Tag Archives: Monday Morning Quickie

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Holy Cow! A Horse Trainer On David Letterman?!

PLEASE NOTE: This appearance was rescheduled to Thursday, June 23rd, in order for Dave & Buck to spend more time talking.

Fire up your DVRs, folks! Horse trainer and ‘horse whisperer’ (he inspired the book by Nicholas Evans and the movie based on it) Buck Brannaman is a scheduled guest on David Letterman tonight. His appearance is part of a sweeping PR campaign supporting the award-winning documentary Buck, which recently received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Image from BuckTheFilm.com

From a marketing viewpoint, this is a ‘dream’ project. You’ve got:

  • a knowledgable, hard-working guy (he travels 40 weeks of the year doing clinics) who’s a household name in many parts of the horse world;
  • a well-received and now award-winning film currently making the rounds of theaters in the U.S.; and 
  • a media campaign that’s using both traditional and social media to get the word out.

At the well-organized BuckTheFilm.com website, you can read articles and film reviews from publications such as the Wall Street JournalAARP The Magazine, National Geographic, the LA Times, and New York Magazine, among others; just click on the Press tab to get there. Under Media/Photos you’ll get candids from various events and clinics, including Sundance.

Will we see Buck hitting the talk show circuit? Maybe. But I think the cool thing is that this kind of mainstream media attention, combined with a thought-provoking film that shines a light on a different aspect of human-equine relationships, could inspire non-horse people to want to join our world.

Let’s be sure we welcome them with open arms and a good experience.

Have you seen the documentary Buck yet? If not, are you planning to? Share your thoughts via the Leave a Comment link below.


Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – ‘Horse World Gives Back’ Radiothon Today

Last Monday featured the PR campaign for the Horse World Gives Back radiothon & Retailer Day to benefit horsebiz owners affected by the recent flooding and tornado disasters throughout the U.S.; tonight is the radiothon, and tomorrow (June 7) is the Retailer Day. I hope you’ll tune in and consider a donation, no matter how large or small. Horse Radio Network founder and radiothon host ‘Glenn the Geek’ Hebert says have the Kleenex ready.

Here are a few tips to add to last week’s post about the PR campaign:

  • Social Media Avatar Images: If you have images or logos available for the media to use, add in a square-shaped image or two that folks can use as their social media avatar. I used the Horse World Gives Back logo and it worked fine, but it did cut a bit off the top and bottom. Consider it another way to ‘get the word out’ about your campaign, by giving supporters a way to show that support.
  • Live Social Media Messaging: Myself and Jackie Baker from the Regarding Horses blog will be live-messaging during the radiothon, both via the Horse World Gives Back Facbook page and Twitter account, and I’ll also be live tweeting via my own @KempEquine account. Remember that the official Twitter hashtag for the event is #horserelief, but you can also use #HorseWorldGivesBack; including one of those in your tweet turns it into a searchable active link. The #horserelief hashtag is also shown on the Horse World Gives Back website Twitter timeline. Live messaging via social media is a way to engage people in the moment, and share the experience across your social media community.
  • Giving Thanks: Pulling together and promoting any event takes a lot of time, effort, and people. Be sure to build in a place to give acknowledgement to those that helped you along the way. Keep a running list so you don’t forget anyone! I’d also include their contact information, so that you have it all in one place and don’t have to dig for information you thought you had.
You’ll be able to listen live via the Horse World Gives Back radiothon internet player – please join in to make a difference for all the folks who lost so much in the recent disasters.
Disclosure note: I’ve been helping Horse Radio Network with some promotion for this event on a pro bono basis. In case you were wondering.

Leave a comment

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

A PR Plan Into Action – Horse World Gives Back For Tornado, Flood Relief

We’ve all been seeing images of the recent U.S. flood and tornado devastation; if you’ve wondered how you might help horses in need and their owners or what you can even do, wonder no more. At the same time, you can see a bang-up PR campaign that’s getting underway, and learn from it in the process.

Horse World Gives Back logoHorse World Gives Back is a campaign to do just that – allow the horse world an avenue to help other equestrians and horsebiz owners in need due to disaster. This fundraising drive centers around a 3-hour Horse Radio Network Radiothon on June 6, 2011, and a Retail Day the following day, June 7th. Donations will go through the U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund and the Red Cross.

