People often think of marketing and public relations as two very separate entities. This is understandable because they typically operate as independent agencies. In franchise marketing, specifically digital marketing, we consider what we can measure, track, and analyze. Franchise PR focuses more on communications in both digital and non-digital landscapes. Let’s look at them both a little more closely.
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Why Franchise Marketing?
The goal of franchise marketing in a digital space is to generate and capture leads. This is done through websites and landing pages, downloadable content, various types of ads, email campaigns, and even content marketing like blog posts. It’s optimized for search, is trackable, can be adjusted quickly, and complies with Franchise Trade Commission guidelines. It’s buttoned up and concise. If franchise marketing were a friend at a party, they’d be the one following the rules, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Franchise Public Relations
You’ll find Franchise PR on the dance floor! They’re the friend who wants to be seen. Good franchise PR does an excellent job of projecting a franchise brand’s image into the world. That can happen in several ways: Online or print feature article, speaker at or sponsor of an event, social media engagement, media appearance, or any other way it can get its message in front of the target market. Franchise public relations is less buttoned up and concise, and often the leads it generates aren’t trackable.
How Do Franchise PR and Franchise Marketing Work Together?
Analytics versus feel. Data versus vibe. Do you see the difference? Imagine if there was a feature article about a stand-out franchisee in a printed trade magazine’s March issue. Throughout the month, organic leads ebbed and flowed and showed a little more activity at different times throughout the month. Could those leads be attributed to that trade magazine feature? Maybe. A word like maybe is not something you see in franchise marketing analytics. Marketers prefer yes or no. A or B. Not maybe.
There are some instances where franchise marketing and franchise PR work well together. Just because something can’t be linked doesn’t mean it can’t be measured. For example, imagine the founder of a coffee shop franchise is the keynote speaker at an event. The franchise PR team helped put him at the podium, but the franchise marketing team can work some marketing magic. Maybe they’ve developed an app that takes role calls and surveys audience members after the speech. Maybe a QR code on the screen behind the speaker offers some cool, trackable content or takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form. They will have someone record the speech and post it on social media.
Franchise marketing and franchise PR have more in common than you might think. Indeed, they can agree to share the content marketing space. Online appearances and announcements are easily trackable.
Franchise PR Firms vs. Franchise Marketing Firms
There is no reason a franchisor can’t have both a marketing agency and a separate franchise PR agency. They do indeed work together on various projects. Public Relations teams complement a marketing campaign; in some cases, a marketing team can help measure a PR campaign. They need to have a similar understanding of the brand to make any collaboration seamless.
The best way for these departments to work together is to have them housed under one figurative roof and have both services provided by the same firm. Once the firm has a solid grasp of the brand, franchise marketing and PR can work in tandem to achieve desired results and exceed expectations.