They say when you’re explaining, you’re losing. The same is true when it comes to
responding to criticisms or concerns about your practices; it is better to be proactively
ahead than scrambling to catch up. PB
Mike Bober is president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC).
your strategy must be unique to your circumstances—
your corporate history, your target audience, your
elected o;cials. Even so, some proven tactics should be a
consistent part of any strategy.
Generally speaking, transparency and openness are
a great way to build a rapport. If your business model
permits it, consider literally opening up your doors to
lawmakers, community organizations, business groups
like the Chamber of Commerce and the general public.
Introduce them to your employees and to your pets.
Show them industry recognitions you’ve earned and
how your practices are informed by ongoing research
and study. Help people understand your business, the
work of the broader pet care community to improve
animal well being, and the ways in which all of us are
working to eliminate bad actors. PIJAC can help with all
of these areas;just contact us or visit P;; AC.org to find
But don’t just wait for them to come to you—participate
in activities that celebrate the community in which you live
and work. Parades and charity events are always popular,
and they often generate positive media coverage, as well.
Be sure to add your own unique angle to these events—
perhaps tips on caring for pets or showcasing your newest
product. Offering deals to those who attend an event may
also bring more business down the road.
A final suggested tactic is to turn the media into an ally.
If someone can’t make it to your store or to a community
event, a local newspaper, radio station or television station
could reach them. This not only reaches further into your
community audiences; it also ensures that local media
know how to get in touch with you when stories—both
good and bad—break.
OUTWEIGH THE COSTS
Some sectors of the responsible pet care community
are frequently—and understandably—hesitant to reach
out, knowing that they are already viewed critically
by the public. Unfortunately, this creates a catch-22:
without building positive relationships based on active
communication, we allow the silence to be filled by others
who hold up bad actors as representative and who dismiss
positive work as profit-driven posturing. This, in turn,
reinforces that initial hesitancy.
But the benefits of outreach far outweigh the costs.
Only by being pro-active can you give yourself a
reasonable chance of protecting yourself, your employees,
any animals under your care and your customers from
misunderstandings and misrepresentations that can do
deep and lasting harm.
www.supremepetfoods.com • 1-855-352-7605
Don’t miss out on these brand-loyal customers in your store – call us today!
SELLING 240M PORTIONS OF ET F D AND T AT EVERY YEAR
Supreme Pet Business AD June 18.indd 1 08/06/2018 12:02