We asked other franchise public relations firms and PR professionals what they think of PR firms that have their account execs and writers publish client stories in a seemingly independent, 3rd party magazine (that they actually own)… and then distribute the supposedly independent stories via social media. Here’s what Fishman Public Relations had to say. by Sean Kelly
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) It’s getting increasingly difficult for potential franchise investors to determine which franchise news items and information they come across are from reliable, unbiased journalists, experts or writers and which are company sales messages and propaganda disguised as legitimate articles or publications.
In our ongoing series, we’ve written about how books sold as analysis and selection of a number franchise opportunities by a noted franchise expert (“12 Amazing Franchise Opportunities” by Dr. John Hayes, BizCom Publishing) actually contained chapters secretly written by companies who had paid $5,000 each to be included.
We’ve written about a marketing company posing as a legitimate research firm (Franchise Business Review) that publishes industry reports that contain false and misleading promotional stories and case studies with no notice that the content was is actually paid advertising.
In our last two posts ( NO LIMIT AGENCY & 1851 Magazine: Beyond Ethical Limits?, Nick Powills, 1851 Franchise & No Limit Agency: An Investigation ), we’ve written about Nick Powills’ No Limit PR Agency which publishes client stories in a business magazine that it owns and controls, and creates industry awards that it bestows upon its own clients… sometimes, it seems, for websites that it actually built.
A PR Firm Should Pitch, Not Impersonate, The Media
In the preceding blog posts, I described how Nick Powills had created 1851 Magazine as a vehicle for promoting No Limit Agency’s client’s stories and sales messages, which could then be used as reprints or promoted through targeted social media advertising to woo prospective franchise investors. Powills brags that he “repositions” press releases into what appear to be 3rd party articles featured in an objective, credible business publication. However, the supposed journalists of 1851 are actually No Limit Agency staff writers and 1851 Magazine publishes either for paying No Limit clients or ala carte to anyone willing to pay $1,000 per story.
Is this the way legitimate public relations firms operate these days?
Absolutely not, according to Fishman Public Relations, which has been operating in the franchise industry for 27 years. A PR professional’s job is to get their clients featured in legitimate media publications, not just to look like they have, said a Fishman PR spokesperson.
And pitching the media responsibly is hard work.
According to Fishman PR, each piece of communication they produce, whether it’s a pitch letter or a press release, is put through a filter of questions they call “The Fishman Way:”
- Is it true? Can the claims be substantiated by credible data?
- Is it helpful to the intended audience?
- Is it relevant and timely for the media outlet or publication being pitched? PR reps are responsible for researching and understanding the editorial guidelines and inclinations of the editors they are pitching rather than trying to force a story on them they have no inclination to publish.
If it’s not true, helpful, relevant and timely for the publication, the writer or rep needs to go back and rework the strategy.
This is the way public relations is supposed to work. And while there might be times (like daily) when PR reps wish they could just print what their clients want to see without filtering through their supervisors and the media’s writers and editors… they don’t.
Unless, of course, they work for a PR Firm that publishes its own magazine.
*Note of transparency: Nick Powills worked at Fishman PR for a short period 10 years ago as a publicist.
NOTE: All companies and individuals discussed on Unhappy Franchisee are invited to submit corrections, clarifications, rebuttals or opinions by commenting on individual pages and/or by emailing us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com. Thank you in advance for engaging in open and honest debate, as is the American way.
READ The Series “Dr. John Hayes’ Franchise Fraud School & Pay-For-Praise Emporium!”:
Series Index & Overview: Dr. John Hayes’ Franchise Fraud School
Part 13: A PR Firm Should Pitch, Not Impersonate, The Media – Fishman PR
Part 14: Nick Powill’s “Whole Gig is a Scam” – Rhonda Sanderson, Sanderson PR
OTHER FRANCHISE DECEPTION-FOR-DOLLARS POSTS:
Dr. John Hayes Named Dickey’s Barbecue Pit one of the 12 Amazing Franchises for 2015. Here’s how things turned out:
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH NICK POWILLS, NO LIMIT AGENCY, 1851 FRANCHISE MAGAZINE?
PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL US IN CONFIDENCE (UnhappyFranchisee@Gmail.Com).
TAGS: Nick Powills, 1851 Magazine, 1851 franchise, franchise public relations, Fishman Public Relations, Fishman PR, franchise PR, Franchise marketing, unhappy franchisee