“As a franchise-based business, our publicity strategy didn’t have a lot of structure,” says Tammy Lucich, promotions and events manager at pizza and craft beer restaurant collection Mellow Mushroom.
“Franchisees might write their own press releases, then try to contact someone at a news or radio station and just tell them about their event. The results were what you might expect. For a franchisee, doing PR is overwhelming. They don’t know where to start.”
In need of a new strategy, Mellow Mushroom decided to centralize its PR to its Atlanta headquarters, using the Vocus PR Suite.
“Now, I monitor what happens at all of our franchises and tell the owners I’d like to help them with an online press release,” says Tammy.
“Depending on openings and other events, we send out two to three press releases each month,” Tammy says.
“Once I write it, I submit the online press release and our franchisee’s message is in the media as soon as I want it to be.
“It’s pretty incredible to watch what happens when you hit submit. We see results immediately. Every time I send a press release, we tend to get a large amount of pickup. We usually have 10 to 15 reporters writing about us, if not more.
“We don’t need a PR agency with Vocus,” Tammy says. “We have everything we need to accomplish our goal of getting a franchise’s news in the right hands. It’s easier and more effective – plus, we know our message and our company better than a PR agency does.”
“We don’t have a cookie cutter approach to our stores, for example. Each is different. Every online press release highlights the uniqueness of that store, its owner and the community. Handling the PR myself allows me to protect the diversity of our brand better.”
“And the franchisees love it,” Tammy says. “When you support your franchisees by writing news releases and getting publicity for them, it really builds their faith in the company and the goals we’re trying to accomplish. That’s a huge strength for our business.”