Horses Taking Over Primetime: Iroquois Steeplechase
With coverage from 87 media outlets, Nashville’s annual equestrian celebration runs with the big boys
In Nashville, Tenn. the Iroquois Steeplechase is a household name. Fondly coined as Music City’s Rite of Spring, it’s been a timeless tradition since 1941 that has grown from a small race on a hillside to a nationally-recognized event attended by more than 25,000 people. The richest, most important horse race on the National Steeplechase Association spring circuit, the Iroquois is a day, like no other, that captures Southern gentility, grace and hospitality at its peak.
To maintain the prestige and renown of the Iroquois, our job is to create contagious conversations about the event in the press and facilitate race day coverage from an army of media attendees.
Just as the top-flight horses and athletes race at the Iroquois every second Saturday in May, we’re an elite breed of PR champions racing to win extensive media coverage from publications across America.
In our publicity race for the 2012 Iroquois Steeplechase, we used public relations and inbound marketing tactics and implemented advanced social media strategies, such as:
- Designing and sending out email alerts to attendees.
- Crafting talking points and hosting media training for the staff prior to media interviews.
- Developing messaging and content for media partners , like The Tennessean, WSMV, and Mix 92.9, to use during promotions.
- Responding to unforeseen race day tragedy with seamless crisis management.
- Updating and maintaining the website with fresh, newsworthy content and event photographs to spark public interest
- Writing and pitching story ideas, news releases and editorial content to local and national press.
- Utilizing advanced social media techniques to engage and influence the Iroquois’ digital audience.
- Tracking and assigning value to publicity placements.
In 2012, we generated an overwhelming amount of publicity:
- $1,033,223 in print, televised and online media coverage from 87 different sources reaching a potential audience of more than 56 million.
- Print and online coverage spanned 92 stories valued at $713,327, while television coverage included 57 segments with a total value of $319, 896
- 51 different print and television media outlets hosted on race day, including 26 new outlets that didn’t attend the previous year.
Our social media strategies created a frenzy of chatter and helped the Iroquois’ social media channels flourish by:
- Growing Facebook fan base 123% from the previous year.
- Topping out Facebook viral reach (the number of people who saw a story published by someone about our page) at 18,388 fans the week of the event.
- Cultivating a Facebook conversation among 429 fans talking about their page.
- Increasing Twitter followers by 504% over the last year.