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PR Professionals: How Would You Handle This PR Nightmare?


I don’t see anything good coming out of a recent franchise news story that I read. It’s going to take a PR miracle to turn around what really is a PR nightmare.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

The Headline:

Pizza Franchise Pushes Independent Bookstore Owner Out


A Real PR Nightmare

A Ft. Collins Colorado franchisee of Papa Murphy’s, a take and bake pizza franchise, is forcing  The Eclectic Reader, a Ft. Collins bookstore, out of it’s leased space. The reason: The franchisee is willing to pay more for the retail space than the proprietor of The Eclectic Reader, Cynthia Manuel.

Manuel is an advocate for real books-not the ones you can read on a Kindle.


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What I want to do, what I am passionate about, is connecting people with the books they need or want and creating a community-oriented, environmentally friendly, totally local business. I want to engage people in great conversation. I want to meet people every day and not sit in front of a computer selling books online or at a flea market.”

Read more of her interview with The Coloradoan.

This is not a good story for Papa Murphy’s or the local franchisee that wants to is taking over the space.

And, they’re not the only franchisor that’s experienced bad pr.


How To Turn Around A PR Nightmare

The first thing I would do, would be to state that the pizza franchise owner is local, too. He is trying to open a small business and build something of value for himself and his family. Franchises are locally owned and operated small businesses. They are not big box stores like Wal-Mart or Best Buy.  It’s  not a David vs. Goliath story. It’s a story about prices. It’s a story about commercial real estate, and what this local market will bear, price-wise.

That’s how I would talk about the story.

But, I’m not a professionally-trained PR professional.

Are you?


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PR Pros: What Would You Do?

I want to know what you would do in this situation.

What would your recommendations be to the franchise executives at Papa Murphy’s corporate?

How would you turn this PR nightmare around?

Please share your ideas in the comment section below. If you’re an experienced PR professional, I’d love to hear from you. If you’re a college student studying PR, this is your chance to get your name out. What would you do if you were in charge of the Papa Murphy’s public relations account?

If your an out of work PR professional, take a shot at this. Maybe you’ll get a job offer.

How would you handle this PR nightmare?


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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes. For over 20 years, I’ve been helping people make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too! #thefranchiseking
“The fantastic thing about Joel is his neutrality. Because he is not getting an incentive fee, he will always give you the advice that you need (even if not what you necessarily want) and that's pretty unique these days. Thank you Joel!"
- Nic Church, France
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