Posts Tagged ‘animal welfare marketing’

14,000+ Weekly Visits to Your Website. Realistic Goal? YES!

August 30th, 2012

These are real weekly stats received by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. On average, Mutville’s website receives 10,000 to 20,000 visits per week. It fluctuates depending on the time of year,  news coverage, fundraisers, events, or campaigns under way.

Muttville’s website launched 5 years ago, and has steadily received this level of traffic for the last 3 years.

Interested in learning some of Muttville’s Marketing and PR efforts? Here is a list of some of the organization’s regular activities, both online and offline, to give you an idea:

 

 

Online Efforts

Blogging: Muttville posts 2-3 times a week. Every blog is shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Twitter: Muttville tweets every blog post, event, and dog profile as soon they are published. Profiles are retweeted until dogs are adopted.

Facebook: Muttville posts every blog post, event, and dog profile on Facebook as soon as they are published. They also have a custom Facebook tab with all links back to the website of each dog available for adoption. They also have custom tabs with links to various website pages: Give, Adopt, Foster, Volunteer.

YouTube: Muttville has accumulated a pretty decent library of videos. In November, we were pleased to have a new volunteer who studied film, and was interested in producing our very own Holiday themed video. Starring Muttvillle mutts, it was entitled “A Christmas Tail”. It launched December 22. By New Year’s Day, it had over 4000 views. Muttville plans on producing a documentary style video and a few more fun short films in 2012. A special video is produced every year and premiered at the annual fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts. This year’s video was called “Suma’s Story”.

Social Responsible Sites: Muttville is a beneficiary of various revenue-generating services, like KarmaWell, Rally.org and Causes.org. Participating on sites like these not only earns donations to non-profits like Muttville, it also offers a valuable Marketing opportunity for non-profits to share their missions and causes to new audiences.

Other Social Media: Muttville also uses Digg, Foursquare, Instagram, as well as countless shares to other sites, thanks to our supporters and volunteers.

Inbound Links: These are some of the highest sources of traffic. These sites posts Muttville’s dog profiles of adoptable dogs: The Shelter Pet Project, Petfinder, Dogtime, PetBond, Adopt-A-Pet. Weekly, these sites provide about 50% of the total site visitors. If you didn’t know the importance of effective inbound links, here are shining examples. Businesses can create similar traffic through affiliate marketing programs.

Email Marketing: Many Muttville supporters came to know this organization to adopt a dog or simply to offer a one time donation. Muttville continues to show gratitude to every supporter with on-going communication through email marketing efforts. Often times, the subjects of our newsletters are happy and positive, to share a success story from a fellow adopter, to share a personal heartfelt thanks from our founder,  and sometimes to celebrate special occasions with our pets. Once a year, the efforts are focused for the annual Matching Grant Fundraiser.

Contests: Muttville enters many contests every year. The benefits are plenty –  a chance to repurpose excellent collateral – videos, photos, and advertisements – produced by professionals (all volunteers). The marketing and promotion efforts for the call-to-action (i.e. votes or FB likes or watching a video) are shared with the company or business sponsoring the contest; it is a great excuse to team up with supporters; and the actions can be done by anyone who has access to a computer. Of course the biggest benefit are the prizes. This past year, Muttville won these prizes as a result of winning or placing in various contests:  a new Toyota Sienna, thanks to the Toyota 100 Cars For Good contest, SF Giants star pitcher Tim Lincecum promoted a Muttville dog and spent time taking photos and video, thanks to popchips, a $10,000 grant and the title “San Francisco’s Favorite Charity” by 7×7 Magazine, and a $5000 grant from Sliderocket.

Offline Efforts

Weekly Outreach Events: Every Sunday and many Saturdays, Muttville has outreach events at retail locations, outdoor city locations with heavy foot traffic, and even their own established “pup-up store”. For two months, Muttville occupied a former retail store in San Francisco and held adoption events on Saturdays an Sundays all December and January. It was perfect timing for the holidays. Later this year, Muttville will have a permanent location on 16th Street near Florida St in San Francisco.

Speaking Engagements: Sherri Franklin is known as an expert in senior canine care, and she has over a dozen speaking engagements under her belt, not to mention countless interviews for radio, TV and news. Speaking for various organizations and fundraisers has created widespread awareness of Muttville’s senior canine cause.

News and Radio: Publicist Patty Stanton takes every accomplishment Muttville achieves and announces it to every media contact she knows.  Plus, as Patty taught me, every accomplishment is a big deal if you make it a big deal.

