American Horse Publications Finalist!

The equine journalism world has what we like to think are the equivalent of the Oscars, only with no red carpet and we truly are excited just to be nominated. This morning the announcement was made showcasing the finalists for the Equine Media Awards. The awards are for work published in 2016 for member publications, associations and individuals, and will be awarded at the annual seminar in June.

And, yours truly is a FINALIST!

I entered only a few articles and crossed my fingers–they were what I thought my best works from 2016 (that clients hadn’t already entered to represent their publication). So to be named a finalist for at least one of the three articles I entered is pretty cool.

I want to congratulate and give a shout-out to my fellow freelancers for their finalist title, as well as some of my clients who were just named finalist: Horse Illustrated, NRHA Reiner, Quarter Horse News, The American Quarter Horse Journal, and Western Horse & Gun Magazine.

Below is the press release:

APRIL 25, 2017The wait is over. The finalists in the 2017 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards (EMA) have been named. “This announcement ends two-months of anticipation for the 71 AHP members who have learned that they placed in the top five in one or more of 64 classes,” says Chris Brune, AHP Executive Director and EMA Coordinator.

Held since 1974, the AHP annual awards contest provides members with an opportunity to be recognized for excellence in equine media. This year’s competition for material published in 2016 drew 783 entries from 105 members, an increase in entries and participants from last year.

The Equine Media Awards, open to AHP members only, offer a Publishing Media Division for publications and freelancers and a Business division for equine-related businesses, organizations, and colleges.

The awards not only recognize excellence in equine media, but every entry is critiqued by professional judges to encourage members to improve.

The excitement isn’t over for the finalists. The next milestone is the announcement of the winners. Awards are placed first, second, third, or honorable mention, so every finalist is recognized for their achievement. The Equine Media Awards presentation will be held on Saturday evening, June 17, 2017, at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley during the AHP “Saddle Up for Scottsdale” Equine Media Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Members interested in attending the AHP Equine Media Conference & Awards in Scottsdale can access conference information and register online.

The results of the Equine Media Awards will be available on the AHP website after the awards presentation in June.

Who will be this year’s stars who earn EMA gold in Scottsdale? Here is the list of AHP members who are Equine Media Award finalists for 2017. Congratulations!

PUBLISHING MEDIA DIVISION FINALISTS

  • American Cowboy
  • American Racehorse
  • America’s Horse
  • Barrel Horse News
  • BloodHorse
  • California Horsetrader
  • Chrome
  • Cowgirl Magazine
  • Daily Racing Form
  • Dressage Today
  • Driving Digest
  • Equine Career Network
  • Equine Journal
  • EQUUS
  • Hoof Beats
  • Horse & Rider
  • Horse Illustrated
  • Horse Radio Network LLC
  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred
  • Modern Arabian Horse
  • New York Horse
  • NRHA Reiner
  • Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine
  • Paint Horse Journal
  • PATH Intl. Strides
  • Pennsylvania Equestrian
  • PleasureHorse.com
  • Practical Horseman
  • Quarter Horse News
  • Ranch Horse Journal
  • Sidelines Magazine
  • Speedhorse
  • The American Quarter Horse Journal
  • The Chronicle of the Horse
  • The Florida Horse
  • The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care
  • Thoroughbred Daily News
  • Untacked
  • USDF Connection
  • USHJA In Stride
  • Western Horse and Gun
  • Western Horseman Magazine

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

  • Megan Arszman
  • Abigail Boatwright
  • Melinda Brown
  • Kate Bradley Byars
  • Sarah Evers Conrad
  • Jennifer Keeler
  • Bianca McCarty
  • Merri Melde
  • Kathryn Navarra
  • Dusty Perin
  • Cheri Prill
  • Kelly Sanchez
  • Kara Stewart
  • Scott Trees

