Last weekend, I attended the first annual Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards in Portland, Oregon. I had an amazing time with an outstanding group of successful entrepreneurs who share a common bond: the love of animals!
The conference was a jammed-packed three-day event. I made so many new friends (some four-legged!) and was truly inspired by the women I met and the stories I heard.
I participated in an expert PR Panel with other marketing pros that kicked off the first evening’s festivities and shared my tips on proactive media relations and the importance of crafting a smart news pitch to a reporter when seeking coverage. In addition to explaining the importance of having a strategy when pitching the news, I warned the audience to never “throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks,” a phrase we’ve coined in our office when talking about this common and sadly ineffective tactic used by un-savvy media relations managers.
As one of the top 20 finalists in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year Awards, I hosted two workshops and shared my “Top 10 Tips for Crafting a Media Campaign.” It was a wonderful opportunity to meet one-on-one with some of the other members each with their own unique media relations and communications issues. It was so great to be of service and share the expertise I have gathered over the years on both the journalism and PR side of my career.
The best part of the weekend for me was connecting with women that I’ve known professionally for many years, but never actually met in person! Jane and I from Petfinder have collaborated on projects for years via email. Until seated together at the awards banquet, we did not realize that we live 15 minutes from each other in NYC!
I also got to spend time with my new client, Kim Davis. Kim and I connected at Super Zoo in Las Vegas last month and we’re now collaborating to raise awareness of her business, Bark Solutions. Kim and I share a passion for helping pets and brainstorming with her about how to kick-start her business—which will ultimately help animals—has been so invigorating and fun for me.
I am so grateful to Shawna Schuh, President of Women in the Pet Industry Network, for her genuine enthusiasm and seemingly endless energy that enabled her to launch this successful conference! Three cheers for Shawna! If you’re aren’t already a member of WIPIN, I strongly encourage you to check out their website: www.womeninthepetindustry.com Hope to see you in Portland, Oregon for next year’s conference! – Patricia