Now certainly F-H is known for its exrtraordinary ability to sit, beg and give a paw; but then again, there's a HUGE difference between an obese city wolf and the genuine alpha dog.
Meet Susan Hartzler. Hartzler is a veteran of the PR industry with more than 28 years experience helping clients in the areas of pet care, travel, food, health, beauty and entertainment. Prior to opening her own firm, Hartzler was Vice President at Murphy O'Brien where she specialized in the resort industry representing world renown destination spots such as St. Andrews in Scotland, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, and the Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort. She also made her mark in the entertainment industry promoting both major motion pictures and television.
But recently Susan decided to rebrand and focus exclusively on her true passion, i.e. her pets. She's opened Alpha Dog Public Relations.
Good for her. NOW THAT'S GENUINE PR!
Listen to Susan tell it in her own words...
HOW I REBRANDED MY COMPANY TO FOLLOW MY BLISS
By Susan Hartzler
Alpha Dog Public Relations
Joseph Campbell is well remembered for coining the phrase, “Follow Your Bliss.” I have quoted him over and over again in client meetings whether discussing a new venture or brainstorming about positioning an existing client with the media. And now, I am taking that wise advice to heart.
By launching Alpha Dog PR, I have decided to shift focus and rebrand my company to cater to a world I am very familiar with and passionate about… the world of pets. I am already well known in the industry for my love of animals, especially my own dogs who are therapy dogs and visit children in the hospital at County USC each month. I am enthusiastic and excited about this new direction that blends my passion for pets with the knowledge and experience I have garnered throughout my 28 year career. As the pet industry continues to grow, pet owners throughout the country are turning to specialty goods and services like holistic medicine centers, pet-friendly hotels, and even talent agencies to enhance and improve the lives of their beloved pets.
I myself am one of the consumers who uses these goods and services. Last year, when my dog, Baldwin, tore his ACL while competing in agility trials, I researched the best rehabilitation facility in my area to take him to after surgery. Dog Paddle Hydrotherapy and Wellness in Pasadena, CA had Baldwin using an underwater treadmill the moment his stitches came out and he was back to his old self in no time. Shortly after that, my other dog, Bliss, put on weight after finding a bag of cat food in my garage. She took off the weight at the facility during an intense “Jenny Craig” like program that had elements of exercise, nutritional counseling, and massage. Now she is learning to swim at Dog Paddle’s new pool and loves to work out at home on my treadmill. When it comes to pets and caring for them, I have many years of personal experience and can relate as a consumer and as a PR consultant.
In 2000, I opened up my own firm. Since then, HRPR has become a recognized leader in hospitality PR, handling such prestigious accounts as the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, and La Residence Inn in Napa. I still plan on keeping my current clients happy with outstanding service in travel industry public relations and will add other dog-friendly properties to my list of prestigious resorts and hotels. There are many properties now that cater to families traveling with their pet and my background will be an asset to these properties. I have also experience opening spas such as The Revive Spa at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix and Pure Blu at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Today, many leading spas are inviting canines to join their masters for treatments. Other spas are open just to our four legged friends for health benefits as well as just for fun.
I took a risk by rebranding to the pet industry. Before making my move, I did some market research by asking key industry leaders for their opinions. I got mixed reviews. Some in the industry thought I should continue moving forward in the hospitality world where I had a longstanding reputation. Why fix something if it ain’t broke?
But I remembered something I learned long ago when I was hired to throw the 93rd Birthday Party for legendary comedian George Burns. News crews from all over the world were set up awaiting his arrival. In shuffled a little old man, hunched back, looking down at his feet. He barely made it to the podium. No one even recognized the comedian they had all come to celebrate. The moment the camera lights went on, George Burns stood up straight, there was that twinkle in his eyes and the jokes started flowing one after another. After the press conference, he slumped over again and shuffled out. What I learned that day was the secret that kept George Burns 93 years young. He did not have a career, rather he followed his bliss. He loved the spotlight and it actually made him young every time he stood in front of an audience.
Only time will tell if rebranding my company was the right move to make. I know two little four legged creatures that are very happy about it. Baldwin and Bliss get a kick out of accompanying me when we need a dog or two to help tell a client’s story for a media placement. Bliss appeared on 60 minutes, Baldwin has been featured in the upcoming syndicated series “Dog Tales” and both went with me to Mexico City for Pedigree Pet Food in May. But more than that, my beloved canines continue to be such inspirations to me. When we visit children in the hospital and I see the way they interact without words and how they can communicate without the English language, I realize we in the PR world have a lot to learn from our canine companions. So hopefully, Alpha Dog PR can help get that word out. At least, I will be able to follow my Bliss, literally!
Posted by Amanda Chapel Tuesday, September 4, 2007
In another sign of the PR Industry's deteriorating self-image internationally, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo has declared the month of September as "Public Relations Month." Proclamation No. 1357 was issued today to reestablish "the public relations profession as a major contributor to national development and the socioeconomic well-being of the country."
Martin Turnbull, noted PR business analyst and professor at the Kepler School of Management, said: "The timing of this announcement is critical. The industry has lost its identity and is now generally viewed both internally and externally as sycophant gold diggers chasing ambulances and hearses. The WOMM and Me2Revolution stuff... Hell, we might as well be putting lipstick on postcards."
The announcement from the Philippine government stated that PR now "includes advertising and promotional activities" and "coexists with marketing and merchandising to create the climate in which all selling functions occur."
Arroyo also noted it is time to make "a reaffirmation of our commitment through personal reflection, change in attitudes, and solidarity for the public welfare and the development of our country."
She said the goal of peace and unity has, all too often, lost its relevance in a nation that is "beset by hostility, bitterness, constant conflict and too much politics."
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