BUSINESS DIVISION FINALISTS

  • American Paint Horse Association
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
  • Central Garden & Pet
  • Certified Horsemanship Association
  • Horse Lifestyle
  • Horseware Products, Ltd.
  • Manna Pro Products, LLC
  • Monty Roberts JOIN UP International
  • National Reining Horse Association
  • Ohio Quarter Horse Association
  • Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc.
  • PM Advertising
  • Purina Animal Nutrition
  • Road to the Horse/Ride the Remuda Productions
  • SmartPak

Finalist stamp

Podcast: Sharing My Experiences as a Freelancer

I’ve been a freelancer for about 12 years, starting back in college…I can’t believe it’s been that long. Since then, I’ve gained and lost clients, met so many new people and shared countless of stories.

But, unlike a lot of my freelancing friends who do it full-time, I am also employed full-time elsewhere. I made the decision years ago that I wanted my freelancing career to be my “side hustle” and to continue working in a similar field. And while it’s considered “side hustle”, being a freelancer to the degree that I am is more than just a part-time gig. I’ve evolved my communications company to be a second full-time job, working almost as many hours at home, and in the truck, as I do in the office with the job with benefits.

Oh, yeah, and then there’s that other “full-time job”…the one I’ve held for a little more than two years now, with a very demanding boss, one that calls me nicknames like “Momma” and “My Mommy”. So, yeah, when you see my Instagram posts with the hashtag #3jobs2paychecks, that’s what I’m talking about.

So, when fellow freelancers, and friends, Abigail Boatwright and Kate Bradley Byars, approached me to talk about my experiences and to offer tips for those who want the “side hustle” for their podcast The Freelance Remuda, I was flattered. While I try, and hope, to keep everything in line, I’m not the best. But, I try. And that’s all you can do, is try.

So, I invite you to listen as I try to pass off as an “expert”, but mostly as someone who has lived and learned, and yet I realize that you are constantly improvising and improving.

And, then, I invite you to listen to their other podcasts with other wonderful freelance writers and marketers, editors and publishers. If you’re interested in being a part of equine media, this is the podcast for you!

The Freelance Remuda: Catching Up with Megan Arszman

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Throwback Thursday: Not Your Typical Horse Owner

When Casey Deary slid into the 2015 NRHA Futurity Finals aboard a flash Palomino mare, her owner was just so happy that not only was she in the finals, but she was spinning in the middle of Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.

Rob Curtis is about strategy–management strategies for business owners to help them succeed, and strategies for building the next great reining breeding family. While he might seem all business, when you talk with him, you hear the passion he has for his business, his family and his horses, including Shesouttayourleague.

I met Rob a few months after his mare catapulted Casey to Million Dollar Rider status when she won the 2015 NRHA Futurity and got to share his story for the Quarter Horse News. I thought it’d be fun to highlight Rob again because he’s the type of owner you like to talk with!

QHN: Not Your Typical Owner

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Are You Using Social Media to Build Your Brand?

(Originally posted for Cornerstone Advertising.)

Social Media is no longer just about selfies and life updates, but now it is a place where your business needs to be. As of July 2015, there was a total of 3.17 billion users on the Internet, with 2.3 billion active social media users…and that number is only growing larger. Ninety-one percent of bands are using more than one social media platform.

If you want to get your business in front of new customers, social media is the easiest way to aim your advertising to specific groups of people.

Why?

Social media is important for web traffic. You know that fancy website you just paid thousands for? Now you need to drive traffic to that website—share your knowledge, deals and products with the world. Well-placed social media posts can help drive traffic to your website.

Using social media helps boost your presence with search engines. You’ve heard about search engine optimization—it’s about how certain web pages are ranked on Google, Bing, etc. The programs used in ranking web pages knows what pages are consistently getting traffic and which don’t. And while you need to have a solid strategy for content and SEO, you need to drive traffic using social media to help garner more attention to those pages as well.

