Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog the Change. We are the change.

Blog the Change

It seemed to me that when  Blog Paws, a pet bloggers conference had it's first few conferences, the bloggers who attended came back refreshed, recharged, enthused and ready to change the world.  Blog Paws is sponsored by Pedigree pet food and I had to stop and think about that for while.

Can one company's really great marketing campaign change the world? Is this not marketing at it's finest? For a comparatively  small  (ad campaign)  fee, Pedigree does good and makes them selves look good at the same time.

Pedigree took a group of intelligent, passionate people with enormous potential to reach their target market audience, and motivated them to save more animals  while softly promoting their company. This was all done  in a feel good we saved a puppy kind of way.

That didn't sit right with me for a long time and I have  had quite a few heated email exchanges with friends of mine who attended Blog Paws as guests of  Pedigree. These sponsored bloggers had a contract and they had to promote Pedigree dog food in their follow up posts about the conference.   At first I thought it was "selling out, in the purest most rock and rock sense", but after much back and forth, I have tipped over onto the other side of the fence.

Animals are being helped, important messages are being heard,and  pet bloggers have a bigger platform. Not only that, but the word has spread. Those blogger told someone. And they told someone, and they told someone, and so on and so and so on.  I can get behind this.

Ok, enough drivel. Today is one of several Be the Change  pet blogger challenge days. These writing propts have been  insprired from  Blog Paws. I am not exactly sure if there is a direct link, but flaming the fire of change goes back to Pedigree, so a some what reluctant hat tip to their marketing department is in order.

My  round about point is that those attendees are reaching a wider audience and bottom line, that is a good thing.

Today's writing prompt is to:

Make a fresh commitment to act on behalf of animals

Inspire others to do the same

Spread the word

So here goes.

I plan on continuing to support my local rescue Canine Commitment (see I really do, they even have me on their web site!) and to continue fostering. Currently I have one foster dog Lucy and we are committed to taking two young males in the very near future. I plan to continue evaluating dogs for them and continue to give free advice to all adopters via the phone and email.

Hey world, I am already dancing as fast as I can, and these Challenge vows are nothing new here. I am already part of the solution.

Are you?

Lucy our foster dog, shown here during the  recent blizzard.
 Pity the dogs who are fostered at our house.


Daisy's Mom said...

Lucy is simply adorable! I just wanted to stop by and read your blog the change post. Nancy - You are already doing so much to help animals so I think you ARE the change. But, I like that you are challenging others to be the change as well. I'm going to be the change today!

CeliaSue Hecht said...

just wanted to stop by and say howdy, am blogging the change today too. Lucy looks all warm and snuggly ... now as far as Pedigree goes, I have mixed feelings too, I just wish these big companies would go so far as to make good, real, natural foods. now that is a change I can support and feel good about. I appreciate the good they do, too, just nitty gritty, make organic foods, please.

Caroline said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for a great post. As one of the founders of BlogPaws I definitely appreciate your candor in your struggle to reconcile the good that is being done in the community with your feelings about the sponsors involved.

I want to make it clear that neither Pedigree nor any other brand was the catalyst to all this goodness. The PET BLOGGING COMMUNITY was the catalyst to all this goodness! :) You included!

We look at it this way: as a community, we want to make change. We'll make it happen regardless of what brands do. When a brand wants to help (whatever their motivation may be) we believe the more the merrier. More pets are being saved, more awareness is being raised, and the more our collective voices are heard.

These bloggers sponsored to the conference by Pedigree would have made wonderful things happen, even without Pedigree's involvement.

We are grateful for the support of all of our sponsors because they do make the event possible and registration prices affordable for all of our bloggers! :)

I hope you will come to our event in Virginia this August to learn and network and share the wonderful things you are doing. It will be a truly special event!

Kenzo said...

Great 3 commandments yo life by!

Edie said...

I'll add to the choir that it was my impression that none of the hosted pet bloggers at BlogPaws were required to say anything about Pedigree. Nothing. There was a food drive afterward that spread the Pedigree name around and I felt a little bad about participating in that when I learned that Pedigree wasn't really providing a lot of food to each shelter. And of course their food isn't high quality. But I had no such reservations about the sponsorship for the conference itself.

Pup Fan said...

Interesting post... I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this issue.

Hilary said...

Thanks for commenting about the controversy, but yes, we have to use every means possible to get people talking. I have mixed feelings about Pedigree, but if they're helping, and they have the brand recognition, then I think we should at least let them bring in the people who might be influenced to change!

Kim Clune said...

I'm pretty settled on my feelings about this, so I'll just offer the following...

I sincerely appreciate that people want to help in any way they can and this topic may be a confusing line to walk. But it's not an all-or-nothing proposition.

Please remember that there are brands doing great things for rescue that offer healthier food. They simply haven't tapped into the viral aspect of the blogging community the way that Pedigree has. Darford's ( is certainly one. Wellness another.

Get involved! Make choices you and the dogs can live with. Just ask a healthier brand to participate in a food drive and make it worth their while in publicity. They will come. It's not hard.

As CeliaSue says, "I just wish these big companies would go so far as to make good, real, natural foods." Many do. Sadly, if we don't hold out for improvement for those who don't, that change will never come. We vote for change with our dollars and our words.

To support brands that support dogs best takes the smallest bit of research and has the greatest impact on rescues who need quality nutrition most.

Thank you so much for taking part in Blog the Change. I hope this inspires somebody to act. I was going to write a proposal myself after the Pedigree drive, but I'm spread way too thin in my volunteer life already. C'mon, somebody. Take it on! I'll be your biggest cheerleader!

Karen Friesecke said...

It's a fine line isn't it? I don't see anything wrong with a little sponorship as long as you agree with the company's practices and ethics.

With regards to the food drive, sure Pedigree is a huge corporation and yes, they got a lot of ad exposure for very little money. But dogs got fed and that's what matters. Some help is better than no help.

gooddogz said...

Welcome everyone! The promtion I refer to was the food drive, where Pedigree donated food to shelters. It got a lot of good blog press, and a little not so good. A good freind said she felt the same way about the shelter she worked at. The animals got free Science Diet food but they could only sell Science Diet. It helped a lot of animals and she got on board. As a reminder in the Pedigree pet food promotion, they didn't just up donate food. People had to blog about it to get a bag a dog food donated. None of us can afford to do our work without pay.

Bethany I. said...

My blog is pretty well empty, right now, but I wrote something:

Kristine said...

Thanks for this, you are totally right. For a long time I have been talking about doing things, thinking about doing things, writing about and encouraging others doing things, but other than sitting at my computer I haven't actually gotten up and done something real. It is long passed time I did.

Thanks for the kick in the rear. :-)

Service dog said...

We look at it this way: as a community, we want to make change. We'll make it happen regardless of what brands do. When a brand wants to help (whatever their motivation may be) we believe the more the merrier. And of course their food isn't high quality. But I had no such reservations about the sponsorship for the conference itself.