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Equestrian business – 5 reasons to be your own equestrian PR

be your own equestrian PRI get asked a lot if people can do their own PR for their equestrian business. You want to know my answer? Without fail? It’s YES. Not only CAN you do your own PR but, initially at least, I think you should. You might think I’m poacher turned gamekeeper here. But trust me, I’m not. The way that marketing has moved over the last few years means that your PR and marketing budget needs to be spent in more areas than every before. It used to be that PR and marketing were the only ways to get your equestrian business out there. That’s no longer the case. In fact, some people don’t invest a penny in ‘old school’ equestrian PR and still do really well because they’re leveraging everything else available to them. So here I’m going to give you five reasons to be your own equestrian PR… it’s not as hard as you think…

5 reasons to be your own equestrian PR

 

Reason 1 – It’s not that difficult

Some people would have you believe that writing a press release is the same as brain surgery. It isn’t. Press releases should be short and to the point, contain newsworthy information, cover a handful of key points and be well written. This applies to all businesses, not just equestrian businesses. Obviously an equestrian PR should do more than just write press releases but this is one key thing that they should do. The truth is if you have a bit of time and a good command of the English language, you can do it.

Reason 2 – YOU build the contacts

If you undertake your own equestrian PR, it means that when you start you’ll have no contacts to send your press release to. Oh no. Game over. Well no. When I started my equestrian PR business I had a list like yours… and you know what I did? I just started contacting editors of magazines and websites, forming contacts and building a press list. My press list. A press list that I can contact with news and exciting things whenever I like. Without a gate keeper. More than this, a number of the contacts I made as an equestrian PR have become great friends, so that’s a win too. If you do this yourself for your equestrian business, the same will happen for you.

Reason 3 – You can nurture relationships

Press releases aren’t the only thing to be aware of when it comes to equestrian PR, there’s a few other facets to this… but all are infinitely easier if you have good relationships. I’ve managed to secure a number of regular monthly columns for a number of my clients – why? Well, they’re exceptional at what they do, first up, but secondly I have built the relationships with the press to say ‘Hello – I have this idea – what do you think?’. You can do this for yourself. You can nurture the relationships for your business yourself. You can start to work with and help magazines under your own steam.

Reason 4 – You’ll understand the process a lot more

Equestrian PR is a long game. You do get some results overnight thanks to the digital age we live it, but many magazine lead times are long so it can be months before you make it in. It’s important to understand this process. It’s important to understand that quality images matter, that when someone says they want 50 words – they mean it, and lots more too. This means that if you do decide to work with an equestrian PR, you will understand what they have to work with.

Reason 5 – money, money, money

If you undertake your own equestrian PR you will save money. You might decide you’d rather pay for someone to manage this side of your business for you, and that’s fine. Conversely, you might be able to use that money on a professional shoot, or a Facebook ad campaign, or a trade show. I’m not saying that PR isn’t worth spending money on – good PR certainly is an great investment – but you might find that YOU can perform many of these tasks yourself, allowing you to pay for help in other areas, or spend your money on other things.

Other blogs you might like…

Five things to look for in an equestrian PR agency

What is equestrian PR?

Follow me on Facebook for more hints and tips on how to promote your equestrian business

Every day is a school day – don’t forget it!

every day is a school dayToday’s Wisdom Wednesday post (well, that’s why it was written but you can read it at any time you fancy!) is all about learning. Hence the ‘Every day is a school day’ title. Because it really, really is.

Every day is a school day

Have you heard this phrase before? There are many like it, but in essence ‘every day is a school day’ means that you learn something new every day. And with the speed that technology is advancing and digital opportunities are opening up, I think this phrase is the most relevant it’s ever been. If you ever hear a true guru/expert speak, or watch how they operate, self development is a huge part of their week. And that can take many forms. It might be working with a coach, attending lectures and seminars or taking part in courses. It might be reading and listening to podcasts. Investing in learning doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Far from it. In the amazing digital world that we live in, we have so much access to good, free knowledge, it can cost zero. But what it can deliver. Well, that can be priceless.

Should you invest in your own learning?

Yes. I could end this paragraph here but that would be a bit of a rubbish one, wouldn’t it? Taking time to learn new things and to try and test them is essential if you want to move your business on. I’m not saying you should throw your life savings at it. In all honestly, you don’t need to. Your investment could be time and zero funds if they’re not available to you. Yes, you do have to look a bit harder and up your ‘crap’ filter settings in your head (I can’t be the only one that has this?!), but you can learn and improve what you do for zero cost. Yes. Zero. There’s a wealth of FREE material out there for whatever business you’re in and whatever skill you’re trying to hone. You will need to put in the legwork and find good sources of information. This can be a bit vexing. Because it’s so easy to get yourself a platform online, it means anyone can. And while there are many (many, many) sources of great information online, there are some people I wouldn’t trust to sit on the toilet the right way around. You need to look out for those. But just keep your spider senses on and listen to what they’re telling you and you should be fine.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay to learn either – far from it. As someone who takes part in paid for courses, works with a coach and reads a lot of purchased books, I believe in paying to ‘play’ or at least supplementing your free learning with paid for. I also believe that paid for advice and knowledge (when it is from the right person) is usually better because it’s been pre-filtered, tried and tested… but that’s a whole different blog!

