To start engaging community members and spread the word about Tennessee Dog Park Dash, we created a comprehensive public relations and social media strategy that lead to monthly content calendars—complete with happy dogs and owners, as well as influencer buy-in. We also managed publication pitches, news releases and additional media outreach.
Communications highlighted the goals of the pet-friendly initiative from The Boyd Foundation, the benefits for communities and its members and, of course, detailed the application process that would take place during an open application period. Designsensory developed the DogParkDash.com website as a direct line for the application process. The digital integration helped keep information organized and easy to review.
To be considered for a Tennessee Dog Park Dash grant, applicants were asked to verify land availability for the proposed park and provide a comprehensive narrative of the community, along with letters of support from civic leaders. Each online submission was thoroughly reviewed and scored by a committee on the community’s need for a dog park, the impact a new or improved dog park would have on a community and each community’s overall support of the project.
For each winner, we coordinated events with the city officials, pet welfare organizations, and of course, the local media.
Our events included photography with a custom backdrop, a check presentation, coordinated speeches from civic leaders and contributors to the grant application, and a chance for community members to discuss ideas for their future park. Each event was highlighted with a visit from friendly community pets.
In its first year, The Tennessee Dog Park Dash saw an outpouring of support from Tennessee residents, city officials and 501c3 organizations in the form of local news stories, charitable fundraisers, pet friendly events and social engagement. In the 2018 inaugural year, the program received 50 applicants, leaving plenty of room for next year’s return.