Expanding Your Audience

This past weekend our shelter had an extremely successful adoption event specifically held for our “pit bull” dogs. A local store, Bark!, along with local awareness organization Generation Wags, hosted us and five of our adoptable dogs to try and get the pups more exposure.  The shelter is full of so many happy faced, tail wagging dogs that it can be overwhelming to adopters and many end up getting overlooked. By taking these five superstars out of the shelter, they got some special time in the spotlight away from the 50+ other dogs.

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Bark is located in a suburban shopping center that is frequented by all sorts of different people. There were so many shoppers who came in to meet the dogs after seeing them through the window or on a flyer around the community. The great thing about these out-of-shelter adoption events is that it creates an opportunity for John Q. Public to meet and interact with a “pit bull” dog. For the most part people came in and ooh-ed and aww-ed. We don’t really know what visitors thought about “pit bull” dogs before they walked in, but after getting face kisses or giving belly rubs galore, we’d bet that they left with positive thoughts about the experience.

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37An important part of events like these is to remember that you are not your target audience. I’ve mentioned it on this blog before: we are not trying to win over the already converted.  Advertising adoptable dogs to our family of “pit bull” and shelter dog advocates is great, but a lot of them already have homes full of dogs and are tapped out.  It’s the outside world we need to bring into not only our “pit bulls are just dogs” circle, but also the “adopt don’t shop,” “spay and neuter your pets,” etc. circles.

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Even if all the people who meet these dogs don’t end up adopting them (and not like we expect them to), they are still going home and telling their friends and family about the great dog they met today, who happens to be a “pit bull” dog.

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13All of these cuties are available at the Montgomery County Humane Society!

3 thoughts on “Expanding Your Audience

  1. Oh– they are all so cute! I like what you said about the importance of audience. You are right that while it’s great to get support from like-minded animal lovers, it’s more important to reach people who are not part of that world. Well said! :)

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