As for the part about learning from their PR campaign, I think Horse World Gives Back is doing a great job so far. Here’s a breakdown of the parts:

  • A timely topic that’s likely to be interesting to equestrian media and their readers, viewers, and listeners
  • A well-branded, interesting event to promote
  • Tools to help the equine media tell the story
  • Completely set up for social media sharing
  • Ways to sign up, and recognition of those committing to help

A Timely Topic

Looking at this campaign purely from a news and PR view, it’s a story that’s on the minds of most these days. Major news outlets are covering tornado and flood issues on a daily basis. Add in the public’s desire for more information and updates on this top-of-mind story, plus the desire of many to help others in need, and the possibilities are wide open for ongoing news coverage and a good chance for Horse World Gives Back to be picked up as a media story.

A Well-Branded & Interesting Event

Despite coming together quickly as an event, Horse World Gives Back is well-branded, with a strong visual identity. The charities collecting the funds are well-known and respected (Red Cross, U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund). We’re all familiar with the concept of a telethon or dance-a-thon, but a horse industry radiothon could be a first, upping the newsiness.

Equine Media Tools

All news media are time-pressed and on deadline. It’s important to give journalists (and bloggers) the facts and tools they need to tell your story. Horse World Gives Back has set up an excellent Media resource on the official website, giving a well-written press release in two versions (a PDF document, and a web version); official logo JPG files in several sizes; additional click-thru web graphics; and social media text options.

There’s also a ‘listen to the radiothon’ link to the Horse Radio Network Radiothon Player; anyone can add it to their website, giving visitors a way to listen to the radiothon broadcast.

The only things I’d add would be a selection of several photos, and an explanation about the official Twitter hashtag. Here’s why:

    • Photos would provide a visual to help illustrate the dire need and provide a ‘call to action’ for viewers, but they could be difficult to come by. There’s also the issue of copyright and paying the photographer, unless the images were donated; in lieu of images, it’s good they have the logo available.
    • Due to its nature, Twitter is an excellent social media tool for breaking news. ‘Hashtags’ are words that, when combined with the # sign, become live, active links – click on one, and it will take you to a stream of all other tweets or posts with that same hashtag. In the case of Horse World Gives Back, the official hashtag is #horserelief, but depending on your goals you could select a more branded one, such as #HWGB or #HorseWorldGivesBack. It’s a good idea to have a short hashtag, but longer ones can work, too.

Social Media Tools for Horse World Gives BackSocial Media Sharing

Not only has Horse World Gives Back provided social media (Twitter, Facebook) tools in their Media area, they’ve also included buttons to connect you directly to their own Twitter and Facebook accounts, AND they’ve included a livestream of the official #horserelief Twitter hashtag, so you can see the Twitter traffic streaming by. In our networked world, social media is crucial in a time-sensitive campaign like this, to get the word out quickly.

Ways to Participate, Commitment Sign-Up & Recognition

Not only has Horse World Gives Back provided a sign-up for retailers participating in the Retail Day, they’ve built-in a sign-up for the equine media outlets, websites, and blogs that will commit to promoting the event as Affiliates. Both result in a clickable list of participants, recognizing their commitment to help.

There’s also a Participate link, giving everyone who wants to a chance to take part and spread the word to promote the fundraiser.

In The End…

The final success of this fundraiser will be in the dollars raised to help horses and people affected by these recent natural disasters. However, Horse World Gives Back has built in all the tools for a successful word-of-mouth PR campaign, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that success is a big one.

Please consider how you can participate in, tell others about, and donate to Horse World Gives Back. Even if you can only give a little, it adds up. If all horsefolk joined forces on this one, think of the difference we’d make! Learn more about Horse World Gives Back here.

Disclosure note: I’ve been helping Horse Radio Network with some promotion for this event on a pro bono basis. In case you were wondering.







Filed under Case Studies, Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Twitter

Monday Morning Quickie – Marketing The Kentucky Derby

This past Saturday was the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. The last few years the Derby has embraced social media and a variety of avenues to reach new audiences, including new TV networks such as Bravo and Versus. So how are they doing in terms of results from marketing this premier event in Thoroughbred racing?

Image courtesy kentuckyderby.com

Several years ago Churchill Downs hired marketing agency Cramer-Krasselt to focus on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks brands. So the organization has dedicated some serious resources to improving their marketing, a good sign despite economic and racing industry troubles.

This year, Churchill Downs had record numbers for the event, with 164,858 attendees. The Nielsen organization reported that Triple Crown ‘buzz’ was way up in 2010 over 2009 (we’ll see if that held or continued for 2011). But, long-time undercard coverage on ESPN (which had provided race day coverage for 25 years) fell by the wayside, leaving outdoor network Versus to pick it up (and I thought overall they did a pretty good job).

