TwitterACritter spreads word about adoptable pets

LOS ANGELES: Adopt-A-Pet.com launched a Twitter campaign, encouraging users of the micro-blogging service to post pictures of shelter pets in need of homes.

LOS ANGELES: Adopt-A-Pet.com launched a Twitter campaign, encouraging users of the micro-blogging service to post pictures of shelter pets in need of homes. TwitterACritter reached out to celebrities, as well as the general public, building buzz online, and getting people to visit the site.

"Part of what we do is not only show those pets to people who come to our site, but we really try and find clever ways to reach beyond our borders and get those pets in as many places as possible," said Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-A-Pet.com. "These social networking platforms are so great for this kind of thing, [allowing] peer-to-peer interaction and giving people the opportunity to advocate for a cause they really believe in."

Adopt-A-Pet.com started off by reaching out to actor Kevin Nealon, who had helped with a post-Hurricane Katrina campaign. Since launching the campaign's Web site on August 17, celebrities including Alyssa Milano, Kristin Chenoweth, and David Cook have participated in the TwitterACritter campaign. Adopt-A-Pet.com isn't using other social media tactics to promote this campaign, though it has utilized them in past initiatives.

SamsonPR is helping Adopt-A-Pet.com with the campaign, working on traditional media relations, and "leveraging the celebrity attention we've gotten," said Scott Samson, president. "We've used social media to reach millions of people we'd never reach otherwise, but we still need to use traditional PR." Samson PR is focusing on national coverage in print, TV, radio, and online, targeting pet and entertainment reporters and editors.

"PR and outreach are so important when there is a life on the line," Moore said. "But if we can get that pet in front of as many people as possible, that pet might live instead of dying in a shelter. When you give someone who uses Twitter that kind of tool, what they're doing is opening a window into that pet's cage."

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