Franchisee recruitment – offline media’s role in the internet age

Some say that the end is nigh for offline media. Well not in the considered opinion of Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of the Ovenu franchise, the UK’s largest provider of domestic oven cleaning services.

Over the past few years we have seen a plethora of franchise-specific websites come and go. Some good, some bad and some just plain awful. In the same time frame, however, franchise-specific magazines and periodicals have withstood the battering of the online revolution, many with some considerable aplomb.

So why should franchisors continue to plough their hard-earned cash into supporting the off-line media? Well, in my opinion, magazines continue to bring a highly portable and transferable reading experience to the table. You can pick them up, read a few pages, do some work, pick them back up and read them some more.

You don’t need to recharge a magazine’s batteries, nor plug in a set of ridiculous earphones.

Rik Hellewell

Rik Hellewell

Let’s face it, anybody who has purchased a magazine, directory or similar publication has to be a bit more serious about the subject than the inordinate volumes of internet button pushers. This brings me nicely to the next point.

Unless your franchise investment opportunity is featured in a top position on the first page of Google, whether it be naturally, paid-by-click, or on a third-party site, chances are that the offline media could be helping significantly by driving traffic to your own site. There are only a dozen or so of these top positions available and, as many franchisors will appreciate, you need a bit of extra help from time to time when it comes to recruitment.

The epitome of these suggested words was borne out recently at one of our regular meetings with our franchisees. When asked how many of them still bought a daily newspaper, a massive 95 per cent did. When asked why when the same headlines could be sought for zero expense via an electronic gadget, many gave the reasons I have mentioned – tangible, manageable, etc.

Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that the experiment within our own network led us to take down our extensive internet presence, not in the slightest, but the small and not insignificant test went a long way to show us that offline media is far from being dead in the water and in many cases should still play a significant part in the media mix when looking to recruit and inform prospective investors.