To mark International Guide Dog Day (IGDD) and their 60th birthday, Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) came to our social change PR team with news of a collaboration with Public Transport Victoria. A tram wrapped in pictures of puppies would be travelling the CBD. Knowing a media opportunity when we see one, our team jumped at the chance to extend the gravity and reach of the day with a dual-strategy campaign and activation.
Building on the collaboration, the team organised ambassador dogs and sweet treats to join commuters on the tram for the organisation’s 60th birthday, news that lifestyle and consumer media would love to share.
But we also wanted to draw the audience in beyond puppies and highlight the profound value of Guide Dogs. This IGDD we worked with GDV to show the data behind this value and release GDV & Swinburne Uni’s preliminary findings into how Guide Dogs offer much more than mobility.
The research revealed that Guide Dogs act as social facilitators, help to manage mental and physical health issues, and encourage the handlers to try new challenges, develop new skills and think differently about themselves.
Alongside our PR work, we filmed a case study to give life to the research findings. The 40 second video represents years of companionship and guidance, a snippet of the relationship Peter and his Guide Dog Barry share.
With a set date for the 60th birthday and IGDD, our social change PR team created a newsworthy package to generate broad media interest. This included GIFS, photos and interview opportunities with GDV’s CEO Karen Hayes and CEO of Public Transport Victoria, Jeroen Weimar, a long-standing supporter of Guide Dog accessibility.
Unsurprisingly, news of dogs on a tram gained huge traction online. After being published on Broadsheet, fans came hunting for the tram in the city where they could cuddle GDV ambassador dogs and take home a celebratory cookie to promote the organisation taking the lead for 60 years.
The two strategies gained broad media coverage nationally, with an approximate audience of 5.7 million people. Among the 120 articles covering GDV and IGDD, the story was featured on ABC News Breakfast, 3AW, ABC Breakfast Radio, Channel 9 News, Channel 10 News, Herald Sun and The Urban List.