Franchise Awards 2020 9 Dec20407 Integrating the best in web, social and print media marketing, Towne Post Network embraces the vast nature of publishing to pioneer the future of community magazines. Driven by a mission ‘to be relevant and engaging throughout the month, not just the day they arrive in mailboxes’, the Towne Post franchise has created an online community that complements its print magazines. We find out more about the Towne Post journey so far. Headquartered in Fishers, Indiana, with eighteen franchised territories across the state and into Kentucky, Towne Post Network is a hyper-local community magazine franchise system that is dedicated to spreading ‘good news’ through monthly print magazines, digital platforms, and social media channels. Integrating the three primary media channels together across local communities, Towne Post is disrupting the magazine industry through a franchise system unlike any other. The system operates as a provider of all the back-end support that its franchisees require for success, handling the design, distribution, financial, marketing and more of each publication. Franchisee clients are able to work from home thanks to the cloud-based systems used by Towne Post, and can rely on the network to manage not only the editorial elements of publishing, but also the invoicing of clients and payments of writers, photographers, vendors and more. Acting as the ‘bank’ of its franchisees, Towne Post has successfully cultivated a franchise system that is entirely unique, operating with total transparency in the payment of monthly net profits in a scalable model that eliminates the need to ‘collect’ royalties. The idea for Towne Post was born from Founder and CEO Tom Britt’s unwavering passion and pioneering attitude towards publishing and printed media. As early as 1990, Tom was lauded for his innovative approach to streamlining Most Innovative Media Franchise System the processes of publication and digital media, before establishing his own ‘dot com’ start-up that acted as a TV guide for the world of online streaming. Despite his international acclaim as a trailblazer in the future of digital media, Tom remained resolute in his belief in the power of print media too. In 2003, he decided to merge the two into a local portal concept in his hometown of Indianapolis, launching his first website, atGeist. com, for the Geist Reservoir community. After gaining some traction, Tom set about creating an adjoining magazine that he distributed to 2,800 residents in his community, using the name of the website as its title to demonstrate that this was not just a magazine, but an entire media concept with an inclusive online community. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Towne Post franchisees share local news about new restaurants, community events, star citizens and more in a platform that integrates traditional and modern media seamlessly. In addition to its key features such as visible, real-time financials, Towne Post has recently expanded its capabilities to include the US’s first online media kit that enables advertisers to purchase all mediums online without a sales representative for a ‘contactless’ sales experience, and a real-time analytics function that provides the most accurate and efficient indicators of a publication’s reach in the history of publishing. With ambitions to promote these two features in 2021, Towne Post recently relaunched its new website, TownePost.com, which is based on the user’s location to automatically adjust content to that locale. Its an exciting move that will see current sales strategies of selling print and backing into digital social switched in a progressive approach that is typical of Tom and the Towne Post team. Never ones to shy away from risky concepts, the firm is constantly trying out new ideas, which don’t always necessarily work but are always excellent learning experiences for future innovation. Ultimately, the forward-thinking approach of Towne Post is driven by a genuine desire to serve its franchisees effectively. Even before the pandemic, Zoom calls were a regular occurrence between Towne Post and its contingents, maintaining open channels of communication for developments, promotions and feedback. In Co-founders of Towne Post Jeanne and Tom Britt August 2020, Towne Post launched its training portal to further support its franchisees, offering training and insights on all the components of running a successful publication, from staying up to date with social media trends to on-boarding writers and more. In addition, Towne Post reinvests large amounts of royalties into hiring digital specialists who support franchisees with the daily workload and ensuring customers receive the best visibility through the Towne Post local marketing platforms. The use of technology is pivotal in connecting franchisees with their customers and with Towne Post itself, contributing to a united franchise family in which every member is able to feel the benefit of being a part of this growing community of innovation. Company: Towne Post Network, Inc. Contact: Tom Britt Website: https://townepost.com/ Headquartered in Fishers, Indiana, with eighteen franchised territories across the state and into Kentucky, Towne Post Network is a hyper-local community magazine franchise system that is dedicated to spreading ‘good news’ through monthly print magazines, digital platforms, and social media channels.