Fundraisers: Who doesnt love a good party? There are many supporters that  splurge all their support into Muttville’s one big night every year. Smaller fundraisers are always great too, and always can attract new traffic from the venue, location or the donors who the space, provide auction items, catering, etc

Socially Responsible Businesses: Similar to socially responsible websites, Muttville is always honored to be the beneficiary of a fundraising event hosted and organized by a business that supports Muttville’s cause. Muttville shows its gratitude by cross-promoting these businesses and including the events on our website’s calendar, which always is posted to Muttville’s Facebook wall and tweeted to our twitter followers.

All these efforts are donated by volunteers. If you don’t have staff, try interns and students help get you started on a few of these tactics. Or give Switchblade a call!

Memorable Day with Muttville and SF Giants Pitcher Tim Lincecum

July 3rd, 2012

a special baseball card we made for Muttville's star, Timmy

A special day for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, July 1, 2012, will go down in Muttville history for a once homeless senior dog named Timmy. A week ago he was an abandoned stray. Last Sunday, he became a star! The chosen, long haired mutt now had a special advocate helping him find a new home… SF Giants star pitcher, Tim Lincecum!

I was truly honored to be one of the four Muttville representatives to meet two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. He was a genuine, down-to-earth, animal loving gentleman that won our hearts. And we believe Muttville’s senior dog cause won Tim’s heart.

I created three items for this special day: a unique Timmy baseball card (shown on left), reminiscent of one of Tim Lincecum’s Topps cards ; a 40-sec video that was played on the Giants jumbo screen(!); and a Limited Edition Muttville baseball tee in Giants colors, worn by our proud Muttville volunteers. We gave one to Tim, too. I hope he wears it!!

 

Read Marie’s blog article for Muttville about Timmy’s big moment, and see the whole day captured in photos in this slideshow:

Marie Featured in Grouchy Puppy’s “Influencing Positively” Interview Series!

June 20th, 2012

We were so honored when Sharon Castellanos, founder and publisher of the blog Grouchy Puppy and Editor-At-Large for Life + Dog Magazine, chose Marie to be featured in her “Influencing Positively” Interview series! Sharon has been a strong supporter of animal rescue, and a great friend to Muttville and its senior dog cause. Her dog Cleo, a proud senior, helps “mom” promote Muttville’s motto, “senior dogs rule!”

Thank you Sharon!

Read the original article on Grouchy Puppy’s website.

June 19, 2012

Influence Positively Interview – Marie Rochelle Macaspac

SmallClubsDayOff

Marie is the owner of Switchblade Creative Studios, a design and marketing agency that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses. She also co-manages Small Club, a walking/boarding/daycare service. With Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, Marie volunteers as a foster caregiver, outreach member, and the team leader for marketing & design, and social media. For San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Marie offers support as an Animal Caregiver and provides Marketing and Social Media services.

Marie Macaspac’s passion is an inspiration to many within Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and beyond. She gives her time & talent helping unwanted senior dogs find homes. By fostering more than 40 dogs in her own home as well as offering care and shelter for foster/hospice dogs whose end is near, Marie’s heart is huge. Marie is a designer and is responsible for the accolades Muttville receives when our marketing efforts are noticed – Muttville’s website, the design of Muttville’s shirts, postcards/posters announcing an event, the concept for an event, and the design of the fast-growing Facebook page – these are just a few examples. She team leads the Marketing volunteers, overseeing video production, photography production, working with other people who give their marketing talents so that older dogs can be re-homed.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A quiet sunny warm day surrounded by nature, either the beach or the woods, with a handful of my furry friends enjoying the day with me – my girl ocean blue and all of our fosters/friends…..strolling without a care in the world, just being free and happy…

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be and why? probably a dog. Either a cattle dog or a shih tzu – or a cattle-shih tzu mix! i’d like to know what its like to be cute and cuddly, and equally smart and clever

What is your pets most treasured possession? my dog, ocean, who is an aussie, values most…being in school! yes, she absolutely loves to be in class. she values above all things learning new tricks and being helpful. I guess on that note, if she had to love a possession, she loves to wear her backpack! she carries muttville cards, my keys, her leash….and she feels like she is doing good and being helpful, which ultimately is what makes her happy.

Your proudest achievement so far? The first thing I think of is how much I love being a foster mom. I’ve proudly fostered over 40 dogs to date. Even when I think about it, I can’t believe it! And along with that experience, I value so much what I have learned hospicing dogs with cancer. Even though it was heartbreaking when I lost Collette (read my story of collette), everything I learned about helping dogs with cancer is a gift, and I have since been able to offer guidance to other hospice parents, Muttville mutts, and doggy moms and dads with their cancer dogs.