Social media is important for building relationships, and we’re not talking about the “it’s complicated” type. You can learn a lot about your customers by being active on social media. Twitter and Instagram allows for more insight into daily lives (their home, activities, lifestyle, etc.) and Facebook is a little more direct—after all, you can communicate in more than 140 characters on Facebook.

Users still see social media as a social network, not something streaming commercials/ads constantly, yet it does. A customer posts a review, and you respond, starting a conversation. Potential customers send a message on Facebook with a question, and you respond as you would over the phone. Using your social media posts and messages more as conversations with customers rather than ads builds trust and interest, thus driving traffic to the website.

Social media is important for brand loyalty. Users of social media want immediate satisfaction, that’s why you’ve seen an uptick in reviews posted on sites like Google and Facebook. This requires you to be more reactive—quick and sincere responses, and fast results.

Social media is important for level playing fields. So what if your biggest competition has a marketing budget 100 times your budget. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s a more level playing field—it’s all about how you approach your content sharing and your engagement. You need flexibility to be able to capitalize on the weather, local events, etc., and social media allows you to do that.

Social media is important for visibility. It brings your product and service to the forefront of customers who might not have ever known you were available. And vice versa—you’ll find customers that you didn’t know existed when you become active on social media.

And, finally, social media is important for the price. Sure, signing up for Facebook, Twitter, Houzz and Pinterest are all free, and posts are free (except for the boosted posts and paid advertising), and free is always good. But it does take time—time to monitor, time to gather content and time to interact. It will take someone dedicated to providing you the best social media presence, whether that’s in-house or by hiring an agency that’s used to handling everything, such as Cornerstone Advertising.

Without social media, your brand has only a slight existence online, no matter how awesome your website is. It’s time to start putting a little more emphasis on social media—it’s not just for selfies any more.

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Grand Generations: Passing Down the Love of the Quarter Horse

I’ll the first to admit that if it weren’t for my mother, I probably wouldn’t be a horsewoman. I also wouldn’t be into dog agility if it weren’t for my father and mother, and my mother’s mother… So many things that we get into are because of the generations before us. Which is why it was fun highlighting three different families where the grandparents have passed on their love of the American Quarter Horse to their grandchildren.

Families like the Cochranes, where Ken and Sandy (who are active within the AQHA) enjoy watching their two granddaughters show, especially Victoria, who has thrived despite her neurologic disorder thanks to riding and showing. CeCe Campbell and her granddaughter, Tailyr, share a horse and take on the hunt seat world. And then Vern and Rita Habighorts and their granddaughters Monica and Kaylee Hamm take on the halter world as a team.

grandkids

I invite you to learn more about how these families have worked to continue their love of horses, and the American Quarter Horse in the the August 2016 issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal.

Police K-9s: Partners in Duty & In Life

In the February/March 2017 issue of Western Horse & Gun Magazine, I had the privilege to highlight a relationship I have seen grow firsthand. Police K-9 teams undergo a lot of intense training, sometimes mores than typical police officer teams. Not only do they train themselves, but they have to train some of the most fearless, intense officers on squad–the K-9.

In this article, I highlighted the relationship between Sergeant Joey Mitchell with the Clinton County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Department and his canine partners, as well as Officer Erin Dean with Kirklin, Indiana.

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You can read more from Partners in Duty & in Life.

 

Fit Rider: Battling Hibernation

The cold has certainly set in here in the Midwest. It’s not even Christmas, and we’re battling frozen conditions everywhere, which means not much action happening outside.

Perfect timing, considering my FitRider column for Horse Illustrated‘s November issue was about how to battle the winter doldrums and the urge to hibernate, thanks to help from Andrea Otley, a self-professed former sugar addict, horse-crazy wife with three children, who has turned her life into a healthier, happier one while combining her passion of fitness and horses.

One of the best tips from Andrea was to see winter as a time to really go after your fitness goals, since you won’t be spending as much of your free time at the barn like you do during the summer.

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Horse Illustrated to read more tips. And get ready to tackle 2017 a healthier, happier rider!

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