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  • CHAPTER V

    MORGANPROMOTION

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    Chapter Five ChapterChapter Five

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    In 1989, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine fea-tured Morgans in a breed bicentennial feature.Advertising space for this article sold for $50,682.The newspaper paid a top feature writer to coverthe story at no cost to Morgan owners. That is realpromotion.

    In 1990, Anna Ela of Townshend Morgans inMassachusetts took the sports anchor of a local TVstation for a drive in the country prior to the NewEngland Regional Show. They talked aboutMorgan history and the steady mare pulling thecarriage, about the old days and the modern chal-lenge, and fun, of showing. That broadcastreached 250,000 people. That is real promotion.

    At the University of Connecticut, the firstweekend in December sees the 38-horse facilitytransformed into a Holiday Barn. Throughout atwo-day period, 5,000 people visit and see aMorgan pulling Santas sleigh. Ten "elves" mount-ed on Morgans also escort St. Nick. Not only ismedia coverage guaranteed, the school raises fundsand makes thousands of new friends for theMorgan breed. That is real promotion.

    PROMOTIONDefined as "the act of furthering growth or devel-opment," promotion has two vital components:education and information dissemination.

    Morgan clubs and individuals have the oppor-tunities to educate a broad number of people withactivities such as:

    Open Barns

    Expositions

    Print and Broadcast Media

    Horse Shows

    Clinics

    Parades

    Youth Programs

    Promotion produces name recognition.Promotion is not marketing; marketing is the saleof Morgans. While promotion may lead to sales, itmust not be carried out with that as the end goal.The goal must be producing recognition of theMorgan breed and aiming for that recognition tobe spread beyond the people in attendance.

    The following pages describe various promo-tional efforts and the work it entails.

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    The most important part of any planned event isattracting an audience. But how do you attract thepublic to your event? The answer is simple: youmust spread the word. Spreading the word canbe done in a variety of ways: posters and flyers, theprint and broadcast media, telephone chains; acombination of these methods will practically guar-antee a large audience. A well-planned publicitycampaign will generate the interest and enthusiasman event organizer wants. The following informa-tion will help you develop a comprehensive planfor getting the public to attend your Morgan event.

    READ ALL ABOUT ITUse of the print and broadcast media requires anorganized plan. You will soon be known as yourclub's public relations specialist when you followthese seven easy steps:

    1: DEVELOP A MEDIA LIST

    First, refer to the print and broadcast media list

    from your area which is included in this public-

    ity package.

    Second, contact your area Chamber of

    Commerce for additional references

    Third, note places you would want your story

    to appear.

    To locate the names of magazine and newspa-per editors, look in the publication. If you areworking from a telephone list, call the publicationand ask for the names of the sports editor, lifestylesor family living editor, the city editor, and the edi-tor-in-chief. It is best to get the names of individu-als to send information to. However, addressingmaterial by title, such as City Editor or SportsEditor, is not taboo.

    MORGAN PROMOTION

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    48 In broadcast media, listen to or watch the sta-tions in your area and make a note of the names ofdisc jockeys, newscasters, and anchor persons. Callthe stations and ask for the name of the assignmenteditors (the people who schedule the camera crewsto videotape events), the producers of local talkshows, and the people in charge of public serviceannouncements.

    When you have gathered all the names from thevarious media sources, put them together and youwill have your media list.

    2: DETERMINE YOUR STORY

    Some things are stories, others are not. A horseshow standing alone may not be a great story, buta horse show that benefits a charitable organiza-tionif the show donates 10 percent of the entriesand every dollar taken in at the gate goes to theHomeless Foundation for building a sheltermaybe newsworthy to a reporter.

    A horse show may have a good story behind thescenes. . . the 4-Her who won a Morgan foal in araffle is showing her horse for the first time. Openbarns and clinics may not be interesting to an edi-tor because they dont understand what they are.Perhaps the clinic is being given by an accom-plished horseman, such as the first person to com-pete internationally with a Morgan, or the openbarn story may be about school children learningAmerican history through the Morgan breed.

