Today is March for Mustangs, a series of rallies and events in the U.S. and London centered around the issue of wild horse management and round-ups in the American West by the Bureau of Land Management. Whether you agree or disagree is not the issue here; what I’m looking at is how one organization is helping the media to cover their cause, and how you can do the same to get attention for your own equine business or project.
Yesterday I was working on an article about the protest rallies, and as a member of the equine media I appreciated the organized resources that The Cloud Foundation (TCF) has made available to help get the word out. Having everything at my fingertips, combined with quick response from their media contacts, allowed me to pull the news story together and get it online in record time.
What specifically has TCF done that you can do, too?
- Information about the event is clearly and readily available on their Web site, helping the research process
- Links to related information and news coverage are also included on their site, important in this age of Web, Facebook, blog, and Twitter communication, when linking both helps provide information and boosts your search engine rank
- They link to ‘partner’ organizations, which can be both information and interview sources for journalists
- They’ve sent news releases out to the equine media on a regular basis, keeping us in the loop on news-worthy items
- They have two media contacts listed on their news releases; yesterday I was able to reach one by phone immediately, and one by email within 12 hours – crucial when there’s a deadline as there often is for a news story
As an equine business, how you interact with the media can make the difference in getting important ‘third party endorsement’ coverage that can supplement your own advertising and marketing efforts. How do you get media coverage? Here are some tips:
A Few Equine Media Don’ts…
- Don’t talk with journalists while you’re riding a horse or otherwise preoccupied
- Don’t expect editors to be fascinated with every aspect of your horse business in the same way you are
- Don’t say you have photos to go with a story, then send in dimly lit snapshots taken with your cellphone
And Some Equine Media Dos…
- Do make time for journalists and respond to their emails and phone calls
- Do research key equine media outlets that fit well with your brand, and take time to understand what’s a good story for their readers
- Do be proactive in taking photos; if you don’t use a professional, at least invest in a good camera and learn the basics of taking a good shot
Keep in mind that equine media journalists and editors are often working on tight deadlines and even tighter budgets, trying to craft interesting stories that appeal to their core readers.
The bottom line is that these professionals can help you get the word out about your business or cause. Doing a good job for them means they can do a better job for you.