Relationships are at the heart of public relations and recently resulted in a couple of high-profile media wins on Forbes.com and in Franchising World magazine for client Sport Clips Haircuts.
Stone Ward recently worked with Forbes.com to develop interviews, content and images for a story showcasing the company’s Founder and CEO, Gordon Logan. The piece accompanied the publication’s annual rankings, where Sport Clips ranked as the #1 best franchise to buy in the medium investment category. The story, entitled “How Gordon Logan Reinvented The Barber Shop And Made Sport Clips One Of America’s Best Franchises,” was an enormous opportunity for positive exposure for the franchise.
For a cover story in Franchising World, the respected trade publication of the International Franchise Association (IFA), Stone Ward worked with the publication’s editor and staff on a “how to” op-ed by Logan titled, “Putting Heroes First,” which addresses ways to reach veterans looking for careers in franchising. The piece also showcases Sport Clips’ signature philanthropies, including the VFW’s Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship program for veterans, which the agency supports with creative and PR.
Here are a couple tips for building these relationships to result in stories like this:
1. Make an effort to keep in touch with individuals at conferences and events and show an interest in their writing and beats. Stone Ward originally “pitched” the idea of the veterans issue cover to the Franchising World editor in person at the IFA’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas in February, and the story ran three months later.
2. Respect reporters’ timelines and individual needs, and be patient. Pieces like this require time, and it is important to take the reporters’ needs into consideration. After coordinating an initial lengthy phone interview, Stone Ward worked with the New York-based Forbes reporter to set up an in-person interview at Sport Clips’ Georgetown, Texas Support Center. The agency also coordinated to send multiple pieces of content for the story.