If only Publicity Hound Joni Hubred-Golden could have been around to help avert a PR disaster for Ellen DeGeneres and the dog rescue group Moms and Mutts.
Ellen, you may have heard, adopted a terrier mix dog named Iggy from the nonprofit dog rescue group Moms and Mutts. When the dog didn’t get along with her cats, she gave it away to her hairdresser—in direct violation of the organization’s rules.
Moms and Mutts ridiculed Ellen publicly. Ellen cried on her show. The animal rights people went nuts. And the bloggers threw gasoline on the fire. Even radio talk show hosts chastised Moms and Mutts for yanking the dog out of the hands of the hairdresser’s two little girls who had bonded with it.
Joni, of Farmington, Michigan, offered what would have been a terrific solution:
“Moms and Mutts really missed a GREAT opportunity to get some national PR. They could have said, ‘OK, you broke the contract, but let’s talk. We’ll come on your show and discuss how important it is to place dogs in the right homes, and why we have this contract provision that you can’t just give the dog away—and we’ll do our due diligence with your hairdresser to make sure this is a good home for the dog, and everybody will be happy.’ Ellen gets great ratings, and this group wouldn’t be seen negatively by her loyal fans.
“These women need a good publicist!”
TV talk shows love controversy. An on-air lovefest between Ellen and the moms, complete with a few mutts on the set, would have made for great TV and fabulous publicity.
If you aren’t afraid of controversy (and no Publicity Hound should be), the TV talk shows will want to hear your pitch, says book publicist Lissa Warren, author of The Savvy Author’s Guide to Book Publicity. Lissa has regularly placed dozens of her clients on shows like “Good Morning America” and the “Today” show. She was a guest on a teleseminar I conducted called “How to Get Booked on the Morning TV Talk Shows.”