Since we first started the agency, the MirrorMePR Equestrian PR Team have been asked countless times (Quite literally, we cannot remember how many because it happens so often!) to quote for individual rider PR services.
In these instances, we always say thank you very much, but sorry, we cannot work with you, and often people wonder why this is.
The simple answer is that, unless you are a hugely successful rider at international/Olympic level or are attached to a sponsor who is already supporting the media with a good advertising spend, you will find PR opportunities very limited (possibly only regional).
In our eyes, then, we don’t feel it’s fair to take a rider’s hard-earned cash knowing that we could achieve so little for them.
However, we are sure that there are plenty of people out there who do claim to be able to perform miracles, so putting aside over 25+ years worth of equestrian PR experience, if you are thinking about appointing a PR, then here is our advice and tips:
- Find out if they have experience representing riders in the past. If so, discover who these riders were (it’s generally easier to get exposure on high profiled names, so look for comparable names to your level).
- Ask to see examples of press cuttings. Does the rider mention their sponsors in the articles? If so, those opportunities could have been negotiated through the sponsors’ relationships with the magazines. If their sponsors are spending money on advertising, then magazines will be more likely to support the associated riders as well.
- What are they promising to deliver? We are always very honest with our clients in terms of what is achievable. If the company is offering you the front cover of Horse & Hound, then we would suggest you think very carefully and don’t let your ego get in the way of common sense!
- An agent’s role is very different from a PR, and whilst PRs do get sponsorship opportunities come their way, their main focus is (or at least should be) getting their clients in the media, not negotiating deals. If that is your main goal, you may want to look at getting an agent to represent you instead.
- First of all, invest time and money in getting your website sorted and making it a good place for people to visit and learn more about you. In our experience, one of the first things a brand does when looking for new riders is search the recommendation on the net. If you don’t have a website, you aren’t showcasing yourself to the full. It’s your shop window, so make sure it’s as impressive as you can afford!
- Use your social media effectively to spread the word. Do you have interesting tips and advice you can share with people? Posting regular content that is interesting and informative engages people and that could well include members of the press – perhaps even securing you some great coverage in the mix!
- Finally, if you do still decide to appoint a PR, be realistic about the coverage you will get. It may only be regional titles local to you that will be interested and you may have to also spend money on placing advertising support as well. Ask yourself if these would be opportunities that you could have gained yourself with some forward thinking and good planning?
We hope you enjoyed reading this feature, You may enjoy reading A Rider’s Guide To Winning Sponsorship too!