National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees
The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) is an elected, independent body representing the interests of more than 7,200 7-Eleven franchised locations in the U.S. While the group’s goals are uniform, its structure is decentralized—a situation that impeded its ability to communicate effectively with its membership.
For years, the coalition had fought to improve the business relationship between 7-Eleven and its franchise owners. In 2017, faced with the reality that a large number of franchisees would have to sign a new agreement with terms they found unfavorable, the National Coalition determined it was time the global franchise community recognized how unfair their situation had become. The group contracted with Ellis Strategies to lead an external communications strategy aimed at the business news media and an internal strategy to strengthen the messaging among the coalition’s membership.
We worked with the National Coalition’s attorney and its executive leadership to determine news we could issue in press releases and storylines we could pitch to individual reporters. Then we developed a social media strategy utilizing organic and paid posts to emphasize certain stories to specific target audiences. We also created a new vehicle for the executive team to communicate directly with the membership, giving leadership the ability to seed the same messages with the franchisee community and the media that covers them.
As a result of these efforts, major news media (The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Businessweek) wrote original stories highlighting the unfair treatment franchisees receive from their franchisor. Trade press reported extensively on the discontent within the 7-Eleven system, which potentially prompted Entrepreneur magazine to drop 7-Eleven from No. 2 to No. 10 on its 2019 Franchise 500 list.
Shortly after these developments, the National Coalition’s executive team was re-elected to a new term, reinforcing the membership’s support for the steps we had taken to identify their issues and apply necessary pressure to give franchisees future bargaining power.