Who are your heroes in real life? When I was 6 or 7, I loved James Herriot who wrote All Creatures Great and Small, and then when I was 10, I discovered Jane Goodall and I have been a fan ever since. I never dreamed that I would work side by side with anyone as amazing as them, and here I am today – working with Sherri Franklin, who has changed the future for thousands of senior dogs as a result of founding Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. I am in awe of all I have witnessed these last 5 years, and so honored to be a part of it.

2012 HSUS Animal Care Expo and Animal Welfare Marketing

May 30th, 2012

Switchblade/Muttville's Marie Macaspac, HSUS CEO/President Wayne Pacelle, Muttville Founder/ Executive Director Sherri Franklin, and Muttville Public Relations Publicist / Board Member Patty Stanton

The Humane Society of United States hosted their annual Animal Care Expo this year in Las Vegas last week (May 21-24). Representing Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I attended with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and Muttville’s publicist and Board Member Patty Stanton, and we were ready to soak up all that we could learn in two and a half days about animal care education.

In comparison to the Best Friends Animal Society “No More Homeless Pets” Conference  in October, this conference was geared more towards SPCAs, municipal shelters, and human societies across the nation and internationally. We met an organization from Guatamala, and rescues based in the U.S. that rescue animals from Iran and Romania.

It was interesting to venture outside of the Marketing track and learn about fundraising techniques and business organization topics. Found Animals talked about their venture in retail, opening a store in Southern California in a mall. HSUS’ session on hosting an Adopt-A-Thon was very useful, and we are currently implementing a few new ideas learned as Muttville gets ready for Maddie’s Matchmaker Adopt-A-Thon, coming upon June 9-10. Keep an eye out for some unique promos from Muttville!

As a result of what we learned at the Animal Care Expo, Switchblade plans on expanding Muttville’s retail ventures, which can potentially be an effective revenue stream. On the retail topic, we were all wearing our Muttville and “Senior Dogs Rule” gear, which drew in quite a bit of attention, including some heartfelt tears from folks who were touched by our “senior rescue” focus. Three women from Puerto Rico approached me after a session, and they wanted their own “Senior Dogs Rule” tees!

We met a company modeled similarly to Switchblade called the Oklahoma Media Group, that owned a division or subsidiary called The Social Animal, focusing on animal welfare marketing and fundraising. Yes, we took many notes at their workshop, and truly enjoyed their advice on email marketing, social media, and content. Made my wheels turn…what should I call Switchblade’s animal welfare division? (Suggestions are welcome!)

It is always inspiring to be in a room full of animal advocates. Patty and I are always thinking ahead, and next year we hope Muttville can participate with some sessions on senior animal care (there was none this year). What do you all think? Nashville, here we come!

Muttville voted Favorite San Francisco Charity in 7×7 Magazine: Behind-the-scenes of the Successful Marketing Campaign

December 28th, 2011
7x7 Magazine Favorite San Francisco Charity Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

7x7 Magazine Favorite San Francisco Charity Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Our campaign was strategic, structured and relentless! Find out how we ran the successful marketing campaign that drove thousands of fans to vote EVERYDAY (that’s right!) for Muttville and led to being named San Francisco’s Favorite Charity in 7×7 Magazine.

The night that 7×7 Magazine announced the winner of their San Francisco Favorite Charity contest, the Muttville Team Leaders honored to be present at the announcement party, Patty Stanton, Anne Lauck, Caroline Kaps, and myself, along with our mentor, founder Sherri Franklin, were already beaming with excitement and pride to be one of the seven finalists in a room of amazing non profit organizations: Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California, Lyon-Martin Health Services, MYEEP, Minds Matter, Saving Grace Rescue, and the Asian Women’s Shelter.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue announced as winner of San Francisco Favorite Charity Contest in 7x7 MagazineWhen the announcement came and the big 8 foot check had Muttville’s name on it, we were floored, overwhelmed with happiness and joy, and most of all, grateful and honored.

Sherri really did almost fall to her knees from weakness as she smiled and tried to speak into the microphone!

As we look back on the day when we first received the announcement of a contest by 7×7 to win a grant generously donated by PG&E for $10,000, in October, we knew this was an opportunity for Muttville, not just financially but the connection to 7×7 and the potential press in 2012 could really bring us new exposure to a wider audience.

A social media and online email marketing campaign was in the works immediately. Since voting was everyday, we needed to be dedicated to daily posts and multiple daily tweets plus working in a newsletter campaign that didn’t pound our supporters over the head too often, nor did we want to put out too many messages to our subscribers and drown out important messages.

