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The leading provider of Franchise Lead Generation Services

Brand Journalists is a Nashville, TN based franchise consulting and marketing firm. Since 2008, we’ve pioneered content marketing for franchise development and created techniques for franchise lead generation that are now best practices. Look at some of the most rapidly growing franchise brands and you’ll often see the Brand Journalists team behind the scenes. We work in partnership with brands, building high-performance franchise recruitment websites, creating brand stories and working on retainer to manage franchise lead generation budgets, SEO, PPC, email campaigns and digital marketing.

Its been a powerful relationship for many brands.

We’ve got a breakdown of integrity and trust.

Following the economic collapse of 2008, customers changed the way they perceive and relate to brands. Before 2008, it was possible to advertise, market and generate leads with little thought as to what customers think and even less as to what they want.

It’s a fact: people don’t trust companies and they despise salespeople. The result: leads that are impossible to contact, fail to return calls and rarely move forward in the sales process.

This situation dramatically affects the way franchise systems generate leads for development and has forced the industry to change lead generation tactics.

Brand Journalism is the approach that works for franchise systems that want to break through the noise and build real relationships with potential franchise candidates. It increases lead volume and more importantly, engagement.

What is Brand Journalism?

As long as there have been humans, the story has been the essence of communication. We use stories to relate to one another, make decisions and in general, make sense of the world around us.

Journalists know how to create stories that shape public perception and communicate in highly effective ways. At its base, brand journalism is simply the craft of using storytelling to make companies more human and accessible so their customers can relate to them.

Brand Journalism actually has its roots in the franchise industry: in 2004, McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer, Larry Light said that mass marketing no longer worked and that “no single ad tells the whole story”. McDonald’s, he said, had adopted a new marketing technique: “brand journalism”.

Light defined brand journalism as a way to record “what happens to a brand in the world”, and create ad communications that, over time, can tell a whole story of a brand.

He was rejecting traditional marketing and advertising approaches that focused on brand positioning, in favour of a content stream approach involving multiple channels and journalism-style writing. He was taking as his model the way an editor approaches the creation of a magazine, with its array of very different content aimed a a wide variety of interests — hence: brand journalism.

Brand Journalism: The Key to Better Lead Generation

Today, the role of a company is to be its own publisher. Rather than rely on others to shape how the public perceives your brand, smart companies today are using media they own and control – called owned media – to begin publishing stories about themselves that shape public perception. Far beyond the traditional role of a PR firm, this involves PR, blogging, social media, website content, organic SEO and media outreach. Its the new form of franchise lead generation and it works.

It is transparent, honest, informative and engaging.

Thomas Scott speaking about content marketing at FranCamp

Brand Journalism goes beyond product launches and year-end sales stats to tell stories about a company’s industry, visionaries, customers, suppliers, communities and even its struggles. Of course we treat big news appropriately, but the overall strategy is finding and telling bits of the story – in press releases, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other new tools always coming online – that clearly show what the company is about and where it is going. This integrated strategy produces results.

As professional journalists, we bring to the table unique skills that set us apart from traditional franchise marketing, PR and lead generation firms. Before we write a word, we research your industry and the trends driving it. We interview key players in your company. As journalists, we are trained to spot the story – the hook – in a sea of information.  Details count and individual words and phrases can make the difference between a turnoff and an intriguing opportunity.

Companies hire us because we offer a unique blend of SEO, PR, editorial, blogging, social media, website development, franchise portal management and lead generation skills.

Ten years ago, online search was the key to lead generation. Five years ago it was social media. Today it is brand journalism style content marketing.

Our Relationship with Franchise Performance Group

Unlike most franchise website designers and marketing firms, we have deep roots in franchising. We’ve recruited franchisees, managed franchise sales departments, owned franchises and even run franchise systems. We understand what it takes to both generate a lead and get them across the finish line and we understand that success in business means getting a good return AND hitting your business objectives. We work with some of the best brands in the franchise industry and we know what works in today’s market.

Brand Journalists partners with Franchise Performance Group on a variety of joint projects and for sevearl years produced all of FPG’s lead generation and websites. Thomas Scott, a former journalist, franchisee and franchisor, teamed up with Joe Mathews, the author of Street Smart Franchising and one of the leading franchise sales consultant in the industry to help companies grow. It’s been a powerful partnership. In 2015 Brand Journalists began taking on its own clients in addition to handing a large number on ongoing clients through FPG.

Together the two authored The Franchise Sales Tipping Point – 10 Keys to Creating a Franchise Sales Breakthrough and have worked together to help grow several franchise systems. We’re interested in improving the franchise industry by pioneering best practices and bringing fresh lead generation tactics to play that not only improve marketing results, that improve the quality of the franchise relationship by bringing on higher quality franchise candidates that are a better fit. We don’t just want leads, we want to help franchise systems recruit candidates that not only buy but become top-performing franchisees.

This is what we do. Between us, we’ve done it for 75 years. We simply apply our time-tested skills to these new times. And exciting times they are. If you are curious about how we can help you navigate them, talk to us about reviewing your current franchise website and lead generation strategy. It might just be the best call you’ll ever make.

For non-franchise brand journalism inquires, contact Thomas Scott at 615-483-4923 tscott@brandjournalists.com