Avenue is kicking off the first episode of The Animal Marketing Podcast with host Anna Hutson, CEO of Avenue. Our vision for the podcast is to help leaders and marketers think bigger about industry trends, marketing, and community and environmental impact in animal and pet welfare and conservation. We’ll have conversations around innovation, and listeners will learn about actionable takeaways to positively impact their businesses and community.
In today’s episode, Anna spoke with Barbara Baugnon, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Oregon Humane Society (OHS). Barbara began at OHS in 2001, where she helped to raise $350,000 in donations to implement their marketing campaigns. Since then, she has been a part of several campaigns for Oregon Humane Society, from Feel the Love, to End Petlessness, and For a More Humane Society, #bemorehumane.
In today’s podcast, we cover these topics:
Challenges that The Oregon Humane Society Faces surrounding their business, pet conservation, and animal welfare,
OHS milestones and successes,
Shifts in the industry and what it means for OHS,
and ways that the listeners can be involved in your community to positively contribute to pet conservation (Doggie Dash, volunteering, and more!).
When Barbara began at OHS, her challenge was simply to get people to become curious about what’s going on with the Oregon Humane Society. “We knew if we could get them through the doors that they would become huge fans,” she said. After they launched their initial campaign, Feel the Love, Barbara and her team immediately noticed an increase of people coming through their doors both with willingness to volunteer their time, and interest in pet adoption. Over the years, OHS has been so successful in rescuing pets that the shelter struggles to stay full to have enough pets available for adoption. “The Portland Metro area is the safest place for homeless pets. By Sunday, the pets have all been adopted. That has been a real shift in the industry of pet rescue.”
Another industry shift that OHS adapted to was the source of their rescue pets. OHS used to primarily rescue pets from owners. Now, their work has been so efficient that they’ve begun rescuing pets from shelters further south that cannot keep up. “We started [rescuing] at the border of Oregon and California… now they’re good. Now we’re as deep as L.A. What happens if we run out of animals? I don’t know the answer!” Barbara exclaimed. “It’s an exciting thing to think about. We’re going to put ourselves out of business!” The success of the Oregon Humane Society in the last decade or so has been a true indicator of the impact of its marketing efforts.
In the rest of the podcast, Barbara and Anna also discuss Oregon Humane Society’s annual fundraiser, Doggie Dash, ways that people can help pets at OHS, challenges in the pet and adoption industry, and what we can expect looking ahead. You can listen to the full podcast here.