Sharing information about your pets-at-work program from planning through implementation (and beyond!) is critical to its success.
This will involve communicating your pet-friendly program at every level of your organization – from leadership to line workers.
Like the pets that might end up in your program, you’ll want to woof and meow enthusiastically about the concept to get others excited and acting as advocates within your organization.
Once implemented, you will want to give updates regularly about program successes, additions and modifications to keep people in-the-know and supportive of this great benefit for existing and potential employees.
Communicating Your Pet-Friendly Program Internally
Consider developing an internal communication plan specifying dates, topics and channels to help you share your message and inspire program acceptance and support.
- List the key audiences with whom you need to communicate:
- Senior management/other employees
- Facility management
- Pet parents who might want to participate
- Non-pet owners who might have concerns about the program
- Outline messages (and message frequency) that help you get the result you are after. This may include:
- Benefits of a pet-friendly workplace program – check this resource for examples.
- Q&A to answer questions/concerns.
- Program launch details such as sharing logistics, building excitement for launch event, etc.
- Fun facts about pets and pets in the workplace.
- Initial program results, such as number of employees/pets participating, participant experiences, company quotes.
- Longer term successes, such as impact on participating employees, impact on recruitment, add-on benefits the company is considering.
- Look at the most appropriate formats for your audiences and messages. Consider:
- Intranet or email “teasers” to get people’s attention and build excitement for future messages.
- Infographics that combine facts/figures with creative graphics to keep what could be complicated easy-to-understand.
- Testimonials from companies that support pet-friendly programs and can share personal experiences, what worked, and what didn’t.
- Announcement letters that explain the details of your program.
- Update articles that can be used in company newsletters or publications.
- PowerPoint presentations that lay out the program, communicate the benefits, outline successes, etc.
Communicating Your Pet-Friendly Program Externally
As your pet-friendly workplace program gains traction, consider developing an external communication plan to build visibility for the program outside of company walls.
- Identify media outlets that would be interested in your news, such as your local newspaper, relevant industry publications, places where you recruit.
- Determine the messages you want to share about your program.
- Develop supporting quotes, fact lists and photography to support your messages.
- Identify someone at the organization to be your spokesperson for the program and arm him or her with talking points to drive your messages.
- Consider inviting a media outlet to visit your organization, see the program in action and talk with your spokesperson.
- Send out a press release that highlights your messages.
- Do ongoing posts on your company blog about your program.
- Consider a social media program that highlights you as a pet-friendly organization, such as featuring employees and their pets on a particular day each week.
Want more tips? Check out the PETS WORK AT WORK™ Toolkit for info about how to start and maintain a successful pet-friendly workplace program.