Media Relations for a Nonprofit: Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Transports Three Elephants Across the Country

The Opportunity

BG was hired to help build awareness of PAWS as the international leader in exotic, performing animal welfare while showcasing the PAWS sanctuary as the best place for elephants to retire.

The Strategy

BG pitched top tier media on the details involved in transferring retiring elephants nearly 3,000 miles, including former “Price is Right” host Bob Barker’s promise to fund the move and the elephants’ training for the journey. BG created an infographic to accompany the story and help volumize the content in digital channels, and worked with the PAWS’ internal team and a group of local supporters to secure emotionally powerful photos of the elephants in the Toronto Zoo, stressing their small habitats and showcasing their training for the international move.

The Result

As a result of BG’s media relations program, Sue Manning and the Associated Press issued a story, “Three Canadian Elephants are Flying to California.” The story took a lighthearted look at what goes into flying three, 10,000-pound elephants and succeeded in positioning PAWS as the sanctuary for retired elephants. The Associated Press story reached more than 230 million online readers, successfully sharing Toka, Thika and Iringa’s compelling retirement story and educating readers on PAWS, a world-renowned exotic animal sanctuary. In addition, the story ran on: ABC News, Businessweek, CBS News, CNBC, Fox News, Huffington Post, MSN Money, MSNBC, NPR, Washington Post, Captivate Network (elevator news and weather network).