Therapy dogs and Stress Awareness Day

Paws for effect: how therapy dogs elevated Everyone Active’s Stress Awareness Day PR Campaign.

A dog is a man’s best friend – and they make for amazing PR partners too as our Stress Awareness Day campaign for our client Everyone Active proved.  Harnessing the increasing awareness around dog therapy, we invited some specially-trained hounds into Everyone Active’s London leisure centres so members and visitors could stroke away their stress.

The year prior to our activity on November 7, 2018, research from the Mental Health Organisation showed that 74% of people in the UK had felt so stressed they had been unable to cope with everyday life. Meanwhile, around 12 million adults in the UK were known to have seen their GP with stress-related anxiety and depression.

We let the dogs out

Animal interaction, specifically stroking and playing with a dog, has been scientifically proven to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. So to help Londoners find solace in their working week, Everyone Active invited specially trained therapy dogs from the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide to seven centres across the capital to enable people to enjoy a canine cuddle-fix.

We co-ordinated five lovely dogs and their handlers to visit the Everyone Active sites to raise awareness of their Stress Awareness Day programme comprising free 30-minute yoga sessions, mindfulness and meditation sessions and quick head and shoulder massages. 

Applause for paws

Our pause with paws activity landed spectacularly well across the London media with 16 pieces of coverage achieved reaching a readership audience of 50.9 million people. 

Metro Online ran a sizeable news piece about the initiative, detailing all the sites taking part and giving full credit to the charity which really helped build awareness of their amazing work. Other pieces appeared in Londonist, All In London and In Your Area while the action at Seymour Leisure Centre was captured by London Live in a lovely TV news piece.

The novelty of having dogs in the centres coupled with the therapeutic effect of stroking a dog created a wonderful feelgood ripple effect among all who engaged with the activity.

The campaign created great photo opportunities too driving strong social media interaction with an estimated 109K coverage views and 47 shares as bloggers and visitors shared their experience on Twitter and Instagram.

If your next campaign could do with the feelgood factor, contact us:

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