Posts

Five things to look for in an equestrian PR agency

Five things to look for in an equestrian PRIf you’re looking to work with an equestrian PR agency, then this blog is a must-read. Although I used to work exclusively in equestrian PR and marketing before my client list grew to include country and canine (and now I’ve sidestepped a little!), I don’t think all businesses need external help. Many can do an exceptional job themselves or with a little bit of a helping hand or a plan. Actually, I put together a blog all about equestrian PR and if you can do it yourself. But I digress.

Do you need help with your equestrian PR?

If you don’t have enough hours in the day, if you’re not enjoying the PR and marketing side of your equestrian business or if you feel that it’s not where you need to spend your time, then getting something to help you with your equestrian PR and marketing could be a really good call. There are a number of providers out there, but not all are created equal. This is why I wanted to give you some top tips to help you sort the wheat from the chaff, to back a winner from the start. I know there are many, many more puns I could use, but let’s crack on…

  1. How do they come across on their platforms? Equestrian PR people should have a number of social media platforms of their own up and running, and a good website too. How do they come across on these platforms? Are they focussed on the clients they serve? Does it help educate and inform? Or does their content have a rather egotistical tone? I’m not saying people shouldn’t promote themselves, far from it, but I am saying that I think clients should get a fair shout too. Also, what’s their tone like on social media? Is it informative and friendly or patronising and a bit superior? This person could be representing your brand. If their tone, manner and nature don’t fit your brand, they might not be a good fit for you.
  2. Do they know their subject? Seems obvious, right? But you would be amazed if I told you that some equestrian PRs are not all that equestrian… and as a niche industry, it really matters. They don’t need to ride each day or have competed at Badminton, but if they don’t know a forelock from a fetlock or a surcingle from a stifle, they are probably not a great fit. Of course, if you’re making equestrian clothing, for example, this might not be as important. That being said, if you’re marketing a range of clothing for superior comfort in the saddle, it does help to have an understanding of what features these products need to have.
  3. Are they well connected? An equestrian PR should be well connected. Historically, they would need to be connected to all the equestrian magazines out there, but now they also need to be connected to bloggers and influencers as well as websites. The strength of their connections and the relationships they have built with these publications and individuals will either increase or decrease the chances of your product or service getting coverage. It’s simple as that.
  4. Look for examples. Want to know what your equestrian PR can do for you? Look for examples of their work. This might be things they talk about on social media that they have done for their clients, or it might be press clippings and articles that they have that show what they have done and what they can do.
  5. Testimonials. Let’s be completely honest here. Life is way too short to work with people that don’t do the job they’re meant to, don’t perform and who are full of hot air and little action. I could tell you my cooking skills would rival Jamie Oliver’s, and unless tried my culinary creations out, you wouldn’t know that that isn’t quite the truth. However, having a good testimonials page on the website with information from real live people who have actually encountered your PR, ideally from a few different angles, can be useful. Of course, you want to make sure they’re good at their job and will get you valuable coverage, but I also like testimonials because you usually find out things about the person’s character that you wouldn’t necessarily know.

So, if you’re looking for an equestrian PR agency to help you increase the profile of your brand and the exposure your products receive, have a look at the above and keep this in mind in your search. And if you’re in need of any help or support in looking after your own equestrian PR and marketing, or even choosing someone to work, just get in touch and I will do my very best to help you.

 

Equestrian PR and marketing

Equestrian PR and marketingYou may have noticed that we’ve updated our website to include a whole raft of other services, but don’t worry, equestrian PR and marketing is still an important part of what we do! Here’s a bit more info.

In the beginning…

Originally, when Rhea Freeman PR burst into life, the focus was entirely on equestrian PR and marketing. As time moved on, the client list grew, and many equestrian clients also had interests in country, shooting and agriculture, so the contacts lists expanded to accommodate other areas of business that were connection to equestrian,

Equestrian PR and marketing was changing

Now, alongside this, the way equestrian PR and marketing ‘worked’ was changing. While the magazines were still very much part of the mix, social media exploded and started to play a hugely important role in a brand’s overall promotion and marketing. In fact, nowadays, social media is some people’s only method of promotion…and they have very good businesses from it! However, with the different platforms and the nuances of each of these, it became important to expand and develop our learning and understanding, to be able to offer a more comprehensive service our equestrian PR and marketing clients. And we did this. And then some. And we continue to learn all the time – as platforms evolve and develop and technology improves.

