Telling Shareable Stories
The ASPCA or The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society to be established in North America in 1866 and is known for being one of the largest and well-known animal rights groups in the world. The ASPCA maintains an ongoing blog on their website where they feature content and stories about animal rights issues, homeless animals success stories, pet owner tips, and ways that the ASPCA is helping animals in communities all over the world.
Although each story on their blog tells a different story about helping animals one story in particular stands out on their blog. A ten-year-old boy named Cameron is making a huge impact on his community by organizing a dog food-drive for his local shelter. It all started when Cameron’s parents received a letter from the ASPCA describing the story of a dog that had been treated by veterinarians at an ASPCA clinic after being hit by a car and left for dead. After Cameron read the story he was moved to help his local shelter by setting up donation points around his community. So far with his efforts he has helped to collect over 900 pounds of food along with lots of other necessary shelter supplies.
This story is a great example of ASPCA’s way of creating a story that is shareable and heartfelt, but is clearly created by them with the intention of spreading their name and cause. The story has been shared on Facebook over 750 times and has over 9,000 likes. While it looks like it can be just any news story about a child helping needy animals in the community, the ASPCA knows exactly how to put their name in the story a few times to help remind readers of how the boy began his mission to help. At the end of the story they also add that you can find other shelters and places using ASPCA grants by following their link to their website.
This story stands out amongst the others on their blog for a few reasons. The majority of the stories on their blog feature animals that have not been adopted for one reason or another or have been happily adopted due to help from ASPCA. Some of the other stories feature news about animals and how the ASPCA is working to help animals in need. This story is unique in that it features the boy and what he is doing to help, rather than the animals or ASPCA themselves. Another reason it stands out on the blog is that the ASPCA did not have any real influence on the boy’s decision to start helping the shelter besides the small action of him reading the story they had sent his parents and their decision to fund a grant to the shelter in the boy’s name. The boy was not prompted by the ASPCA to help and the ASPCA did not fund the boy to start his actions. The story feels very genuine and more like an actual story rather than plug to donate to the organization.
The blog is an effective means for the ASPCA to show people what they are doing for the community and animal rights as a whole. It is surprising that many other animal rights organizations have not mastered this element the way that the ASPCA has. The content they are creating is unique in that it covers a wide spectrum from activists to pet owners alike. The ASPCA’s brand is easily identifiable and visible in their blog and will continue to be a useful tool for their organization to be able to spread stories like the ones about Cameron and his admirable mission.