The All Points PR team held our monthly seminar, hosted by Senior Director Bailey Hewitt and Creative & Digital Account Lead Marin McCall, as the agency begins planning Q3 & Q4 idea generators. This biannual planning process is our proactive approach for building integrated strategies for our clients.
We call these plans our Idea Generators. In our 2021 design, the Idea Generators take the form of a custom blueprint. These blueprints lay the foundation for collaborative discussions with our clients on specific ideas for building up their franchise brand during the latter six months of 2021.
Looking back at Q1 and Q2, our agency celebrated big wins with our integrated campaigns. We melted into the candle business as we created pie-scented candles for our client, Perkins. Christian Brothers Automotive revived love for old “clunker” cars. Spherion applauded their female leadership team members for Women’s History Month, while Carebuilders at Home’s “Love is in the Care” campaign highlighted the impact of caregivers and the work they’ve done in the community.
By taking this proactive planning approach, we are able to pause and be creative. We work in a fast-paced environment, but idea generators provide the opportunity to put our heads together and think out of the box. The final product outlines six months’ worth of ideas integrated across public relations, content marketing, social media and digital marketing.
We kick off our planning process with a brainstorm, followed by internal edits and strategy design before finally presenting to our clients. Our goal is to present comprehensive ideas while remaining timely and flexible when the time comes. Every strong foundation and beautiful work of construction begins with a strategic blueprint.
After a year of pandemic living under our belts, we’re probably all pros at scrubbing, disinfecting and using a little elbow grease. As our office transitions towards a hybrid model, a quick office spring cleaning is a fresh jump into sunnier days. It’s time to clean and organize your desk space, both at the office and at home. Check out our staff as they tidy up their workspaces and get more organized for the year ahead.
Lauren Izaks is the COO and executive vice president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.
The All Points PR team held our monthly seminar, hosted by Senior Director Bailey Hewitt with presentations from six other team members, on attending conferences and webinars. Typically this time of year, our team is just getting back from the IFA Convention after a week of learning and networking opportunities. This year looked a bit different, but five APPR team members virtually attended the IFA and shared their biggest takeaways from the sessions.
Bailey kicked off the seminar by discussing her experience with keynote speaker Seth Godin, who advised his audience to make a change by telling stories. So many of our favorite brands found success in telling stories. For example, Starbucks turned a traditionally to-go product into a destination with its push to meet a friend for coffee. As storytellers, it’s our job to create “a tribe of others” and tell people what’s out there.
Senior Account Lead Katie Gibbons sat in on Jimmy John Liautaud’s seminar. Founder of widely popular sandwich concept Jimmy Johns, the chain halted its franchising initiatives in 2003 due to failing stores. Jimmy John shared that of the 70 failing stores, most were not following the systems and processes set forth by the brand. As a franchisor, it’s important to look for franchisees who have a passion for the industry and want to get started for the right reasons.
Next, we heard from Senior Account Lead Mackenzie Coopman about the importance of creating a defined franchisee profile. Narrowing down the ideal candidate allows you to better target prospects—not just by who they are, but where they are. This includes looking at their soft-skill sets, values and backgrounds.
With so much of the franchise discovery process happening virtually, Director JoeyLauren Jiracek says that some virtual events are here to stay, even after the pandemic. Virtual Discovery Days allow potential franchisees to meet more team members. Video is becoming a necessary tool with virtual tours, follow-up messages and connecting with franchisees.
Additionally, team members Alana Guggenheim, Rachel Nehring, Cole Koretos and Jonathan Bazar shared insights from webinars hosted by Cision and Hootsuite on public relations and social media lead generation respectively.
As an agency, we’re always looking for learning opportunities for our staff. Many of our associates and account leads have taken virtual courses to apply their knowledge to our agency. By offering employees additional training opportunities, we’re investing in the advancement of their careers while adding value to our clients.
At All Points, we recognize signed agreements as milestone moments in our clients’ growth journey. A signed agreement is when a new or existing franchisee signs a development deal for a specific territory, and this is the first step towards ownership and the final step in a long line of work for the franchisor’s development team.
We work with brands to leverage these announcements and in turn attract more prospective buyers to the franchise opportunity. So, how do we strategically spread the message far and wide?
Our integrated approach includes public relations, social media and content marketing working collaboratively to generate owned, earned and paid media. The goal is to leverage signed agreements and use them to showcase our client’s continuous growth and momentum.
Owned media tactics—including lead nurturing emails, blog posts and organic social media—are all created and controlled in-house. The more owned media channels a brand has, the larger their digital footprint, or the power to reach customers and followers. To increase organic impressions, we encourage our clients to share the announcement within their internal communications and encourage franchisees to share the news. Growth announcements benefit the entire franchise, as the brand continues to expand, so does their brand awareness and customer reach.
Drafting and distributing a press release to secure positive media coverage is how we leverage earned media. It’s important when pitching a signed agreement announcement to consider your audience. Is it to the franchise trades or a local business reporter? As always, tailor your approach towards a reporter’s beat to increase your chance for growth coverage.
Email blasts, banner ads, boosted social posts and other forms of paid media, help reach a larger audience beyond organic (non-paid) efforts. A small investment can have a large return, as it drives users to your franchise website to seek out more information on ownership opportunities for themselves.
No matter the tactic, make sure your messaging is consistent across the board. Highlight the caliber of people investing in your concept, and allude to the opportunity for others to develop with your brand. A signed agreement indicates a success story, so incite others to celebrate with you with each development deal that comes.
JoeyLauren Jiracek is a Director at All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.