At four years old, I sat on a horse for the first time; after fifteen years of being a competitive horse rider, I knew many great opportunities lay ahead in the equestrian industry.
Two years ago, my sister and I co-founded our start-up, Cavall – an online marketplace that aims to simplify transactions between sport horse buyers and sellers. We have built a beautiful and well-designed online experience, but we have yet to create commercial momentum.
As a Business student at Hult International Business School of London, with an ambition to transform our start-up into a well-established company, I soon realised that the key to achieving this lies in implementing solid PR tactics to generate brand awareness and business leads.
So, I joined Ruder Finn earlier this year as an intern to learn about brand positioning, content development, and reaching potential clients. I am particularly interested in working on projects related to adopting new technologies, which will positively impact the consumer experience. So far, at Ruder Finn, I have learnt to conquer barriers to adoption, understand my audience, develop a stream of relevant and frequent content, and lastly, be perseverant and consistent.
Conquering barriers to adoption of the product
During my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to research how to deliver messages and new products to clients. I’ve been able to apply that skill to Cavall because today, the equestrian industry still has a long way to go in embracing technology. While many trainers and riders use consumer apps in their daily lives, most current interactions are through email, text, and word of mouth. When we first presented the app to potential customers, people did not see a clear long-term benefit from investing in technology. I learned that delivering the functionalities of a specific product or service was not enough, and it was essential to showcase the benefits for all the stakeholders involved. Putting ourselves in our customer’s shoes means we could truly understand how to create an optimum experience.
Understanding what matters for my audience
My internship at Ruder Finn has taught me the importance of ensuring your brands’ visibility in trade and specialised outlets to effectively reach your audience and add credibility to your content. However, you must first understand what topics interest reporters and your target audience. I truly appreciate the importance of reading media coverage and listening out for new industry news to help build impact. With my experience in researching media outlets, I have created a targeted media list for Cavall – including US-based outlets such as Equus, Horse & Hound, and Practical Horseman which will help amplify our voice when launching new products.
Developing a stream of relevant and frequent content on our digital channels
Social media has completely transformed over the last decade, and at Ruder Finn, I have understood more clearly the importance of social media through monitoring and preparing crucial posts for clients. What used to be a way to share occasional life updates has become a valuable asset for many companies to showcase their offering and network with potential customers. For Cavall, we created an Instagram account to post about the different ways to technologize the equestrian industry and share the benefits of our platform and trending equestrian topics. The key is defining a robust editorial strategy to consistently generate engaging and meaningful content for your audience.
Staying focused and persistent throughout the process
Sometimes it can be a challenge to convince others to see the value of your product; hence, perseverance is essential.
Edwina Tops-Alexander, the first female horse rider to make it in the top ranks of the Western European League World Cup Ranking, stated that “you make your own luck” – and I agree. Anything is possible with determination and perseverance. In having the opportunity to work with a diverse range of Ruder Finn clients – from healthcare to tech – I hope to learn tactics to execute PR necessities more efficiently and with success.
As a young entrepreneur, I must grab every opportunity that comes my way to continue evolving and learning. Joining Ruder Finn has allowed me to know more about driving successful communication strategies to bolster my PR skills, and I look forward to applying these to my business.
We’re a collaborative and creative blend of problem-solvers, storytellers, and designers always on the lookout for talented individuals to join Ruder Finn, to either start, or further, their career in communications. Get in touch at [email protected] and tell us why you think you’d be an amazing fit.