Purfect PR from Battersea

By James Knight.

There is one story I have been looking to write about a place dear to my heart, I am a cat and dog lover, it is Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, so when the opportunity arose I went into cats and dogs mode.

How did they cope with Covid during the lockdown?

2020 was going to a big celebration year, Battersea’s 160 year anniversary, bringing friends and supporters together, it was a year that Battersea says united them in another way, who would ever have thought what was going to happen. They had to close their centres to public visitors for the first time in their long history, but remained open for emergencies.

They handled it exceptionally well.

At the time they drafted 40 reactive statements for supporters and received 993 pieces of Covid related coverage with an incredible reach of 152m, between March and July.

This included coverage in the The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, the Guardian, and Evening Standard as well as the BBC News home page.

There is no doubt pets became a talking point, we spoke about cats and dogs and looking after them with many friends and colleagues.

The team also worked with the media on the impact of Covid 19 on the rescue sector setting up a Reuters package and achieved over 250 mentions on ITV This Morning, The Sunday Times, Telegraph, and Radio 5 Live.

Battersea CEO Claire Horton’s profile increased and she was on Desert Island Discs and the PR for Battersea was very apparent.

When things started to ease filming took place of their award-winning ITV documentary series Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, I love the programme.

Battersea’s reach now extends far beyond its centres, with supporters very engaged with this, a great milestone was achieved for dogs and cats when the Government raised the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years following their campaigning.

In 2022 I know will be a good year, they will be increasing their PR team, excellent sign.

I must thank Debbie Chapman Head of Communications with this blog, they deserve all the PR they get.

Professor James Knight is an international businessman, public relations practitioners and academic. He was Fellow of Bournemouth University Public Relations School, guest speaker at Judge Cambridge, Surrey, Bath and Reading, International Mentor for Oxford Brookes on Hospitality. He is a Fellow of CIPR and the Society of Public Relations of America, as well as a fellow of the Institute of Directors.

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