You're trying to get publicity for your shelter reform, animal welfare, or pet adoption cause, so you send out a press release. Maybe you email or even call a reporter you think might be interested. And you don't hear from anyone so you throw your hands up in the air and decide no one cares.
It's a story I hear a lot, when animal advocates contact me, ranting about their apathetic local media. But read this story, in which a PR intern named Adam Bowers uses the basic tools of media outreach to convince his girlfriend's favorite band, Relient K, to make a video to help him propose to her.
First, Adam went after the band on Twitter. He started Tweeting once daily to get their attention, using lyrics from the band's songs and references to the new album they were recording at the time. When he had no results from that, he increased it to 3-4 times daily. When none of that worked, he dug a little deeper. From PR Daily:
I started looking more carefully at my target audience (the band) and picked up on a few things. For example, I realized their account was merely a talking head that never interacted with anyone, so I shifted my focus to tweeting to the individual band members. I even took it one step further by studying their tweets to learn what times of day they were active on Twitter. I then scheduled my tweets for these times in hopes of catching one of them while they were checking their Twitter feeds.
Shortly after I combined strategic timing with creativity and consistency in my tweets, the band’s guitarist sent me a direct message with his email address so I could pass along a more detailed message.
And finally, 22 days and 39 tweets later, the band granted my wish for a personalized video to my girlfriend that segued into my proposal. Needless to say, she was blown away, and most important, she said “yes.”
Happy ending? Absolutely. Lesson in animal advocacy? You bet.
Because this is exactly what you do when you're trying to get media attention for your cause. It takes just this much effort and creativity, it takes a lot of research and personalization of the pitch, it takes patience and the willingness to keep trying, and it especially takes the ability to analyze the results of your pitch and systematically modify it until it works -- just like Adam did.
Learn these lessons, and the animals you're trying to help can have a happy ending, too!