As part of its ongoing national news bureau, Fish wanted to continue to raise awareness of the brand and its franchise opportunity, while also positioning CEO Mike Rotondo as a thought leader in the restaurant and franchising industries. Fish’s main challenge was that the brand is not widely known, making it more difficult to garner national media.
Fish understood the challenge reporters often have with finding CEOs and small business owners to comment on hot-button issues, so we decided to focus our efforts on inserting Tropical Smoothie Cafe and its franchisees into stories about national issues like minimum wage and overtime regulations. Fish leveraged its connections with national media to secure interviews for Mike Rotondo and several franchisees. We also leveraged our long-time relationship with the International Franchise Association (IFA) to discuss how Tropical Smoothie Cafe could be a part of the conversation. Fish worked closely with the IFA to identify local franchisees, coordinate interviews and prep them on the talking points.
Fish’s ability to tie Tropical Smoothie Cafe to major national issues resulted in a variety of top-tier media placements that positioned the company as a voice of small business / franchising and introduced the brand to new audiences across the country. Highlights include all major trade press including The New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, MSNBC.com, CNNMoney, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, and ABCNews.com, among others — all outlets that Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s potential franchisees are reading. Additionally, The Associated Press story was picked up by publications in Tropical Smoothie Cafe growth markets, including San Antonio and New Jersey. Media impressions totaled more than 571 million. Members of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe leadership team were also key panelists and speakers at the IFA Annual Convention, Franchise Finance & Growth Conference and Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, among others.