February 24, 2021
‘You’ve officially lost it!’
This was the response from one of my favourite journalists to a very carefully worded and impassioned pitch I’d sent her. The journalist in question is one of the sweetest people in the industry so I took no offence, and her questioning my sanity is hardly that far-fetched, particularly as Londoners are currently in their third lockdown. SO, what did I pitch I hear you ask? What made her think I was losing it?
I asked if she was interested in interviewing two enormous dogs that live in a secluded hotel, on a tiny island, in one of the most remote parts of Canada, of course. Slightly mad yes, but also rather wonderful, don’t you think? I’ve been obsessed with finding ways to fuse my two loves (dogs and travel) for years. From suggesting media drops with chubby Labradors, creating dog-friendly hotel packages (pawsecco and pedicures), to hosting a puppy yoga media event, I’ve tried to creatively shoehorn any canine activity into client PR plans with the most earnest expression, vigorous head nodding, and a determination that this will be THE stunt of the year.
So I thought this was finally my opportunity. Puppy sales are through the roof, everyone is sick of reading depressing news, and I can’t be the only one that’s sitting here wondering what it must be like to be a giant fluffy Landseer and enormous Newfoundland running around a luxury hotel in Canada? Can I?
Well that journalist wasn’t the only one who thought the pitch was a little strange, most thought I was joking, a few declined but told me I was cute (thanks) and those were the ones who actually replied. But I didn’t want to give up straight away. Working in PR, you absolutely get used to having your ideas and your pitches rejected (or ignored) but sometimes you stumble across an idea that just needs the right title, the right journalist and someone who might be on the same crazy wavelength. After pitching this story out to journalists for close to six months, I stumbled across someone who has apparently also lost it. Suddenly my pitch became a story and, following the editor’s request, dogs were being virtually sent from hotels all over the world for inclusion. Stout English Bull Dogs in Italy, a paddle boarding Labrador from Jamaica, a watermelon-eating Bernese Mountain dog from Colorado, a former guide dog at Fairmont Jasper Park and, of course, the two giant pooches from Fogo Island Inn in Atlantic Canada all ended up in a feature in Country Life about the World’s Best Hotel Dogs. It might not be the most hard-hitting coverage I’ve ever secured, but it certainly felt good. So trust your instincts and trust your own creativity, because sometimes someone else might just see the potential too…
And as for that journalist who said I’d lost it – we’ll forgive her – she is a cat person after all.