Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Press Releases: How often and to whom?

    Posted 05-11-2023 06:31 PM

    I want to give a pet 15 minutes of FAME!!! 🤗

    Sometimes I get jealous when I see a heartwarming article about a forlorn stray that, through the loving efforts of an animal welfare org  that is not mine, finds his or her forever home. I love those pieces, but I've got stories, too. I know we all do.

    I'm going to start sending out press releases. Do you all have any ideas on how to get our small, volunteer foster-based rescue success stories picked up? I found a bunch of well done press releases in the Maddie's library,  so that's helpful-and press releases are something I have done in another sphere. But I'd like to learn tips from others who write them for their animal welfare group. Specifically, what types of media do you send your group's press releases to and how often?

    Have you ever had one of your rescues' stories go viral? Any idea how it happened? Please do share!


    Carol B.
    Foster Volunteer/Grants Coordinator

  • 2.  RE: Press Releases: How often and to whom?

    Posted 05-15-2023 07:29 AM

    Hi Carol- so the first thing to do to get traditional media coverage is gather contacts at your local media outlets. Find out the email address for the assignment desk at the tv stations, newspapers, online pages etc. Once you gather those contacts, reach out first with an introductory email just letting them know who you represent and that you are always around if they need stories. Making yourself accessible goes a long with with media outlets who often times have tight deadlines and need to have a go-to person for animal related stories (even if they aren't directly about you).

    Then when you have a specific story to pitch, make sure you've got a hook. Why will the viewer care? What's in it for them? What is new today about your story?

    Let the new outlet know who they can interview and what video opportunities you can offer when you send the release.

    And in terms of social media- remember you can't make a story go viral- it just happens. We had one recently on tiktok that got like 5 million views of a senior dog getting adopted, and while we thought it was great, there is no way to predict what will catch fire. Just keep making great content showing your animals, your staff, and remember new and different is usually what people want to see!

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!

    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist