Purina podcasts, unveils other mobile marketing initiatives

CHICAGO: Purina has launched a slew of marketing initiatives, including podcasts, aimed at the mobile- and online-savvy pet lovers.

CHICAGO: Purina has launched a slew of marketing initiatives, including podcasts, aimed at the mobile- and online-savvy pet lovers.

The podcast, Animal Advice, is a previously recorded Purina-sponsored radio show that airs in St. Louis. Purina will make new podcasts available once a month for the next year.

Purina is also pursuing mobile communication efforts, such as texting pet tips to enthusiasts who sign up for alerts. It's also providing customizable ringtones and screen pictures.

"Wireless is another way for us to reach out to our consumers," said Mike Moore, Purina director of interactive marketing.

Purina's interactive agency, Arc Worldwide, helped the company set up the initiative. Jeff Salchow, an Arc project manager for Purina.com, said the initiative came from collaborations between the company and its agency.

"We were tasked with finding innovative technological ways to reach out to consumers through Purina.com," Salchow said. "The podcast will help Purina reinforce itself as an information resource on dog and cat care."

Purina's PR agency, GolinHarris, has handled outreach to the consumer and business media, and Arc has focused on the technology media for the podcasts, according to Kerry Lyman, Purina director of marketing public relations.

Salchow said that Purina would soon begin sending e-mails to Purina's opt-in database.

The podcast contains information provided by pet specialists and scientists who are either employees of or consultants for Purina.

Many have predicted that podcasts are about to reach critical mass now that Apple has include the ability to search for them in its popular iTunes software.

"iTunes provides a huge benefit and will make a big difference [on adoption]," Salchow said.

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