

No Limit is a Chicago-based content marketing agency that specializes in PR, content, digital, marketing, and advertising. They aim to be “the last agency you work with.” They started off in 2008 as a social media and PR agency and have evolved into everything content-based. They also run 1851franchise.com, their franchise trade publication and content marketing platform. They offer tailored services such as strategy & insights, content creation, design & development, and audience development.

How to Respond to Angry Comments on Social Media

At Local Search Masters, we provide social media management services to clients of various sizes in a number of different industries.  Part of the work that goes into these services includes monitoring these social media accounts for positive and negative feedback from friends and followers and responding appropriately.  Recently, I had to deal with a situation involving an unhappy customer who had made his discontent known on one of our client’s Facebook pages.  It provided me with a nice refresher course on how to react in a social media PR crisis.  Here are the basics:

  1. Address the comment as quickly as possible.  In addition to the fact that a quick response makes your company appear more competent and more responsive to your customers, you also don’t want to allow the bad vibes to fester.  The original poster might comment again out of anger over your lack of response.  Additionally, others who have only experienced mild dissatisfaction and have kept quiet until now might be encouraged to pile on and voice their problems publicly, too.
  2. Be sincerely apologetic without making excuses.  Excuses are a way of deflecting blame, and making them will signal to the customer that you’re more concerned with your image than you are with meeting their needs.  Don’t make it all about you.  Also, never imply that the customer is at fault, even if they are.
  3. Reach out to the disgruntled customer. If the person is so upset that they’ve taken to social media to execute their vendetta against your brand, chances are you’ve done something wrong.  It’s quite appropriate for you to offer something in exchange for the problems that you’ve allegedly caused; refunds and free products and services are common remedies.
  4. Ask permission before taking out the trash.  When people talk badly about our brands online, we tend to panic and have a natural impulse to delete the comment.  If the comment is slanderous or clearly put on your Facebook by a fake troll account (a fine line to walk, to be sure), then go ahead and delete it.  However, for legitimate claims of wrongdoing, you should not instantly delete the comment.  Later on, once you’ve addressed the issue with the customer and left him or her adequately compensated, you should ask his or her permission to take it down from your profile.

Remember, these little social media emergencies aren’t the end of the world.  Take the opportunity to show your follower base that maintaining a certain standard of quality in your products and services is important to you, as are the opinions and feelings of your customers.  If handled properly, you can actually turn these snafus into positive PR.  Make amends with and compensate the person (if they have a legitimate complaint) and turn a malcontent into a proud brand advocate by showing that you care.  You’ll increase the lifetime value of your customer by making it more likely that he or she will continue to make purchases with your company, and, if you’ve done a truly exceptional damage control job, you’ll give the customer a great story to tell his or her friends (AKA, new customers).

Looking for more advice? Check out these great posts!

Using Social Media to Generate Franchisee Opportunities

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SEO Moneyball: Twitter Analytics and Social Media Strategy