Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen – A PR Puppy Story

February 21, 2019

I never owned a dog. Not even as a kid. We had cats, fish, hamsters, and even two lizards. But never
dogs.

I’ve just never been a dog person. I could blame my parents but that’s assigning blame to something
that just is what it is.

I don’t get pawternity leaves. The phrase ‘fur baby’ makes my skin crawl. And the very mention of
emotional support dogs is paying for my therapist’s beach home.

That doesn’t mean I hate dogs. I nothing them. They invoke zero emotion in me. I view dogs the same
way I view a conversation about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – I have no feelings one way or another.

This all makes the recent addition of a Yorkie Poo puppy into my family all the more frustrating. The
puppy (pictured here and pooping everywhere) is incredibly cute. My kids are obsessed with her – Ruth
Bader Ginsbark – which pleases me to no end. I love that they love it. I’m happy they’re happy.

But that’s where my love starts and stops.

The thing is – I’ve been very transparent about my feelings toward dogs. Yet at every turn, I’m told it
can’t be true. “How could I not love that face?” “Don’t you just want to cuddle with her?” “I bet you’re
going to start loving dogs now.” “You posted a picture of your kids with the dog on Instagram, you love
her now!”

It’s as if the very thought of me not loving a dog is somehow unacceptable because they love the dog.
Everyone must love dogs! Look at dog! Love dog! Isn’t it so much fun playing fetch?

People need to stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s never going to happen.

And stretching this analogy to the very brink of PR leads us to brands and the insatiable desire to have
everyone love them. Males aged 22-45 love the brand? We have to get females to love us too. Midwestern moms are incredibly loyal to us? Why aren’t Southern divorced dads? We need to focus on getting them.

Too often, there’s an obsession over why one audience isn’t reacting to your brand, leaving your
passionate brand loyalists ignored and potentially looking elsewhere for that affection.

Brands aren’t Coldplay. They aren’t loved by everyone. Brands are more like dogs. There are dog people.
There are non-dog people. Sometimes, you just have to accept that there will always be a select few
who just can’t be reached.

I am one of those people. So stop dogging me and focus on your brand advocates.

-Jason

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