Hartpury University and Hartpury College are specialist educational providers in the heart of Gloucestershire. The 360-hectare campus is home to almost 4,000 college and university level students studying postgraduate and undergraduate degrees, A-levels and diplomas in the areas of sport, equine, animal, agriculture and veterinary nursing. Each summer, Olympic, World, and European champions head to Hartpury to compete in three major equestrian events; the International Festival of Dressage, Showjumping Spectacular and International Horse Trials. In 2019 and 2020, Hartpury briefed the agency to manage the press office for all three events with the goal of increasing awareness of the events and promoting the spectator-friendly nature of the competitions.

We helped Hartpury to streamline their social media efforts, focusing on those platforms with the most demand and those where their target audience was most active. We did this by creating buyer personas and carrying out user research analytics. A new Instagram account was created to target a younger audience and to promote both the equestrian and spectator aspects of all three events. We also engaged popular equine Instagram influencer Teddy the Shetland to increase awareness and promote the family-fun element of the events. Our efforts resulted in 5004 new social fans, 265,000 social post engagements and positive increases across all social media analytics. Our Instagram campaign resulted in 31,216 engagements. We created a social advertising campaign to run alongside our organic PR efforts.

We managed the press office for each of the three events too, inviting regional, national and international press. Recognizing the international interest in the competitions, we created daily briefings for press around the world. Our efforts resulted in 100 pieces of global coverage with 186,400 online coverage views. A record number of press attended the events and outlets including BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Horse & Hound Magazine, Canada Horse, and Paralympics GB Magazine featured the events.

Hartpury launched a new equine micro-site in the autumn of 2019. We project managed the delivery of the website, working with various departments and stakeholders to gather information and translate into SEO-rich website content. Our work included copywriting and photography uploading as well as SEO auditing. We’re currently helping Hartpury to adapt to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, by transferring our marketing activities online to engage with the community and grow their audience.