Public Relations

The Challenge:

Google ‘fundraising initiative’ and thousands of non-for-profit campaigns will appear. Each organisation will suggest its own challenge that encourages people to get active and raise money for a particular cause.

When Guide Dogs Australia came to us with their latest dog walking initiative, PAWGUST we knew we had to do something that would set us apart from the crowd.

PAWGUST is a national campaign that encourages people to walk their dogs for 30 minutes for 30 days during the month of August. The challenge was finding a way to cut through the noise, increase participation and maximise funds for puppies in training.

The Execution:

We knew that this campaign was going to need a lot more than a press release to capture the attention of journalists across the country. So, we came up with an idea that would draw attention to the importance of walking your dog, and hopefully pull on the media and Australian public’s heart strings at the same time.

We surveyed 1000 Australians about their dog walking habits and found that 1 in 10 dog owners do not walk their dog at all and one third of dogs are walked less than twice a week. So, while we’re a nation of dog lovers, Australians are not looking out for their four-legged friends as much as they should be. To validate this message, we worked with a number of dog experts and trainers who spoke about the physical and mental benefits of exercise for a dog. This story was pitched to national radio, print and TV outlets to increase awareness of PAWGUST and drive sign ups across the country.

We also reached out to Australian dog pages on social media and supplied media materials to assist state-based teams with their media outreach, while we focussed on securing national opportunities. This comprehensive media package captured the attention of journalists and editors across the country.

The Results:

Coverage was secured on some of Australia’s biggest broadcast networks including ABC, Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 10. At the end of the campaign there was a total of 26 pieces of national media coverage and an infinite amount of state-based reporting which resulted in over 1.3 million media impressions.

The expected number of sign ups and funds raised for an initiative in its first year were exceeded and by the end of August, over 5,000 people signed up, raising close to $600,000 for puppies in training.

The Verdict:

Releasing research statistics alongside the launch of PAWGUST gave the campaign a point of difference and an approachable news angle for the media.

Australians love their dogs so highlighting the positive effects of dog walking really connected to their conscience and motivated them to hit the pavement with their furry friends.