Pro-Bone-O PR: Animals Vote
February 18, 2014
PR has a ‘furry’ side at Barokas Communications, thanks to a community of passionate animal lovers at our offices in Seattle and Boulder. While juggling multiple projects and keeping our clients happy, a group of us set aside some time to help raise awareness for a cause close to our hearts – a cause that let us become the voice of the voiceless.
Animals Vote, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives of animals, launched its “No-Kill Mondays” campaign in December 2013 and needed assistance in building awareness, both regionally and nationally. When we first heard of Animals Vote and their upcoming announcement, our ears twitched. This was a genuine opportunity to raise awareness about the inordinate number of animals killed in shelters every day. Animals Vote struck a chord with us, inspiring us to donate our time and expertise to a good cause.
What did we learn along the way?
Unlike a typical client, a volunteer group comes with its own set of unique challenges such as availability of time and resources. Barokas Communications took charge of all the moving threads and ensured a dispersed team was on the same page at all times through steady communication. Much of our work involved building relationships with stakeholders across geographic locations, developing key messages and leading regional press outreach. In an effort to gain ground locally, we reached out to local shelters that had signed the No-Kill Monday petition and secured tier-one broadcast and press coverage in both Seattle and Boulder regions. Check out coverage in The Examiner in Colorado, along with a couple plugs on local Seattle broadcast stations: KING 5 and Q13 FOX.
Most importantly, we saw that the best results could be achieved by balancing strong emotions on this sensitive topic with hard-hitting facts behind No-Kill Monday’s campaign. In addition to interviews with No-Kill Monday shelters, we presented the following statistics to demonstrate why animal euthanasia needs attention:
- According to Animals Vote’s sister organization, DogsInDanger.com, it’s estimated that roughly 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in America each year – an amount that totals 11,000 deaths daily.
- Research also shows that each day a pet remains in a shelter their chances of living increase by 8.3 percent.
The prevalent culture of killing in most animal shelters will not be wiped away with a brushstroke. Instead, it’s a process and through continued education we believe this practice can be eradicated over time. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
We hope shelter animal euthanasia will soon be a bitter reality of the past so that our four legged friends are given a chance to find their “furever” home.
Heather and Shefali