when amateurs do it better than the pros

I didn’t get much work done last week because I was focused on riding in a side saddle display at the Great Yorkshire Show with the Yorkshire branch of the Side Saddle Association.  In my world, riding at Great Yorkshire is a big deal, bucket list type event and the stakes were upped further by the PR push my group had planned to raise the profile of side saddle riding in the region.

gysquadI’m on the orange coloured horse at the back :)

I’m the only professional marketeer in the group, but as I’m also the most digitally-literate (which isn’t saying much!) my sole responsibility is the group’s website.  So all the regional TV, press and radio coverage that my group of fellow aside riders achieved for side saddle last week was done by people with no marketing experience and no budget, in their spare time.

I’m talking about successful event management (several hundred people viewing a 40 minute ridden display to music), an introduction to royalty (somehow on the day they wangled their way onto the Countess of Wessex’s meet-and-greet) AND a reach of over half a million within our region (focusing on the core target audience) with consistent delivery of key messages.  That would have the average regional agency reaching for an awards entry form.

gyslooknorthno big deal, just delivering key messages in suitably editable chunks while coming across as warm and friendly

It’s not just that, I watched our National Chairman, who has had no formal media training whatsoever and spent her career working with horses calmly give a lengthy interview to camera (pic above) while she weaved in all our key messages.  Another entire-career-with-horses rider did a pitch-perfect ‘all about side saddle habits’ piece interacting merrily with the presenter.  One friend’s sixteen year old son was sent off leafleting to drum up some interest in our display and showed interaction and selling skills better than most promo teams I’ve met.  It was amazing – and humbling.

Because if women (and children) who have never worked in marketing and never dealt with the media before can pull this kind of thing off, then we should be expecting brilliance from those who do have the relevant skills and experience.  Is your team or agency that good?

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