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What Your Dog Can Teach You About Ad/PR

Alicia + Page (2)Guest post by Alicia Lawrence

Your canine may be one of your most loyal friends and able to instantly brighten your day, but have you ever thought carefully about how your dog’s behavior could educate you about the advertising and public relations industries? Read on to see why Fido may be able to help bring out your inner advertising superstar.

Simple Language Speaks Volumes

Dog 1

Regardless if your dog is extremely well trained or still a little rough around the edges, you probably already realize how straightforward commands are the only route to take when you want your dog to understand you. It might be tempting to launch into a diatribe about how angry you are that your pooch decided to dig through your freshly planted flowers, but it’ll probably be more effective to simply say “Bad!” in a firm voice. The same is true if you’re trying to teach your dog basic commands like sitting or staying near your heel during a walk.

Just as dogs respond best when you keep the language simple, the recipients of your advertising or public relations messages should behave similarly. Don’t confuse them with big words or flowery prose. Instead, try the 4 Cs model to measure how well you’re making an impact—Comprehension, Connection, Credibility, and Contagiousness. When audiences can comprehend what you say, feel a connection to the message, and see it as credible, whatever you’re promoting can become contagious.

Using Repetition for Results

Dog 2Repetition is the best teacher. We had a motion sensor sprinkler in our yard and every time Merlin, our schnauzer, got to a certain part of the yard it would spray him. He quickly learned not to go over to that section. Even after we removed the sprinkler, he still stayed clear of that area.

Though we don’t like to admit it, the same goes for humans. Repeat a message enough and we’ll start to believe it. For most companies, it’s a mistake to change your slogan every six months for a different campaign. McDonalds has stuck to their I’m Lovin’ It motto for 10 years! 

Be a Friend to Everyone

534313_10151878022614832_237178203_nDogs, especially puppies, break the awkward silence between people. Dogs bring people together, makes them smile and get in a better mood. As a PR professional, you really have to do the same. Being that person that’s easy to get along will help you in developing relationships with investors, media and customers.

Of course, there are some people who’ve had bad experiences with dogs and, therefore, will stay away. Don’t force yourself on them but instead be a shining example of what a PR pro should be.

Clearly, your dog can be much more than an enjoyable companion, and may even serve as an inspiration for your career efforts. The next time you’re hard at work on a campaign and feeling like you’ve hit a plateau, look to your dog to get out of the slump. 

Bio: Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Business Insider, and Spin Sucks. 


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