How do you learn?

Well, this depends on you. Some people are visual learners, some learn best through listening to things, it’s completely up to you. You need to find the style that suits you and how you learn. And also, make it fit with your life. A friend of mine embraced podcasts and audiobooks in a big way as the time she spent on the road increased, so she could make the best use of this ‘dead’ time. Personally, I often have a podcast on in the background when I’m working on something a little less creative, and I went through a phase of listening to audiobooks when I walked the dog (something I need to start again!). I also LOVE reading, and proper books at that, so I indulge in a little Amazon based retail therapy more than I would like to admit. And video is a big one too, depending on the skill you’re trying to learn. Have a play around and see what works for you.

 

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.

 

What is equestrian PR?

What is equestrian PR?If you see the term PR and think of Absolutely Fabulous (and can’t imagine Patsy or Edina on a horse), then this blog is for you – what is equestrian PR – and why is it  important for your business?

What is equestrian PR?

Very simply it’s PR with a specialism in equestrian. This means that the person providing the equestrian PR service should have a good knowledge of all things equestrian and equine, should have a strong database of equestrian publications, influencers, websites and more, and should be perfectly placed to get your equestrian brand noticed. Should you got for a niche PR provider? With equestrian I would most definitely say yes. If you work with a non equestrian PR and they don’t know a stifle from a surcingle, your copy with lack authenticity and you’ll look amateur… because the people the PR is contacting are horsey!

PR stands for public relations

PR stands for public relations, whether the word equestrian is in front of it or not, and in essence, this is what it’s all about. Whatever size your company is, whether you’re a sole trader or the head of a huge multinational, the way the public – your customers- see you – well, it matters. And this is no different in the equestrian world. And that’s why equestrian PR (and equestrian PR people and agencies) can help make the world of difference. From here on, I’ll be using the term ‘PR’ to describe the job, so an ‘equestrian PR‘ is someone who deals with public relations for equestrian businesses. Just to be clear!

So, what does an equestrian PR do?

An equestrian PR person isn’t just concerned with helping to improve the relationship between a company and its customers, they also work to maintain channels and work with the equestrian and related media – whether this is printed magazines, websites, bloggers…the list goes on. And, unlike paid for opportunities such as advertising and advertorials, the job of the PR is to generate all of the above in a context that is interesting and engaging without the need to pay for coverage.

So, it’s not all about champagne?

No – it’s quite a job! Equestrian PR, indeed, any PR, sounds like a really glamorous job that involves champagne swilling and air kisses, but, as with so many jobs, it’s hard work. Yes, it’s very rewarding, and when you see a client’s equestrian product featured in a magazine, or a story you created on their behalf, or an opportunity you’ve been working on come together -it’s brilliant – but be under no illusion that it’s easy. It takes a long time to build up contacts, to work out what makes others tick and, ultimately, create stories and opportunities that allow everyone to ‘win’ – your client and the ‘channel’ (whether person, website or magazine) that you’ve decided to work with.

As the landscape has changed in recent times, and the equestrian industry and supporting press is no exception, the role of an equestrian PR has changed with it. Now the job does involve more fits better under the marketing banner in some ways, but a lot of opportunities with digital and social media that sit very firmly in the PR area.

Can you do your equestrian PR yourself?

It IS perfectly possible to do you own PR yourself, actually, the coaching service available here helps people do their own equestrian PR through creating lists, engaging with the press and influencers and a whole lot more. However, it’s something that you could outsource very effectively if you choose the right people or person to work with, who will represent you properly (have a look at the country and equestrian PR and marketing page for more info). If you go it alone, you’ll need to dedicate time and energy to connecting with the right people, keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in their publication and how your products could fit in with that. And that’s with all the related media you want to be connected with. This does take a lot of time and you might find, especially as your business grows, that your equestrian PR (and even your equestrian marketing including your advertising spend) is better outsourced to free you up to do things inside your business that only you can do. Alternatively, you might find that with a little help it’s an area you really enjoy and you’d rather outsource something else. If you need a hand with your own PR, through coaching or a more comprehensive service, do contact us.

 

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!