    The story has to be appealing for a unique andinteresting reason. Think hard and come up withan angle that will get your story printed.Brainstorm and come up with a list of reasons yourevent is unique or interesting. You are now readyto begin the next step.

    3: WRITE YOUR PRESS RELEASE

    A press release is no more than a summary of theevents major information. Take care when writingthe release because most reporters get dozensevery day. They read them all, but they are readvery quicklyin 15 to 30 seconds. A good pressrelease must grab attention quickly and leave thereader wanting to know more.

    A news release is easy to write if you use basicguidelines. Remember to include WHO, WHAT,WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and sometimes HOW.

    The WHO is the group or individual makingthe announcement, the WHAT is the story (a clin-

    ic to teach young people horsemanship skills), theWHEN is the time and date, the WHERE is thelocation, the WHY is the significance of the event(for instance, the money being raised will be donat-ed to the Homeless Children's Charity that pro-vides meals for children on the street). The HOWdescribes the effect this event will have on the pub-lic or the sponsoring organization. The HOW andthe WHY combined should give your release ahook that will make the reader want to know more.

    Press Release Tips:

    Read all of the publications where you plan tosend releases and then be sure to send them thekind of information they usually print.

    Use only information that is of interest to alarge part of the publication's readership.Eliminate items that only concern your club.Don't include so many details that you bury theimportant facts. On the other hand, if there issomething unusual that would make a goodhuman-interest story, leave that in.

    The release can be in the form of a story or aseries of important facts. Leave out personalopinion and editorial comment. Opinions mustbe attributed to someone. Also, dont use jargonor abbreviations only known to your club mem-bers.

    If writing for a community newspaper or mag-azine, localize the information.

    Check all the facts in your press release foraccuracy. Names, addresses, and dates shouldbe verified before the press release is sent. Todo this, get the information from the peopleconcerned.

    Send an eye-catching photo to illustrate yourpress release.

    Editors dont like hype and exaggerate in yourrelease. Whatever you send out, be honest.

    Use quotes. They bring the story to life andgive the reporter someone else to interview.This is the place for a quotable quote. (seeend of this section)

    The news release should be printed on special

    NEWS stationery. They should be no longer than

    one page. (See the sample news release in the

    AMHA Publicity Package.) Start at the top of the

    page and fill in the contact name with a phone

    number underneath. Put FOR IMMEDIATE

    RELEASE or a release date (FOR RELEASE

    January 1) below the phone number. The headline

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    49should be printed in bold or underlined capital let-ters. The date line includes the date, city or town,

    and state of origin. Your story begins after the date

    line following two dashes. The dateline and start of

    the release look like this:

    (Nov. 11, 2007, Shelburne, VT)-- The state's bestMorgan...

    Double space the copy for easier reading andtry to get all the information on one page. Recapwhat you have said in the last paragraphessen-tially the five Ws are repeated in a brief form. Puta centered -30- at the end. This means that's allfolks to a journalist. It will give your release themark of professionalism that may be required toget your name in print.

    Be sure your name and address appear on therelease.

    4: PREPARE A MEDIA KIT

    The media kit is the piece you mail to every contacton the media list. The media kit will include the fol-lowing: a news release on the event; the organiza-tion sponsoring the event, its goals, accomplish-ments, history; and one about the Morgan breed ingeneral, the history, breed activities, and currentstatus. The media kit will also include photographs,Morgan brochures, breed statistics, and a recentclub newsletter. This should be neatly presented ina two-pocket presentation folder.

    When should the media kits be mailed? Findout the submission deadlines for all press releasesat the publication. The best rule is to send out theinformation as early as possible. For a newspaperyou might send out a media kit early and follow upwith a second press release one week before theevent as a reminder.

    5: TARGET THE RELEASE WHEN MAILING

    Think about the story you want to have covered.Does it belong in the local newspaper or on theradio and TV? Is it appropriate for all types ofmedia? Once you decide where you want cover-age, begin targeting your release to the person whois most likely to be interested in your story.Examples of targeting include:

    A grand opening celebration of a harness man-ufacturer is planned to include a Morgan breeddemonstration. The harness company will pro-vide many new jobs in the community. Therelease should go to the Business Editor.

