The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals works toward the day when no animal in the city will be killed simply because it does not have a home.
Part of its work involves two vans that transport animals. But last summer, high gas prices caused that project's cost to exceed budget by $30,000.
"It was a question of making people realize that without the ability to transport these animals from animal care control to the various other rescue groups and shelters that would help get them adopted, the animals were probably going to die," says Jane Hoffman, Mayor's Alliance president.
The alliance's PR firm, M. Silver Associates (MSA), worked to build awareness and raise money to support the program. One of the reasons the group hired MSA "was because New York is such a huge media market, and it really needed to reach as many people in different ways as possible," says Patrick Kwan, AE at MSA. The firm focused on giving the media access to experience the problem firsthand.
MSA pitched the story as breaking news to local TV, radio, and print outlets. It highlighted the entire package of content it could provide, including bringing reporters into the shelters and allowing them to ride along on transfers and see for themselves how much it cost to gas up the vans. "Having the opportunity to have the media see the rescuers in action, see the shelters, see how important this is - that made it far more real," notes Linda Ayares, MSA SVP.
An amNewYork cover story prompted a $10,000 donation from the ASPCA, which resulted in another cover story, among other media hits. Along with offers from volunteers to transport the animals, donations totaled more than $50,000. Support also came from fundraisers by pet boutique Trixie & Peanut and a second-grade special education class. "We just received a grant from Petco, partially because of these stories, to buy another van," adds Hoffman.
MSA continues to work with the Mayor's Alliance.
PR team: Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (New York) and M. Silver Associates (New York)
Campaign: Rising Gas Prices Hurting City's Homeless Animals
Duration: June to July 2006