National Franchise Development Coverage for Frozen Dessert Franchise


The Challenge

Rita’s Italian Ice is a well-known Italian ice and frozen custard brand with 650 stores worldwide. Rita’s primary goal when they came to us was franchise development – Rita’s executive board wanted to see 1,300 total franchise locations by 2017.

Rita’s had garnered excellent coverage in small, local outlets, but had secured few national hits. Their media outreach was very bare-bones, and their releases were rarely newsworthy. This was preventing them from getting their voice out there, resulting in a large number of negative stories with no news coverage from the company’s perspective.


How 919 Helped

Our strategy for moving franchise prospects from initial interest to closing was two-pronged:

  1. Increase earned media to amplify the company’s voice and showcase the excellent franchisees and opportunities within their system.
  2. Build out owned, franchise-development content to give franchisees a look at the people behind the brand and to inform their franchise search with real, internal perspectives.

We also built-out their social media strategy so that everyone, from prospects to customers, could reach someone in the company through their social channels and find relevant information when they needed it.


How We Made the Numbers Work

919 Marketing earned Rita’s coverage on a nationally syndicated television program, FOX & Friends, which provided third-party endorsement of the brand. This win resulted in more than 54 million impressions alone. We also began earning coverage for individual franchisees and area developers with exciting stories. These people acted as representatives of a strong and growing brand and the pieces have been featured in outlets with high numbers of franchising prospects in their audiences.

Our campaign for their celebration of National Frozen Custard Day earned a major hit in Franchising USA. The coverage we’ve earned for them in the first nine months of 2016 has come to more than $8.4 million in media value.

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