    The story about the grandmother who will be

    competing at a Morgan show six days after sur-gery, should go to the Lifestyles Editor.

    The placings of the 100-mile-competitive trailcompetition should go to the Sports Editor. Ifone of the winners is an area business person, itcould also go to the Business Editor.

    6: FOLLOW UP

    This is probably the hardest and most important partof getting publicity. A few days after you mail theinformation, call the editor and ask if they receivedthe media kit. Follow this with, Will you be cover-ing the Morgan horse event on Tuesday? I want youto know that . . .(emphasize the angle of the story inthe press releases you sent earlier). You might alsoinvite them to a behind the scenes tour or to attenda reception or party planned for the event. Alwaysencourage them to bring a photographer.

    If you do not get a positive response, BE PER-SISTENT. Media people expect this. While yourstory might not sound like news on Monday, onTuesday it could strike someone as front pagematerial. If one editor isnt interested, ask to speakto another editor. The adage about the squeakywheel has never been truer than in getting mediaattention.

    7: BE PREPARED TO BE INTERVIEWED

    Be prepared to elaborate on the news release via aphone or in-person interview. You may suggest alocal expert to enhance or substantiate your story.You may also select a nationally recognizedMorgan expert as a potential interviewee.

    ADVERTISINGAdvertising differs from publicity in two majorways. First, you pay for advertising space, and sec-ond, because you pay for the advertising, you con-trol where it will appear and the content of theadvertisement. With free publicity you can neverbe sure where, when, or if the material will be used.

    There are many advantages to purchasingadvertising, but it can be very costly. The purchaseof air time on television involves not only the costof air time, but the production costs for making acommercial as well. Far more practical is radioadvertising, because the disc jockey reads thescript you create. Advertising in the daily or week-ly newspapers is probably the best alternative.

    All paid advertising efforts should be coordi-

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    50 nated with the free listings in Coming Eventscolumns, Public Service Announcements, posters,and publicity efforts. A thoughtful combination ofthese methods will almost always attract a largeaudience. Two key watchwords in event promotionare patience and persistence. With an emphasis onthe latter, your efforts will undoubtedly pay off.

    QUOTABLE QUOTESIn any dealings with the media, in public forumsand in one-on-ones, you have the opportunity todrop a quotable quote which establishes theMorgan in the viewers/listeners/readers memoryfor once and for always.

    Here are some you may want to try out.

    This is a horse which is spirited yet sane, sizzling yet sturdy.

    The Morgan is a can-do, do-all horse.

    What other breed of horse comes with a 200-year-old pedi-gree back to the foundation sire?

    The Morgan is uniquely American. (Pride and product ofAmerica.)

    The Morgan is the breed that made America.

    The Morgan is Americas athlete.

    Morgans are people horses.

    When versatile people need versatile horses, they chooseMorgans.

    Morgans are like peanuts, you cant have just one.

    In this age of specialists, Morgans can still do it all.

    MEDIA TERMINOLOGYAdvertisingPurchased print space or air time

    that contains a message informing the reader orlistener about the horse show. The advertisercontrols where and when the message willappear and the content of the message.

    Mailing listA list of people or organizations towhom you will want to mail information aboutyour event. As a general rule, be sure to includethe following on your mailing list: local mediapeople; president of the Chamber of Commerce;Mayors office; Governors office.

    MediaIncludes television, radio, magazines,newspapersany medium that reports news.

    Media KitA collection of printed materials pre-sented to media people in a concise and attrac-tive manner to attract attention, stimulate inter-est, and inform. Generally included in a mediakit are news releases and photos or pictures of

    some sort. Media kits should be mailed to mediapeople and others on your mailing list inadvance of the event and may also be distrib-uted to media people at the event.

    News ReleaseA clear and factual writtenaccount of what the event will contain, includ-ing name of event, sponsoring club, dates,times, location, admission charge, special orunusual aspects or classes, and who to contactfor additional information. A separate newsrelease should also be prepared to provide valu...

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