Why franchisors should consider local PR well after a grand opening

After the excitement of a grand opening wears off, some franchisors may think they can save money by cutting back on local PR efforts. But that would be a mistake. Franchisors should consider local PR, as it can help keep a franchise top of mind with potential customers and help it build long-term relationships with the community.

Here are four reasons why franchisors should keep local PR in their marketing mix long after a grand opening:

  1. Local PR can help generate word-of-mouth buzz.
  2. Local PR can help build relationships with key stakeholders.
  3. Local PR can keep your franchise top of mind with potential customers.
  4. Local PR can help you weather the inevitable bumps in the road.

Franchisees need new and recurring foot traffic for months or years after day 1

New and recurring foot traffic is essential for all businesses, but it’s especially important for franchisees. After all, a big part of the appeal of franchising is that it’s a tried-and-true business model with a built-in customer base. But even with a built-in customer base, franchisees need to work to attract new customers and keep the existing ones coming back.

One way to do this is through local PR after a grand opening. By raising awareness of the franchise in the community and generating positive word-of-mouth, local PR can help bring in new customers and keep existing ones coming back.

In addition to generating new and recurring foot traffic, local PR can also help build credibility for the franchise. A well-run local PR campaign can position the franchise as a trusted source of information about the products or services it offers. This can be especially important for new franchises that are still working to establish themselves in the marketplace.

Finally, local PR can help franchisors stay top of mind with their target audiences. Even if people aren’t in the market for what a franchise has to offer right now, seeing positive coverage about the franchise in the news or online can make them more likely to think of the franchise when they do need those products or services.

National-level consumer PR helps this cause but doesn’t pinpoint it for every local market

When a franchise opens a new location, it’s important to ensure not only that the local market knows about it, but also that the franchisor understands what makes that market tick. Unfortunately, many franchisors mistakenly believe that once the grand opening is over, their job is done.

On the contrary, a grand opening is just the beginning. A franchisor should continue working with local PR professionals to ensure that their message resonates with each unique community.

National-level consumer PR can help raise awareness of a new location, but it’s not always enough to reach every potential customer in a given market. Localizing your PR efforts will help you communicate more effectively with each community you serve.

Here are a few ways to make sure your local PR efforts are on point:

  1. Know your audience: One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing and PR. What works in one community may not work in another. It’s important to understand the nuances of each market you enter.
  2. Keep it relevant: In addition to knowing your audience, you must also know what news and information is most relevant to them. A story about your new location may be interesting to some, but if it’s not relevant to the majority of people in that community, it won’t make an impact.
  3. Be responsive: In today’s 24/7 news cycle, it’s important to be responsive to media inquiries and other requests for information in a timely manner. If you wait too long to respond, you risk losing out on valuable opportunities.
  4. Tell your story: When you open a new location, take advantage of the opportunity to tell your brand’s story. This is your chance to show potential customers who you are and what you stand for. Make sure your message is clear and consistent across all channels.

By understanding these key elements of local PR, you can ensure that your message reaches the right people in each community you serve.

Consumer pitching needs to be hyperlocal with localized tie ins to be successful, but this is easily attainable with the right PR partner

Though it may seem like common sense, we’re often surprised how many franchisors overlook the importance of localized PR efforts post grand opening. Just because a unit is up and running in a new market, doesn’t mean that the consumer awareness building process stops. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Once a location is open, it’s crucial to maintain local media relations in order to stay top of mind with potential customers.

For franchisors, this can be a challenge. How do you ensure that each franchisee is getting the personalized attention they need to succeed when you have units all over the country (or even the world)? 

Sure, you could try to manage all of this yourselves, but unless you have someone on your team who is intimately familiar with each market, it’s going to be difficult to get the results you want. And even if you do have someone who fits that description, do they really have the time to devote to maintaining relationships with dozens (or even hundreds) of local reporters? Probably not.

The good news is that HighRes PR has vast experience working with franchisees and franchisors, and we understand the challenges that come with managing a nationwide (or even global) brand. So if you’re looking for ways to step up your post-grand opening game, localized PR should be at the top of your list.

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