Use Your Downtime to Plan — and Not Just Entries!

Equestrian PR and marketing consultant and small business coach Rhea Freeman is back with her expert advice for riders on managing their own public relations. If you missed them, check out Rhea’s other EN submissions Advice for Equestrian Pros: Why You Need to Become Your Own PR Machine and Well Done on the Sponsorship — But Now the Real Work Starts.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

What do you do between seasons? You give your horses a holiday? Take a little time off yourself? Do your entries for the next season? Do you plan your social media, PR and marketing too? Yes, YOU. The rider. The person who wants to get more owners, more sponsors, more followers and more exposure. You, the rider who is looking to make the next season the best ever. You, the rider who sees the value in working with magazines and websites. I know that during the season you’re mad busy dashing from training to event to home and back again, but that is why NOW is the moment to get planning.

Planning? Do you need to plan? If you want to achieve the above, then yes. And especially if you’re really busy when the season is in full swing and don’t have much time to be creative. Now is the time to create a plan, make those contacts, come up with ideas and work out where you’re going to appear for the next year.

This can start with your own content. Your own blog, video content, or even just social media posts. Of course, a lot of this kind of content needs to be created as it happens, but you might find that you can create some content in advance. What about horse profiles? Your thoughts on events you’re due to attend? Your plans for the season? Training tips that have helped with particular horses? What about getting some nice content in from your sponsors, too? You can get this all written up and scheduled and you’ll know that, even if you do nothing else, you’ll have x number of blogs to release during the season, and can create the imagery to go with these as well. This will help to keep your sponsors happy and increase your visibility online. Big tick.

Want to be featured in magazines? Or online? Research the places you want to be featured and start thinking about what you can add to their platform/pages and how it fits their format. There are LOADS of opportunities online and in print that will allow you to reach a new audience. And a lot of these are completely free.

You won’t need to advertise, but you will need to add value. So take this blog here, for example. Eventing Nation has very kindly accepted it, it’s helping to raise my profile in the eventing world and is has links to my website. BUT I provided something of value (this!) in order to get that exposure. Make a list. Research where you want to be. Come up with ideas that fit the magazine/website’s theme and reach out to them. Yep. Pick up the phone/drop them an email and get planning. Again, you can get things booked and written before the season starts, to release them when time is very tight.

Don’t overlook other opportunities, too – would you like to be on a particular podcast? Get listening and pitch an idea or two. What about asking your sponsors if there’s anything else you can do for them? Any events they’re attending they want you to be at?

A bit of time spent now, when you’re a little quieter than you are mid-season, will pay dividends in the future, when you’re running around, but you’re STILL getting those column inches, blogs and social media content out to keep yourself front and centre in people’s minds.

Read more on Rhea’s blog here