And then there was the overwhelm

Many businesses of all sizes can feel overwhelmed by this – by the rate that things are changing and how the old way doesn’t cut it anymore. They feel they should be ‘doing more’, but they’re not really sure what they should be doing or how to do it. They know what they want to achieve, but getting there seems like a mammoth task and they don’t know where to start. And that’s before you even think about how to plan content, be innovative and post natively in the spaces you want to be known and visible on. Sound familiar?

And then there was coaching

Demand grew for a ‘helping hand’ kind of service. Something that after a lot of thought (way too much thought!), we’ve called coaching. So now, in addition to offering equestrian PR and marketing, we also offer marketing and business coaching services. A lot of clients come from the equestrian sector, but we also work with people in food, retail, country, fashion and lifestyle. To date, most companies have some link to equestrian and rural, but as the way social media works is not all that niche, again, it made sense to open up the area we operate it. As we work WITH businesses and individuals through the coaching and consultancy services we offer, we’re able to combine our knowledge of marketing and social media with the client’s knowledge of their industry…with great results.

So, there you have it – a little explanation about the new website, the new look and the new services available. Find out more about our coaching services and equestrian PR and marketing services on the main website, and don’t forget to contact us here if you’re interested in finding out more!

One to one coaching!

We’re very excited to announce the launch of a new service here at RFPR, and that’s a one to one coaching package. Well, the title is a work in progress, but let me explain…

We all know that businesses need to be promoted in order to get work, earn money and so on. You could have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, it’ll never do well. Simple. Now, each week, people contact the Facebook page, or send emails, asking about PR, marketing and social media support for their equestrian and country business. Many of these are start ups who have time but not necessarily the finance to support a PR package. Actually, some aren’t at the stage where they’d necessarily be able to fully utilise a PR package. But they know they need help to get them to the next level. To help focus them and to come up with a plan. And that’s exactly what the new service does. It’s split into three parts – there’s a 20 minute ‘Nice to meet you’ chat, where we discuss objectives; then an hour chat where we look at how to achieve your business goals; and then there’s a 20 minute review that allows us to look at what has been accomplished and adjust anything needed.

This service works for all sizes of business. Yes, it’s great for small businesses who need a leg up and a bit of guidance from someone in the know, but it’s also ideal for larger businesses who want to brainstorm an idea with a PR and marketing person, or plan a product launch – the list goes on!

Due to regular clients, there’s only a limited number of ‘coaching’ slots available each month, so if you’re interested in working together in this way, to help improve your equestrian business or polish your PR and marketing, just contact me.

Have a look at our lovely Youtube Channel!

Have you seen our Youtube Channel? It’s a work in progress (what isn’t?!), but we have a good number of videos on the page now, and plenty more in the pipeline, so please subscribe and stay up to date with RFPR. The videos are packed with small business tips.

On the channel you’ll find lots of different things – plenty of marketing and PR, marketing, social media and even video tips. In addition, due to our extensive experience in equestrian PR and marketing, you’ll also find videos on rider sponsorship dos and don’ts for riders and businesses, information on equestrian events such as BETA International and how to survive a horse trials. The list really does go on. If you’re interested in equestrian PR, marketing and social media, and how to promote your equestrian business in a cost effective way, it’s definitely worth a look. Equally, if you’re in the country and rural sector, or if you’re a small business in a completely unrelated sector going places, you’ll learn lots from the hints and tips provided as many apply to all businesses.

And, if you want to take your learning a step further, why not come on over and become part of the Small & Supercharged community? This group combines small businesses from all industries and shares ideas, advice, goals and a whole lot more. It’s supportive, fun and genuine connections and business has already been done as a direct result of the group. How good is that? Come on over and join us if you’d like to take your small business to the next level.

Here’s the link to the Youtube channel- enjoy!

Want to be someone’s sponsored rider? Have a look at our top ‘don’ts’ video!

Getting approached about sponsorship is a daily occurrence for many PRs and the companies they work with. We all appreciate that people want support, and that’s fine, what isn’t fine is how some people choose to ask for this help. Well, I say ask…it’s often more of a rude demand made in the wrong way! If you’re looking for some tips when it comes to help to approach companies about sponsorship, have a look at this video about rider sponsorship don’ts. It might just help.

 

 

 

Could video help your business?

Could video help your business?In this blog, I have a chat about video marketing, to answer the question ‘could video help your business?’

