Profile in Success: From zero to $10,000 in two weeks (3/21/13)

A recent project we worked on serves as an excellent example of how Bettison Consulting’s work for clients brings fast and meaningful results on complex, high-stakes matters.  If you have a project that is in “idea” phase, just getting started, or is languishing, strategic communications and media relations are very powerful tools to accomplish your objectives.  Keep reading to understand how.

In December, my firm spearheaded the launch of a program called The Minnesota Hay Bank, which is like a food bank, only for horses. This was in response to the deepening crisis of horses going hungry due to the recession, drought and soaring hay prices.

In less than 4 weeks, we developed a project that was stuck in the “hope” phase for the past 3 years and made it a successful reality. And within just two weeks after our launch, the program has garnered significant media attention, stakeholder involvement and donations — over $10,000.

Here are the highlights:

  • Strategy Development: We focused on bringing needed visibility to an underreported and largely unknown issue.  Horse welfare, like so many things, is complicated and includes public policy, criminal law and industry factors. Recession and drought have made the issues even more complex.
  • Media Relations: A key strategy was getting the media to cover the new program. Key relationships with reporters secured coverage from print media across the state of Minnesota, broadcast (radio and television) and national industry/trade publications.
  • Critical/Legal Issues Management: In the midst of our launch, we encountered various challenges that required careful management, including, among other things, criminal charges against a horse industry leader for animal neglect.
  • Stakeholder Communications/Engagement: In 2 weeks, we had a website up and running, which is easily managed and updated. In two weeks after launch, we had nearly 2,000 website visits, raised more than $5,000 through our “Donate” page, and received a total of $10,000 in donations by the end of December.
  • Social Media: We launched our social media campaign, which has generated substantial traffic to our website and increased awareness.
  • Strategic Timing: Strategic timing of our launch would mean greater success – year-end giving and cold temperatures (making life more difficult for horses) promised more successful fundraising.
  • Stakeholder Relationships: Any project worth its salt has great relationships with others. The Minnesota Hay Bank has strengthened existing relationships and forged new ones with donors, industry and organization.

The Minnesota Hay Bank continues on a trajectory of success. As of this writing, it is only 3 months old and has already fed approximately 186 horses.

Expert communications counsel on high-stakes matters — that’s what we do at Bettison Consulting.  Please contact us to discuss how we can help you, your organization or your clients.