- Marketing lead for a variety of small businesses across the country.
- Experience in content development, building relationships, developing PR plans, executing PR plans, and creating and fulfilling business goals.
- M.S. in Communications from the VCU Brandcenter (2013)
- B.S. in Marketing from Virginia Tech (2011)
- Worked on PR, brand strategy, and digital strategy for The Joanie Bernard Foundation, a foundation that promotes the spay and neutering of cats (http://www.thejoaniebernardfoundation.org/).
- World traveler. My favorite place in Rome was Julius Caeser’s place of death due to its many cats that have now occupied the ruins.
- Passionate about cats. Cat mom to three adorable kitties, Ronald, Nancy, and Lincoln (RIP). I name all my cats after presidents and first ladies. I’m hoping to find the perfect kitty to take the name JFK (my favorite U.S. president).
- The cat mom in me felt compelled to share a photo with you.
Now the fun stuff. How can I help Crumbs & Whiskers?
Traditional public relations is old school. Old school isn’t bad, it just takes some innovation and support at times. When I approach a PR strategy, I consider traditional PR (articles, events, and news stories), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and social media influencers) and the modern day publishers (Buzzfeed, The Onion, bloggers, etc.). All three work together to build awareness about your business and meet your business goals. No matter how these three PR parts play into your overall strategy, the most important part of any PR plan is to identify and tell the stories across paid, owned, and earned media.
What is the story?
Why is it important?
How can we get people to care?
How can we get people to take action?
How can we get people to spread the word?
Brainstorm: If given the opportunity to lead PR for Crumbs & Whiskers, there are a few things I would do right off the bat.
- Identify your business goals and strategize how PR can meet those goals. I like to use a tool called an OGSTM (objectives, goals, strategies, tactics, and measurements). It helps to find opportunities for your business and create a clear path as you execute!
- Audit your social media community.
- How is it performing?
- Is there an opportunity to improve your content?
- Is it reaching the right people?
- Is there a paid strategy?
- How can your social media work harder for Crumbs & Whiskers?
- How do we create stories that are meaningful and share across each platform?
- Develop relationships with reporters, publishers, bloggers, and other content creators.
- The best way to grab a content creator’s attention is to dangle a carrot in front of them. Show them that your business is meaningful to them. Without it, they’re going to be missing out on the next big story. Once you grab their attention, the rest is managed like a professional friendship. You find ways to help each other out.
- I travel a lot for my clients, and one of the best ways to network with those in the PR world is in-person over a cup of coffee (better yet – over a cup of coffee with a cat on your lap). I’d build a steady list of people to meet and reach out to to being those relationships.
- Build strong relationships with community partners for PR opportunities. Shelters, cat stores, and other cat-centric businesses are working hard to get attention, too. Sometimes the best way to build your presence in a local market is to partner with other like-minded businesses.
- Begin to execute. While I haven’t created a plan for Crumbs & Whiskers just yet, here are some idea’s I’d consider to help build awareness!
- Traditional PR:
- Pitch a cat of the month series to local news stations, blogs, and other publishers. This will help create a constant flow of stories (content) for them.
- Hold an attention-getting event that would get picked up by local media outlets.
- Missing poster signs of cats. Build a story around a local cat that grabs people’s attention.
- Cat for a day. Encourage cat enthusiasts to wear cat ears for a day and spend 12 hours in rainy or snowy weather to demonstrate the importance of finding strays a good home.
- Cat tinder. Create a speed dating event for cat enthusiasts to meet cats and fall in love.
- Ensure every local media outlet (and pitch some national outlets) is reporting on Crumbs & Whiskers and how it’s different from any other rescue business in the market.
- Social Media
- Create 30-second videos of each cat to showcase their personalities. Give them a voice. Boost videos to the local communities for a large reach in the social space.
- Reach out to prominent cat rescue social media influencers. Many have over 250,000 + followers. It only takes one post by them to reach your audience.
- Have the cats take over Crumbs & Whiskers’ Twitter or Instagram page for a day. What do they see? What do they do?
- Create video series to keep people coming back for more. Send videos as part of a digital media kit to news reporters and bloggers.
- Modern Publishers
- Use sites like The Onion and Buzzfeed to put a funny spin on Crumbs & Whiskers.
- Ellen loves cat videos. Why not try to get one of Crumbs & Whiskers funny cat videos on her show? She has Ellen-tube which features her fans’ videos.
- Traditional PR:
The perfect PR plan doesn’t just execute. It measures success. Shares, likes, engagement, impressions, and reach should all be measured consistently to determine the best PR approach.
THANKS FOR READING MY IDEAS! I hope we get a chance to connect. I admire what Crumbs & Whiskers is doing for the cat community and I believe I could help spread its message.
There’s a whole world of cat enthusiasts out there.
Let’s get them talking about Crumbs & Whiskers.