PR Guru interviews Alice Needham of Diamond Dog Food and Bakery

Diamond Dog Food and Bakery – All about one thing: Dogs!

Alice Needham of Diamond Dog Food and Bakery in Brighton shares her DIY PR success. Philip (Alice’s husband), Monty (their dog) and Alice started the bakery in November 2010. As a specialty bakery for dogs, they produce delicious biscuits, preservative free dinners, fun food and all things for dogs. The name “Diamond Dog” is taken from the David Bowie song.

What role does PR play in your business? PR plays a huge role in the business, as what we are doing is a totally new concept.  We need to let people know what the brand is all about and not just the fun aspect of the business.

Do you activity seek publicity? Yes. It is an essential part of our business plan.  The publicity we actively target are television and print media, but also causes/charities in our field (animals) and social media.

How do you know what the media want?  Its probably intuition – observation, watching ABC Media Watch for years, observing current trends and attending relevant small business seminars when possible which is where I come away with at least one good or new idea!

Which media story about your business created the biggest response for you and why? A segment on Sunrise (also repeated on Channel 7’s 4.30pm News) about a dog birthday party. The segment captured a lot of people’s interest, as it was something very unique.  It featured lots of bright colours, lots of activity with all the dogs and great looking food (for the dogs).The response from this story wasn’t direct, as it was shown at a time of day that a lot of people wouldn’t see it. But media are always watching other media, so the story led to radio, magazine and major daily newspaper coverage.

What is the secret to your success with getting media coverage?Targeting appropriate mediums, being very prepared (wherever possible doing their job for them or making their job very simple.) Also having an interesting and unique pitch, and having well written background information and photos on hand. Samples are very successful if you have an interesting and unique product.

For a radio interview with Melbourne Talk Radio, we sent gift packs the day before the show so that the interviewers actually had the product in front of them as we spoke.  It makes an interview much easier for both sides.

What are some of the story angles or pictorials you have put forward to the media? Fun food and parties for dogs, health supplements and the use of Chia seed in all of our products and the changing trend in how we treat our pets.

What’s the best feedback you’ve received from a journalist? We received this from the Melbourne correspondent at C7 Sunrise:

“Thank you for putting together such a great day for us – if only everyone could be like you.”

The other people she used for a story on pampered pooches were in her words “a disaster.”  When she arrived at our business everything was clean, tidy and well prepared. Suggested story lines were also ready as well as coffee and sandwiches for the reporter and crew.

Out of a four minute segment on national television, Diamond Dog Food and Bakery were covered for about 3 ½ minutes and the other business got about 20 seconds coverage, without even a mention of their name.  It pays to be prepared!

If you could change one thing to make doing your own PR easier – what would that be? Have more than 24 hours in a day.

What is Diamond Dogs most popular celebratory cake for dogs?  Happy Woof Day Cake.

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