Tanner Friedman
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Adopting a Cohesive Image, Approach

Scenario: The Oakland County Animal Shelter set for itself a key, differentiating goal: rebranding the organization so its name and public image were in line with its true modus operandi of finding homes for all adoptable pets. With public perception at odds with reality, Oakland County officials contacted Tanner Friedman to help with rebranding and publicizing their animal welfare initiatives and efforts towards becoming a “no kill” entity.

Strategic Communications Solution: Tanner Friedman started at the shelter’s very core - its moniker - as the facility was renamed the Oakland County Pet Adoption Center (OPAC). This corporate rebranding pervaded all aspects of the organization, including exterior signage, a brand-new website and links, letterhead and overall messaging, importantly for media interviews. Key to the overall communications campaign was promoting OPAC’s strategic teaming with the Oakland Pet Fund, now the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit helping animal organizations in Oakland County, and monthly cat spay/neuter clinics for low-income families.

Results: As multiple stories about the Center’s innovative efforts were told—via media relations and the OPAC website—1,000 cats were spayed/neutered in 2007, a year in which the feline population was in danger of exploding. In 2008, the service was expanded to 2,500 procedures, while the stray population decreased by an astounding 300 percent. Moreover, individuals increasingly look to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center as a place to adopt new pets than ever before. Highlights of the campaign include an increased media presence for OPAC and helping to create a statewide model for animal advocacy groups and rescue organizations. As rewarding: Other communities throughout the area continue to consult with OPAC for a similar “no kill” blueprint they can implement in their respective regions.

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