A few things to note about Muttville’s overall marketing strengths:

  • Muttville had a system and schedule in place for blogs and email marketing. Therefore Muttville’s communication with supporters via email and social media was very consistent. Subscribers already looked forward to our regular communication, such as weekly blog series Success Stories and Adopted Mutts of the Week, along with newsletters with stories from founder Sherri Franklin.
  • Our social media is always very active, with every blog post, event, and newsletter being shared to Facebook and Twitter immediately.
  • Our interaction with fans and supporters is also strong. Facebook interaction is on average 90% of posts, and Muttville engages with its fans on Facebook everyday. The Facebook page gains 100 + new Likes every week.
  • Muttville has outreach events every weekend, and is accessible both offline and online.
  • Volunteers interface with people in a variety of ways: events, traditional mail, email, and Social Media. And fosters meet potential adopters throughout the week, which means new folks being introduced to Muttville.

When time came to drive a campaign that required daily participation, we knew our fans would rally for us and we could be in the top 49. With every post reminder to vote, practically every single post was liked and commented. Folks even thanked us for the reminder! We diligently posted on Facebook every single day. We tweeted several times a day every day. We got a suggestion from a supporter, “Why not put it smack dab on your front page?” Why not? So we added it right below our call to action “doggie chain”. We let people know what $10,000 can provide to Muttville: much needed surgery for Timminy, physical therapy for Lady Tara, eye surgery for Casper. We strive to let folks know in detail where funds and donations are spent.

When the announcement that we made the Top 7 was made in November, we knew that we really had do turn on the turbo to maintain another month of daily voting pleas! This was important and we needed our supporters to know!
We launched the email marketing campaign and thanked our supporters for their daily votes, and kept the spirits high. Through the newsletter and the home page, Muttville’s website gave people the option to sign up for daily email reminders to vote. Hundreds of people signed up! So Muttville was reminding people by email, Facebook, and Twitter every single day. That daily activity was reaching over 5000 people with each reminder. That number doesn’t even including others forwarding on to their friends and social networks. We often received messages from our supporters saying that they sent daily reminders to others too!

The key effort in this campaign was simply communication. Our fans and supporters from all over the world were ready to help the senior dogs, we just needed to reach as many people as possible, and reach them EVERY DAY without tiring the message or nagging for support. Scroll through our Facebook page to see different ways we posted the message. Often it was casual, but we always included a personal note, and we tried to always “like” every comment to let fans know that we are always listening and grateful for the support. Interaction and engagement is key in maintaining and building an active social network. We want everyone to feel they are an important part of Muttville.

During this campaign we had other big announcements that launched: Our annual Matching Grant Challenge, plus Muttville’s first ever Pup up Adopt Shop. It was easy for the messages to get muddled or drown each other out, or worse overwhelm supporters. We kept each message and call-to-action separate and gave each its own voice. There was a different tone to each campaign as well as a different focus in its strategic effort.

Of course with all this flurry of voting, it is still a mystery how many votes we were actually receiving throughout the campaign. We were as nervous as the others as we awaited to hear the winning organization.  When we won, we knew who we had to tell first…our fans and supporters. Ready in the wings, Carol, Muttville’s website developer sent out a newsletter and updated the website’s home page within minutes, and we posted to Facebook with a photo:

7x7 Magazine Favorite Charity Contest winner Muttville Senior Dog RescueIt was really amazing to see the number of Likes posted within minutes and throughout the night! We could barely keep up reading the comments. And the 30 shares was just unbelievable! Keeping our valued supporters close to the excitement in the moment with Muttville was very important, and we could feel them right there with us, thanks to Facebook.

I’ve been asked by several organizations to give any advice and insight as to how Muttville got all those votes. I’d love to share social media networking tips with all who contact me. One thing that must be noted: dog lovers and animal advocates are some of the most passionate and dedicated folks I have ever known. Perhaps because the love of animals is one thing we all can relate to and have in common, regardless of culture, status, age, gender, or history. Muttville’s special niche, senior dogs, might also remind us all of our own mortality.

Its not over yet! We continue to thank supporters, keep them in the loop, and share Muttville’s successes with them everyday. We hope to share more news when Muttville is featured in the March 2012 issue of 7×7 Magazine and the organiztion can build new connections with the Bay Area, thanks to this special honor.

Muttville’s Holiday Adoption Center – from Empty Space to Room of Hope for the Holidays!

December 5th, 2011

Here is how Muttville redefined a “Popup store” for dog rescue……..