Could video help your business?

As you’ll see below, I have put together video all about video and if video could help your business (I feel like I have said the v word far too much, but stick with me!). Video is not a new concept in marketing, far from it, but in recent years video has become an integral part in many people’s businesses. It used to be expensive to get videos produced for your business, and a cost that, especially for small businesses, was more than a little prohibitive. The good news is that now, you can do the WHOLE process on your iPhone if you like. From filming to editing to posting. Of course, you can get videos professionally edited and that can be a good idea depending what you want your video to do, but now the cost of entry is pretty much zero. How amazing is that?

Should you use video to help promote your business?

I can not think of  one business that wouldn’t benefit from video content. And I’ve given this some serious thought. Video helps to give your brand personality, it allows people to get to know you, it helps you to educate your customers in the form on how-tos, it allows you to show off what you do… it lets people into your world. Is this a good idea? Oh yes. People buy from people and at a time when there’s a lot of competition in every industry, fully harnessing video and integrating it into your business can be a game changer.

But there’s more…

Now, not only can you use video to prerecord messages, how tos and more, you can also harness Live videos in the form of Facebook Live. There’s also the option to promote different types of video content across your platforms. This might mean a minute long burst for Instagram or a long Live for Facebook. Here’s a video about how to make your content work harder. Video is a really REALLY powerful tool and I would really urge you to try it. Video could really help your business. Honest.

My first vlog- why am I doing this?

I know I’ve been a bit (OK, more than a bit!) rubbish at keeping this blog up to date – but I feel I’ve made up for it. Not JUST a blog – a vlog. And there will be more to come. Enjoy!

 

‘What’s the best bit of your job?’

I was lucky enough to be invited to give a talk to a group of students about PR, marketing and social media a couple of weeks ago. It’s always nice to talk to the industry’s future movers and shakers, and despite showing them the new Money Supermarket advert to illustrate a point, I think it all went rather well.

I like my talks or lectures to have an interactive quality, because I always find that I get the most out of events I go to if I can get involved in someway, even if it’s just asking a question. I always want the people I’m chatting away to to get something really useful out of what I’m telling them (even if it is just the link to a crazy advert on the TV), and I feel that giving people the chance to interact and comment is a good way to do this. At the end of my lecture, I asked: ‘Ok, does anyone have any questions about what I’ve been talking about?’. There was silence. I don’t really like silence. ‘Anyone?!’ I said. One person said: ‘well, actually, I have a question about you – what’s the best bit of your job?’. I wasn’t really expecting that as a question, so started the answer with my obligatory ‘ummmmmm’…

There’s a time and a place to think about this, and probably in front of a group of students in a university lecture room isn’t either, but as I was asked, well, I was in the thick of it. The thing is, it’s actually a very difficult question for me to answer. There are LOTS of aspects of the job I enjoy. I love working with likeminded, pro active people. I love looking at new products and ooing and cooing, giving opinions and contributing towards the design. I like the satisfaction of a job well done. I like the buzz I get when I can help people achieve their goals. These are all true…but they’re all a bit expected, aren’t they? I thought a bit more, and do you know what I think the bit I most enjoy is? It’s seeing people that I work with do well. It’s seeing a campaign work well. It’s seeing a great product fly off the shelves. It’s seeing a deserving company get the recognition it should from appreciative emails or even making it through to finalist stage in a prestigious awards…or better still, winning. And the best bit for me is helping them to achieve this. Even in a small way. PR people should help to highlight the best bits of a business…but there has to be a good business there at the start!

I’m lucky in that I work for a number of companies who tick all the boxes above, who make working with them a joy. One of these companies is Trilanco. Trilanco is the UK’s largest animal health and equine wholesaler, and twice winner of the BETA Trade Supplier of the Year Award. Most recently, they’ve made it through finalist stage in two categories of the Red Rose Awards, an awards set up to celebrate Lancashire businesses. Trilanco is modest. It doesn’t thrust its successes in the faces of others…I sometimes think that without me saying ‘we really should tell someone about this’ that they’d keep more things quiet. This isn’t a criticism at all, on the contrary, in my eyes it proves more than ever their worthiness. The team don’t sit there, pat themselves on the back and pop their feet up to enjoy the glow of their latest achievement. They smile and just crack on with further improvements in the quest to be bigger and better than they are. See, that’s something to be proud of, and being part of something like this is the best bit of my job.

Find out more about Trilanco here.