Promoting a research story linking horse and human birth problems

Photo: Attaching the harness to the foal
Photo: Applying pressure with the harness
Photo: A successful outcome

Our services

  • Reporting the story, including developing a video
  • Identifying key opinion leaders in the horse and autism communities
  • Setting up a social media plan
  • Using search-engine optimization and Web design best practices

Goal: Reinforce UC Davis’ reputation in equine and autism medicine by reaching two important interest groups with news about a possible connection between distressed foal births and human autism.

Unlike any other story in UC Davis Web history, “Newborn horses give clues to autism,” quickly gained a phenomenal webpage and video audience from throughout the world. In the first six weeks, the story received more than 260,000 page views and the video nearly 120,000 views.

Our team used a combination of traditional media outreach with social media to reach important influencers on the Web. Facebook users shared the story more than 65,000 times, and the story was retweeted more than 500 times. Traditional media followed the social media wave.

After our largest metropolitan newspaper ran the story and resyndicated it a few weeks later, we received this note from the reporter: “The piece has gotten one of the biggest responses of any story I have ever written at the Bee. I have heard from at least 25 people and have gotten dozens of emails — many from overseas, about the story. There seems to be great interest in the research, and the autism community has embraced the story warmly.”