How to write a press release for your pet business

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Are you thinking of pitching a story about your pet business to the media and need to write a press release?

A press release is simply a document written in a certain format which means it contains all the vital information the journalist needs to write an article.

This podcast episode explores:

What a press release is

Why you’d have one

When you’ll need one

What makes a story

What to include in your press release

Some things to avoid with your press release

How you can get my support

You can access my Press Release training for pet businesses inside my Pets Get Visible membership.

Head here if that sounds good: Join Pets Get Visible for £30

What is a press release?

This is the definition of Press Release in the Oxford Dictionary of Journalism.

A press release is a written communication or statement provided to the media for the purpose of announcing news, events, or other newsworthy information about an organization, business, product, or individual.”

Your press release needs to be a story. It needs to be newsworthy.

Why would you need to write a press release?

There have been enormous cutbacks in the media, local, regional and national, in the last few years.

It means newspapers and other media outlets run on a skeleton staff, and, with such a demand for online content now, they need to produce many stories daily.

Traditionally, journalists would go out on stories or interview people on the phone, but being so time poor means this isn’t possible so much.

If you have a decent story, and you’re able to put it into a press release they can copy and paste and do minimum editing, then you’re helping the journalist.

When you might need a press release for your pet business

There are some circumstances where it’s a really good idea to have a press release, for example when you’re creating a new product or if you’ve won an award.

Your press release will capture this information. 

What makes a story?

Journalists want stories, not press releases, so you need to package up what you have as a story.

Here are a few examples to get started.

New and innovative product, an award or milestone, a career change where you went from..to, community or charity work, an inspiring animal, a human interest story.

Zoe Willingham, a dog behaviourist and trainer from Suffolk has had lots of press coverage and regularly appears on BBC Radio Suffolk, and each time sees a spike in inquiries.

When she appeared in her local press with a story about winning an award from Theo Paphitis, she had 64 inquiries in one day.

This is the story if you’d like to read it: https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/business/21884365.owner-suffolk-dog-training-business-scoops-dragons-den-award/

This is a screenshot of the message Zoe shared after her story was published.

For example, Rachel Down, founder of Boil and Broth, makes bone broth for dogs.

That’s interesting, but the real story is how this came to be.

Rachel had health problems after taking antibiotics during her pregnancies and researched and found bone broth could help.

However, she was intolerant to many of the vegetables in the broths she found, so she made her own.

People used it to boost their health then started buying it for their dogs, and now she has a thriving pet product business alongside her human brand, the British Broth Company.

Another case study is Sarah Jones from My Anxious Dog makes yellow space awareness products.

That’s interesting again, but the real story is the impact her work has had.

Sarah has an anxious dog, Bella, and discovered the reason she barked at other dogs and shied away from people and wanted to be by her side wasn’t because she was aggressive; she was scared. But as a pretty Spaniel, it was a nightmare.

Everyone wanted to fuss her. Sarah learned about yellow signaling dogs needing space and made her own products.

It changed Bella’s life for the better, and her work has helped tens of thousands of other dogs and owners all over the world.

You can read Sarah’s story here and she’s appeared in many news outlets and magazines: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/i-made-feel-embarrassed-aggressive-26491991

This podcast covers more about how being in the media has helped her business grow: In the spotlight with Sarah Jones from My Anxious Dog

Working with an experienced journalist is going to make a difference as they will know how to find the story in what you do.

How to put together your pet business press release

Start with a catchy headline to get the attention of the journalist.

Next, your introduction should tell the whole story in one sentence of around 10-15 words.

The following few sentences are where you can build up the story.

You’ll need to add in some quotes that relate to the story, usually three or four lines.

It’s also a good idea to include some statistics or research if possible.

You may want to include some further quotes either from yourself or another organisation, for example, if your story is based on a recent study by the Royal Veterinary College, you may wish to quote them.

Conclude the story by sharing what you’d like the reader to do next. Should they email, call you, come to your event or visit your website?

What else should you include with you press release?

The journalist will need images to illustrate your story, again, it’s useful to have someone with an understanding of the media to help you choose the right ones.

You may also need video, case studies, and depending on your story, the reporter may sample your product or service.

Take a look at this example of a press release I did for a story about Dominic Hodgson when he went on his Tour De Rescue.

The press release was picked up by more than ten different outlets.

What you shouldn’t do with your press release

There are a lot of ‘don’ts’ but the biggest one I’m seeing at the moment is people using AI to write press releases.

This is a surefire way for it to go straight into the deleted folder and could potentially damage your future working relationship.

Looking for support in writing your press release?

You have two options…

My Pets Get Visible membership is just £30 a month to join and the focus for February 2024 is getting your pet business in the press.

Here’s how we’ll make this happen for you.

Workshop – this will cover how to identify an angle, write a pitch and craft a press release.

Coaching – there are two calls each month where you can talk through your story idea and get my expert advice. 

While you can never guarantee coverage, I will be honest and tell you if your story idea isn’t going to work and help you think of one that will.

Co-working – this is where you get your press release written.

Community – you can share what you’re working on and ask for feedback from me and the other members, plus support and cheerleading when you land your coverage!

Click here to join.

One to one

We work together on your story idea and press release. My consultancy calls start at just £199 and you can buy one here.

Or if you’d like longer-term support, head here to arrange a time to chat on the phone or Zoom.


Further reading on this topic:

Is my Pets Get Visible membership right for you?

How to prepare for a radio interview with Anna Webb

What happens on a Get Your Pet Business in the Press 1-1

Dos and Don’t when dealing with journalists

How to get your pet business in the press in five simple steps

Do I need to use a Press Release Distribution Service?

How to find the right journalist to contact with my press release

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