Quotations and Questions


These are a few quotes from the book:

On Developing Your Message and Brand:

When you are examining your “brand,” you need to look at your organization from the perspective of a potential adopter, donor, or member of the media. What you say is less important than what they perceive.

What is the first thing people think of when your organization’s name is mentioned? What is the single thing that differentiates your organization from others? You need to pick one mantra, approach, or idea that no one else is using in your community.

On Being Memorable:

People need a quick idea or message about who you are that they can understand in less than two seconds—the simpler, the better. For example:

  • Do you only rescue small dogs?
  • Do you exclusively work with a particular breed?
  • Are you the only ferret rescue in the Southwest?

Your message needs to be different from that of other animal groups, so people will remember who you are.

Never assume that “everyone knows” who you are and what your organization does. In many communities, animal-related charities struggle because they are being confused with other organizations. This problem happens far more frequently than people think.

On Web Sites:

Many rescue groups have terrible Web sites. A Web site is supposed to make your organization look professional, explain why people should adopt their next family pet from you, and showcase those pets to their best advantage.

In fact, you can think of your Web site as your storefront, business card, and most significant marketing piece, all rolled into one. The way your Web site affects your visitors is essential to your success. Don’t forget that those visitors could be potential adopters, donors, and volunteers.

On Photos:

Using high-quality photographs is one of the easiest ways to attract the attention of the press. Even if a professional photographer isn’t available, thanks to digital photography, if you take enough pictures of your animals, you eventually will get lucky and get some good photos you can use on your Web site or with your press releases.

When it comes to photographing animals, the most important thing you can capture is the animal’s eyes and expression. The more captivating the expression, the more appealing the photo.

On Headlines:

You have only a few seconds to capture your reader’s attention. Creating a compelling headline has been a big part of copywriting and advertising forever, but savvy publicity seekers have used a lot of the same advice to get their press releases noticed.

Emotion is the key to a powerful headline that gets read. If you can tap into a strong emotion in the headline, the reader is more likely to read on to the first paragraph.

On Working with the Media:

Unfortunately, getting media coverage often requires more than just a press release. You are competing for coverage with an unbelievable number of other releases every single day. You won’t score an interview, article, or mention in the media just because you think your group is great or because you sent out one press release.

The key to getting coverage is by giving the media what they really want: news their audience cares about. In other words, the easier you can make a reporter or producer’s job, the more likely you are to get the press to mention your organization.

On Storytelling:

People remember stories, not facts.
Think about it. When you were in school, memorizing facts about history was boring, but everyone knows the story of Paul Revere’s ride or the Boston Tea Party. You may not know the date, but you know the story. The more you can wrap a “story” around what you do, the easier it is to get press.

Book Excerpt

This PDF file contains the table of contents and the first 5 pages.
Publicity to the Rescue Excerpt

Suggested Media Questions for Susan Daffron

Here are a few sample interview questions, based on the content of the book:

1. How can publicity help rescue and humane groups?

2. What are some of the most important things to remember when you are dealing with the media?

3. What are some misconceptions about publicity?

4. What things do you need to have in place before you start trying to get publicity?

5. How can you get more media attention?

6. What are the best tactics to use?