National Media coverage and direct engagement to inform and save lives

In 2017, our client Vets4Pets launched a pilot partnership with the RNLI in Wales to educate pet owners on the risks of trying to save pets from the water. We helped plan and manage the ongoing partnership, liaising with both Vets4Pets and the RNLI, as well as promoting the alliance through PR and social activation through Vets4Pets’ channels.

The Brief

In 2018, the two organisations wanted to re-energise their partnership and promote key messages to their joint target audience.

The RNLI wanted to educate pet owners to call 999 or 112 if their pet gets into trouble in the water, while Vets4Pets, as the experts in understanding pets, wanted to help educate the RNLI in how to handle distressed pets and raise brand awareness with local pet owners.

In order to promote the partnership and engage with local dog owners, we came up with the idea of a hosting ‘Welly Walk’ event in Wales, wherein the Vets4Pets practices and RNLI lifeboat stations would join forces to offer key water safety messages to dog owners at a key location, a beach, and engage and fundraise through games and dog welly walk across the sand.

Media coverage was positive as it included national TV, national radio and BBC online.

The underlying strategy was to build a stronger relationship between the local vets and RNLI stations and to raise awareness to the public of the partnership and how to stay safe while walking their dog around the coast.

We sourced the location for the ‘Welly Walk’ event, which required a large beach area, close to an RNLI lifeboat station. Once the location was decided, we carried out the full logistics support, including liaising with the relevant authorities for required permits and mapping out a safe walking route with the local RNLI lifeboat station.

We also created a strategic PR and social (paid and organic) plan, to promote the event and engage directly with the key target audience of local dog owners, before, during and after the event.

We also designed and distributed posters, gifs and short videos, for use in vet practices, RNLI lifeboat stations and across all social channels.

On the weekend of the event we were in attendance to carry out a final recce, meet with the RNLI and ensure everyone involved knew their roles on the day. During the event we managed the walk, RNLI and Vets4Pets stands, media relations resulting from PR activity, photographer and videographer, as well as ensuring everything ran as planned.

The Results

Dog Owners

Vets4Pets and the RNLI engaged with approximately 150 dog owners on the day, with at least 100 completing the Welly Walk.

Mile Reach

The paid social investment led to people travelling up to 50 miles to attend the event.