What is pet PR?
Pet PR is the publicizing of pet food, accessories, and other items through mainly organic opportunities in broadcast, print and online outlets. Since pet ownership is near-ubiquitous, PR professionals focus on targeting a few different types of publications—including niche pet industry publication, mass-consumer TV shows, and smaller blogs written by pet enthusiasts.
How Pet PR Works
It aims to build trust
People that own pets are especially finicky and overprotective. This means pet PR firms are already working at a disadvantage because these pet parents are inclined to be distrustful. However, when distrust is overcome, pet parents are likely to stay loyal to a brand.
Influencers are key
Because pet parents are so distrustful, seeing their favorite influencers using a product goes a long way. Pet PR firms spend effort placing their products with influencers whose audiences trust them and whose followers are highly engaged—not just those with the most followers.
It's beginning to target millennials
Millennials now own more pets than baby boomers—meaning the way pet PR firms pitch journalists is radically changing. Now, their pitches must focus on incorporating new pet food trends like “organic,” “hypoallergenic,” and “gluten-free.”
Pet PR Best Practices
Tap into emotion
Pets are members of the family, which means their owners have strong feelings around the products they buy for them. The key is integrating strong emotion into your pitch, whether you’re telling a sweet story about how a dog saved its owner from a fire fueled by your brand’s food, or a hilarious one about the startup helping 100,000 California cats lose weight. A strong emotional component compels your target reporter to open your pitch—and their strong reaction compels them to write about it.
Span multiple verticals
Shape stories that make your brand relatable across multiple sectors. Pet publications are low-hanging fruit, but a slight tweak in the wording of a story to involve families now opens up a world of parenting publications. An angle shift to focus on the luxe aspect of your brand’s food, for example, makes your pitch relevant to lifestyle. From small wording changes to entire new angles, getting creative with how you tell your pet brand’s story makes it relatable to most publications you desire.
Leverage the cultural calendar
There are dozens of pet-related holidays (such as Respect Your Cat Day), that give reporters a timely and compelling reason to cover your brand now—not later. Plus, many mass media publications already cover these holidays, making your brand even more likely to be included in a trending story.