Best Press Release

Texas Better Business Bureau warns against blinding ‘puppy love’

A creative approach to the serious problem of scammers offering puppies in exchange for personal information and money made for a top-notch press release.

It seems downright evil for someone to use the good name of an adorable puppy for nefarious ends, but it happens, and people needed to be warned.

In stepped the Better Business Bureau of Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin to issue that much-needed warning. In March, the bureau issued a press release that not only alerted people to puppy scammers—people who pose as breeders and post advertisements online and in newspapers offering puppies, but not until people give up money and personal info—but also laid out a game plan for anyone planning to adopt a pet.

The release clearly points out what sorts of offers to avoid: “Often sellers will request a wire transfer or prepaid debit card for payment. These are red flags that should be avoided—or you may end up without your money and without a puppy.”

The release’s clear, thorough message makes it the winner of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Award for Best Press Release.

Staffers Lauren Thompson, Jarrod Wise, and Erin Dufner contributed to the release, and the bureau’s press department monitored how well it was received using Vocus tools and other resources. The release led to a better open rate than the average release, and led to quite a few media mentions.

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