You have just left the ring after your last class for the day and are tickled pink with your horse's performance. As you prepare for the trip home, you may not be thinking about doing anything beyond loading the trailer and packing up that pile of ribbons and championship awards. Those new prizes will make it into your display cabinet at home, but if you are smart about your marketing you will take it just one step further.
Create some "buzz" with your wins. Back at home, prepare a press release with news about the show and announcing your wins. If you are reporting wins by your students and training clients, even better. Consider sending a release to regional horse publications and the editor of your breed registry's publication. Think about your local press as well. If you are in a small town, your local newspaper and even television stations may be looking for the kind of news you have.
Show-ring successes are just one opportunity to get mentioned in the press. Practice looking for true news opportunities and sending well-crafted news releases to carefully selected journalists and editors and you will definitely raise your public profile. If you step back and look at your business from the outside, you may be surprised by how many news-worthy opportunities you really have.
Do you think that there is nothing newsworthy about your equine business? Here are a few examples of horsemen "getting press" with horses this summer. While some stories start out as mere local news, realize that all of these have received national and global exposure by being featured online!
From the Dunlap Reporter, Dunlap, Iowa, June 30, 2005:
Jeff Berens demonstrates with draft horses
Savvy draft horse owner Jeff Berens teamed up with the Dunlap Historical Society and gained some exposure for his gentle giants. With a goal of teaching young people about the rigors of living in the olden days, Berens gave a demonstration on harnessing a team.
From Inside Bay Area, a California paper, June 29, 2005:
Horses to Post at Fair
This was a feature article, by a staff journalist, giving "pre-game" press to racing at the Alameda County Fair. California jockey Russell Baze, his agent Chuck Dybdal, and two Pleasanton trainers—John Anderson and Jeff Bonde—and another jockey, David Lopez, were interviewed and got their names in print.
From the Seattle Times, a Washington paper, July 1, 2005:
'Whoa! Dude!': A neophyte learns to ride horses
This article, including a narrative by journalist Sonia Krishnan on her first three riding lessons with Victoria Bearden at Cherry Creek Equestrian Center in Duvall, Washington, plugs riding to the general public. Krishnan dug deeper into the subject of natural horsemanship with an interview and extensive quotes from Molly Kimble of Laughing Meadows farm, in Sammamish, Washington, as well as a quote from her student, Tammy Helgeson.
An Associated Press article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, June 20, 2005:
Prison inmates taught to tend cattle, horses
Tells the story of the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, Kentucky, where prison inmates learn to manage and care for horses and cattle. A certification in Stable Management is even offered.
So, how many of the natural horsemanship trainers who read The Edge are thinking about pursuing a new niche market: training prison staff and inmates?
Well, anyway, the story made the news!
Do you need some help with writing a press release? Send an email to Ingrid@equinnovation.com.
Copyright 2005. This article first appeared in The Equine Business Edge, Equinnovation's complimentary newsletter (click to subscribe).
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For information on republishing this article, please email Ingrid@equinnovation.com or call Ingrid at 231-275-3355.