The last Saturday of November, Muttville was scheduled for an outreach event at the former “Leftovers” Consignment Shop at 1259 Polk St in San Francisco. I didn’t realize we would be in a completely vacant 2000 square foot space. The owner of Leftovers had the lease until January 1, and she already moved her store to a new location on Van Ness Ave. She nonchalantly said, “Sure you can use the space.” My imagination went reeling of all the possibilities. I was reminded of some of the good ol’ days when I worked on window displays and pop up stores for Sony. I was excited to make this empty space into a showstopping attraction for Muttville.

I immediately called Patty Stanton, Muttville’s publicist, and told her my vision. We came back on Sunday and decided to launch on December 3. That would be 6 days from now. Could it be done? And with what budget?

Learning to be very resourceful in these last years as a business owner, we scoured the Muttville garage, where Sherri had amazingly fitting vintage furniture and basically everything we needed to dress up the interior. We took what we found, filled up the Muttvan and delivered it to the space Sunday night. It was really coming together in less than 24 hours!

Now that was taken care of, we had to design eye-catching window displays with as minimal a budget as possible. I designed for 3 windows facing Polk St and Bush St with existing collateral, thanks to a beautiful set of photos taken by Nuena Photography. If we wanted window displays in 6 days, I had to order big, bold banners by Monday! I worked til 3am Sunday night / Monday morning, got Sherri and Patty’s blessing, and they were ordered.

I immediately emailed our pet-related clients and colleagues who all would rally for Muttville in a heartbeat: Pets Love Deals, Small Club, Paw Patch Pastries, Nuena Photography, Waghearted, Sharingpet, and Happy Hounds Massage. They filled the space with warmth and gifts, offering their services, products and hot cider!

Opening Day of the Muttville Holiday Adoption Center came on December 3. Even our vendors couldn’t believe what we pulled together in less than a week. Thanks to our dedicated Muttville volunteers, Patty, Anne, Ellen, and Russell, plus our friends from Sharingpet, Angel and Luis, we spent a lovely Friday night putting it all together. Even that night, we were getting traffic! The neighborhood had never seen anything like it before! We were welcomed with open arms by the neighboring businesses and passers-by who were nearby for a movie or a show at  Great American Music Hall.

Back to Opening Day…beautiful and sunny! People were waiting for the doors to open! Doggies in the window! Traffic was high in the afternoon and we decided to stay open an extra 2 hours. A blind little Papillon named Jennie got adopted, and dozens of people discovered Muttville and the joys of senior dogs. We can’t wait to see how things unfold through the month with every weekend. We’re expecting news coverage, thanks to Patty, from local news and NPR’s California Report.

If you live in the California Bay Area, please check it out. 1259 Polk Street, corner of Bush. Give a little love to some senior dogs!

 

UPDATE 12/9: Muttville’s Holiday Adoption Center made it to the local Channel 7 ABC News! And they also wrote a short feature too. Read ABC local news article about Muttville here.

The Business of Saving Lives: Cause Marketing for Animal Welfare & Rescue Groups

November 2nd, 2011








Switchblade Creative Studios attended the 2011 “No More Homeless Pets” Conference, hosted by Best Friends Animal Society. As one of 5 representatives of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I was incredibly honored to not only proudly represent Muttville, but to be surrounded by over a thousand animal rescue advocates and over 40 rescue groups from across the nation.

Muttville team leaders with our mentor/founder Sherri Franklin (center). L-R: Ellen Lazarus, Anne Lauck, Sherri Franklin, Marie Macaspac. Patty Stanton

Marketing, branding, and social media are my specialties, so I was espcecially enlightened to be discussing these topics with a focus on animal rescue. It renewed my creativity and helped me see my work in new ways.  A great feeling was returning for lunch or a meeting with my crew and sharing what we had learned in the various sessions, from fundraising to events to volunteers. We were all fired up with ideas and couldn’t wait to get back home and put these ideas to work!

We also realized that Muttville has the talent and the drive to grow and become wildly successful. We were inspired by “Austin Pets Alive” and one of their directors, Dr. Ellen Jefferson. In just 3 years they grew to be the largest rescue organization in Austin amongst 80+ groups, and they now have their own clinic. What an inspiration! We thankfully had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Jefferson and tell her how much we admired their work.  We also had the opportunity to hear from several leaders in animal rescue: Rich Avenzino, a founder of the No Kill Movement and former director of SFSPCA,  Michael Arms, CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and Becky Robinson, founder of Alley Cat Allies and founder of the TNR program.

What an experience. The business of saving lives – yes this is what Switchblade is all about.