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  • 1.  Creating a message they want to hear not what I want to tell them

    Posted 08-23-2022 01:17 PM
    I am working to create a message to engage the community, but I really want to create a message that "Is what they want to hear, not what I want to tell them".  How do I know the difference?  Is this approach effective for getting pets back into the arms of their owners?

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    Nicole King
    Fund Development Manager
    Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control
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  • 2.  RE: Creating a message they want to hear not what I want to tell them

    Posted 08-30-2022 03:19 PM
    Hi Nicole, 

    Would you be able to provide an example of the type of message you want to get across or programs you'd like to communicate to your community? It may be easier to help give you some guidance that way. One thing I've learned is its important to rephrase your messaging of asking your community what services they need rather than listing all the services you provide. Feel free to share any additional details of the message you want to communicate and we can help give you some ideas.

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    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund
    she/her
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  • 3.  RE: Creating a message they want to hear not what I want to tell them

    Posted 25 days ago
    If we can we can keep lost strays from coming into the shelter, it makes room for animals who have to come into the shelter (ie domestic violence, homeless) but at times I believe there is fear associated with visiting a municipality shelters.  There are stigmas associated with visiting government buildings.  We want them to know the basics while removing some of the fear, for example, 1 in 3 pets will become lost in their life times.  How do I get the information out without it sounding so technical as well as making the owner feel empowered.  That is the goal of my Challenge...Owner Empowerment!~

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    Nicole King
    Fund Development Manager
    Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control
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  • 4.  RE: Creating a message they want to hear not what I want to tell them

    Posted 23 days ago
    Thanks for providing that example and I absolutely LOVE your goal for the challenge - Owner Empowerment! 

    Here are some resources that I think can help you reach that goal:
    • HeARTs Speak has created these incredible editable templates in Canva that you can easily edit to include your organization's information, logo and other local resources.
      • This Lost & Found Pet Community Action Guide is perfect for empowering owners and community members. You can customize and print or make it digitally available on your website for everyone. You can also use this for inspiration of language you can use on social media or website to effectively communicate how they can help.

    • Michelson Found Animals has some notes for shelters on their handouts for when community members find a lost animal and when someone has lost an animal. 
      • "Notes for Shelter: Use language that inspires hope and promotes swift action on the part of the pet owner. Offering a message of encouragement is vital. Remind pet owners that animals are often found by Good Samaritans and not always taken to a shelter. It is not uncommon for weeks, and sometimes months, to go by before an animal and its family are reunited. Do not give up hope! Keep searching." - I Lost An Animal
      • "Notes for Shelter: Consider language that thanks the finder for helping the lost animal. Tell the finder that they are very likely to find the animal's home if they follow the tips you provide. Remind the finder that a lost animal, even one who is on the street for a day or less, can easily look disheveled and scared. Their scruffy appearance does not mean this animal was not loved and cared for by its family. " - I Found A Lost Animal
    It's also a good practice on social media to re-share other posts, blogs or articles with your audience from other reputable organizations. This reminds them that the things you are suggesting are best practices across the industry. Here's an example of an article from HASS that empowers your local community to help each other: Times Are Hard. Neighbors Helping Each Other-and Their Pets-Will Help - https://www.humananimalsupportservices.org/blog/times-hard-neighbors-helping-other-pets-help/

    This ASPCA Pro resource gives you some additional ideas around how to empower owners and engage your community to boost RTO - https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/empower-owners-engage-your-community-boost-rto

    Bobby Mann also said something on yesterday's huddle that I think applies here. He was saying that for so long we've been telling the public that if they find an animal, bring them to the shelter. Now we're shifting that narrative and asking the public to instead help us by NOT bringing them into the shelter. The more you can keep reminding your audience about how they can help and what steps to take if they find a lost pet in their neighborhood, it will not only empower them but will free up valuable resources at the shelter. That and sharing the happy reunion stories will positively reinforce the messaging!


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    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund
    she/her
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