FIVE MINUTES WITH Brad Fishman | Global Franchise
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Global Franchise learns what drives the CEO of Fishman Public Relations

Fishman Public Relations is the premiere PR firm in franchising, specializing in PR and content marketing services to drive franchise sales and raise brand awareness for franchise brands. For 25 years, the media coverage it has secured has helped hundreds of franchisors generate leads that have converted to deals. In addition, the coverage Fishman Public Relations secures with its contacts at national morning shows, magazines, news websites, blogs and social influencers around the country drives traffic to existing franchise locations. Its content marketing programs for franchise development have proven effective in educating prospects through the sales pipeline.

What was your route into PR?

Actually, my wife Sherri is the PR expert. My background is in business. When she started the firm over 25 years ago, I saw tremendous growth potential in franchising-specific PR. I left the family business so I could help her expand the agency’s client base and manage the financial side of the business, allowing her to focus on media relations and client services.

When was Fishman PR launched?

The firm was officially launched in 1991. Franchising was really taking off as a business model, with new and existing concepts realizing that it was the best way to grow in new markets. Franchisors saw public relations as a cost-effective way to help them attract potential franchisees. The big PR firms were focused mainly on working with large companies to sell products and weren’t interested in taking on franchisors as clients. It was an untapped market for PR where we could fill a growing niche.

Why specialise in the franchising industry?

Why not? The franchising industry is a giant sea of opportunity. New brands are emerging all the time needing PR to get on the radar. Existing brands are always looking for PR to grow, no matter their size. It’s non-stop. We get the chance to work with entrepreneurs and make a real difference by helping them grow their systems.

What services can you provide for franchisors?

We can provide franchisors with national media relations campaigns to raise awareness of their franchise opportunities to attract quality franchisee leads that convert to deals. We also craft and execute national consumer awareness PR campaigns designed to educate consumers and provide Grand Opening PR support programs for new franchisees. We have expanded our services over the years to also include content marketing, which includes creating content such as franchise development blogs, e-books, info-graphics, animated videos, etc – any type of compelling content that will help not only drive leads online, but educate prospects as they research your brand and move through the sales funnel.

What affords you most satisfaction about your work?

The work we do is meaningful. When we learn that a PR story we secured attracted a lead that helped a franchisor seal the deal on selling a franchise, it’s extremely gratifying. As opposed to product PR firms, the coverage we generate actually leads to somebody making a life-changing decision to own a business. Also, as we continue to generate stories about franchisees and their personal experiences in owning their own business, we are helping to dispel some of the myths that the general public has about franchising. This is extremely important, especially today as misconceptions have led to policy decisions that have negatively impacted the industry. We feel our positive PR can really help the industry.

What aspect of your work offers the greatest challenges?

As the owners of the PR agency, we’re entrepreneurs. We started the company from scratch and put our blood and sweat into it over the past 25 years. As we grow, so does our base of employees. Every move and decision we make impacts not just us, but them. We also know our clients are investing in us as a trusted partner to build their public reputation. These are all heavy responsibilities. The challenge is to keep perspective and know that some factors you can control and others you can’t.

What’s the next step for Fishman Public Relations?

We make a big deal at the agency about never becoming complacent. We’ve grown to be the premier agency in franchising. We continue to attract new clients every day through best-in-class service and great results. But we can’t get too comfortable, so we are always innovating. I go to every franchise industry event I can. I sit on boards. We are also involved in the PR industry to stay on top of trends. So when you ask what’s next, I’m not giving away our trade secrets. All I’ll say is that whatever is ‘next’ in franchising and PR, we’re on it.

If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

Bumps in the road are there for a reason. You learn from mistakes. It wasn’t always easy but it was our path that brought us to where we are. So I wouldn’t want to change anything. I’m grateful for where we’ve been and where we are.

How do you relax when off duty?

I’m always on duty because I love the industry. But I still enjoy golf, skiing, a good bottle of red and always love being with my wife and boys.

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