The Daily Racing Form reported last fall that NBC renewed its contract to provide Derby coverage, but at a reduced fee due to lower advertising revenues following the recent recession; this contract runs through 2015.

John Canzano of The Oregonian says horse racing is ‘missing the mark’ in marketing the Derby and selling short the event’s history and tradition, and I think his points are worth considering but they do seem to be just his opinions. However, an article from the r2 Collective (a site run by ‘a group of racing fans and business professionals with a passion for new technologies, new marketing, and new media’) that was posted just after the 2010 Derby shows some actual statistics that are interesting.

The r2 Collective article shows that media mentions (called ‘reach’) were at an all-time high for the 2010 Derby, and that mentions in blogs and social media were primarily positive. These are all good signs, and confirm the Nielsen ‘buzz’ results mentioned above.

What does this all mean? Well, the Kentucky Derby could be at an interesting crossroads when it comes to event marketing. If popularity, attendance, and buzz continue to climb, when the NBC contract comes up for renewal in 2015 things could get interesting. Add in the possibility that the Derby might be held at night, during primetime, and things could get very interesting indeed.

The r2 Collective article points out that it takes 6 years and $60M to brand an event (numbers cited by marketer Mark Hughes). Whether true in the case of the Kentucky Derby or not, it shows the time and financial commitment it takes to build a brand. This is a race that has a 140th anniversary in 2014…I’m looking forward to seeing whether Churchill Downs can build on their recent momentum and capitalize on that anniversary to revitalize the Derby and make it a cultural phenomenon comparable to the Super Bowl.

How do you think Churchill Downs is doing in terms of marketing the Kentucky Derby? How do you feel about the current sponsors and advertisers? What should they be doing differently? Did your horsebiz do anything Derby-related? Share your opinions or any stats you find via the Leave a Comment link below!


Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Are Facebook Deals Better For Horsebiz Than Groupon?

As reported last week on Fast Company’s website, Facebook’s Deals has launched in five U.S. test cities. Due to the social networking aspect of Facebook, Deals could prove to be a better deal for the equine industry than Groupon, and here’s why.

Facebook Deals doesn’t focus on the cheapest prices, or the deepest discounts. Instead, the focus is on experiences, things that you and your Facebook friends can do together, deals that you can pass along to your network of Friends or Fans. Here are some Deals that were on Facebook when I checked this morning:

  • A 3-hour Tuscan cooking class for two at a California restaurant
  • A full-day photo safari and workshop
  • A hot air balloon ride with a tour of California wine country

You get the picture. Experiences to share, gifts for friends and family, memory-makers.

Creating memorable experiences will help your horsebiz take advantage of Facebook Deals

Now, what if those Deals were equine-oriented?

  • An autumn country outing, complete with hay-wagon ride, BBQ, fireside sing-along, and s’mores
  • A lunchtime workshop on how to bet the ponies, followed by an afternoon visit to your local racetrack to put those theories into practice
  • Art workshops on how to sketch, paint, sculpt, or photograph horses, with live equine models
  • A romantic trail ride & picnic dinner for 2 to celebrate a June wedding anniversary (remember, all those June brides have June anniversaries!)
Putting together a Deal might require some out-of-the-boxstall thinking:
  • Instead of a package of riding lessons, what about a riding lesson for a group of four friends, complete with a limo ride from their pick-up location to your facility and back, plus gourmet lunch al fresco and candid photos of the experience?
  • Instead of a birthday party with pony rides, what about ‘pony learning stations’ combined with games for kids to show off their newly gained knowledge, plus a barnyard treasure hunt with prizes?
  • For a tack shop, partner with a local stable to have a Fashion Day with the latest trends in clothing for the show ring, with outfits on horse & rider models under real-life conditions instead of just inside the store. Add in brunch or hors de oeuvres & drinks, and you’ve got a social experience.

What you come up with for a Deal depends on your own particular business, but I think Facebook Deals opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for equestrian businesses.

Remember, promoting experiences requires that you know your target audience; what will make them say ‘I can’t pass this up!’ and reach for their credit card? You’ll also need to put effort into your copywriting for the Deal, so that it paints a clear, compelling picture of the experience for your potential customers.

Read up on how Facebook Deals work here, and how your business can set up a Deal here. While currently only in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco on a test market basis, Facebook has plans to roll out Deals to other areas of the country.

What do you think of Facebook Deals? Would your horsebiz or equine organization use them? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on Deals via the Leave a Comment link below.


Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized