Good Dog Rescue Campaign Portfolio
Good Dog Rescue in Palmyra, Nebraska is a no-kill animal shelter who partners with the No Kill Advocacy Club on city campus. A non-profit organization, Good Dog Rescue has placed over 55 dogs in happy homes. We wanted to make that number grow. Our goal was to raise awareness of the foundation along with upgrading the adoption pictures and ultimately, get five dogs adopted through our commons campaign. During our campaign two dogs got adopted, which we viewed as successful once Bev expressed that an average of 24 dogs get adopted per year. The organization has a network of foster homes, but these are not their forever homes, which brings us to our exigence.
Our goal was to get the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community directly involved in creating a solution for these lovable pups. The rhetorical audience that we were aiming to target included students, faculty and members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community. A “fitting” response is dictated by the situation. The better the speaker understands an audience’s background, expectations, and experiences, the better they will be able to determine a “fitting” response in analyzing whether the audience agrees or disagrees. We chose to work with city campus because students are at an age where they begin taking on more responsibilities and one may include owning a pet. It is also the perfect age for students to begin volunteer work, which may be added to a resume. During our campus visit we had many students talk to Bev about being a future volunteer.
There were many great opportunities that came from this campaign. Since the organization is volunteer-run, there is a small fee when purchasing a dog but this fee does not pay for the dog itself, it goes toward the cost of maintaining facilities and providing food/shelter to the animals. Not only do these dogs go to good homes, but also the money they make helps the organization continue to operate. For these dogs, there is no other alternative.
Homeless animals outnumber homeless people five to one, this statistic is very saddening. Only one out of every ten dogs find a permanent home in his or her lifetime. The ASPCA website states that approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized annually and of all dogs entering shelters about 35% are adopted. Which brings us to some of our constraints. There was potential that we wouldn’t get the dogs adopted and that the organization wouldn’t be willing to adapt to our new set of communication strategies. If the organization did not agree with our social media campaigns we would have raised our goal of getting five dogs adopted to eight and focus on our finale of bringing the dogs to campus and make sure students were viewing our advertisements.
It was very apparent that the growth of this organization would plummet if outside parties did not take action, which is why we took the first step in our campaign by directly talking to the owner of Good Dog Rescue, Bev Sack. The next step was to visit Good Dog Rescue. We met 30 minutes outside of Palmyra on a farm, the heart of the rescue. Once we had met the dogs, we saw ways that we could market them, with pictures and videos. We sat down with Bev and went over ways we could help improve her organization. It was very important to us that we had her voice be heard, and we used her years of experience to make sure we had permission to carry out our social media campaign.
One item on our agenda was changing her logo to a more modern design. We explained to Bev that the logo could be more streamlined, and offered to pay to get her a more interesting logo that would really showcase the organization. We created some logos online to show her what the face of her organization could look like with a professional logo. However, she wanted to get her son’s opinion and we were unable to get a final answer for her before our project deadline.
The whole group was accountable for most of the responsibilities of this project. At the beginning, we coordinated meetings weekly to figure out our goals for the organization. Every week, for two hours, we met at The Mill and planned out strategies for the organization. Kalyn was responsible for bringing attention to their Facebook page via likes and shares with her Facebook friends where we were hoping for a network effect. The numbers are climbing every day, so far 61 of her friends have ‘liked’ the page. She posted six statuses advocating Good Dog Rescue and shared their photos four times. Her aunt and sister enjoyed sharing the page! Paige created the Twitter account where she spent a lot of time gaining followers and following other pages, she produced 17 statuses and three retweets. We launched our Twitter account @GoodDogNE in early April. The first day Kalyn created a Flipogram for our basset hound, Heidi. Kalyn created 10 statuses on the page while Alex followed the page to help increase our followers.
Our campus visit to the Green space at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was our most successful strategy of our campaign. As a group we handed out over 50 business cards to get the word out about Good Dog Rescue.. Lea was our spokesperson, and nearly every one that took a card came by to pet her and say hello. It was a great opportunity to tell them about Good Dog Rescue and truly show Lea off to the community. The campus visit was also important because we were able to interact with someone who had adopted from Good Dog Rescue. Her tweet to @GoodDogNE generated 10 favorites and 4 retweets, this created more social media activity than most of the following days of our account. Although, we didn’t have any interested parties, plenty of students and members of the UNL community would remark that they knew of someone that would be interested in adopting a dog. We added pictures of the UNL visit of Lea interacting with students, to show our Twitter audience how gentle and friendly Lea is and update our page with her picture. We sent out a tweet to @UNLincoln of Lea in her Husker shirt and it generated 1 retweet and 7 favorites. This was a perfect example of using the situational concept that we’ve discussed in class.
Our final crescendo of our campaign was setting up a booth at PetSmart where we spent two hours at the Pine Lake location; handed out business cards, had a portfolio containing biographies of each dog and had Lea, the doberman, there to gain attention. Throughout this campaign we continued to maintain our social media pages and get interested parties as well as future volunteers directly in touch with Good Dog Rescue. Our main success was reaching a different audience. Our Twitter account gained 68 followers in the span of three weeks. Our Facebook presence increased from 508 likes to 640. Later, Bev told us what an amazing improvement this was for her, as her likes had been stuck in the low 500s for months, and her page had only gained 503 likes since her account was first activated in 2009.
We wanted to document each activity that we did to create a short film using iMovie, instead of this we created a couple Flipagram short film picture videos to share on Twitter. We planned on creating advertisements to advocate Good Dog Rescue and its social media, we did not get this done because again we were bombarded with the Twitter and Facebook pages as well as calling PetSmart and planning our visit to campus. Next, we wanted to get the dogs cleaned up and ready for a “photography booth” style photo shoot. We planned to add those pictures to the Instagram page, instead of this photoshoot we took pictures of the dogs and added them to @GoodDogRescue as well as Kalyn’s personal Twitter and Facebook pages.
Overall, we experienced many different positives from our campaign. We changed a few of our goals as the campaign progressed because we soon realized it could take weeks for the in-home visit and approval to be complete. Another reason why we directed our attention to the social media aspect is because Bev expressed her lack of social media knowledge and felt like younger voices would be able to communicate better. We were unable to complete and devote our attention to an Instagram account because we were focused on our other two social media accounts. Bev enjoyed sharing pictures of us on the Facebook page!
If we had a chance to redo this project, we would launch our Twitter account sooner and we would also have planned the campus visit around the school schedule, on a busier day. Although, planning our visit on a busier day would have resulted in more competition. Our final critique would be to have used our hashtags more effectively. Meeting many of our goals for this project contributed to a lasting impact on Good Dog Rescue. We will continue to be the crew behind the Twitter account until we hear otherwise. Our goal was to build onto their success as well as spread awareness of this local non-profit organization.
We have linked our Facebook and Twitter pages below!