A Graduation Marked by Paws-itive News
District’s Certified Therapy Dog Brings National Media Attention to Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools
Many districts have embraced the benefits of pet therapy. Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools took this approach one step further – welcoming a certified therapy dog in-district. Laura Bishop Communications recognized the opportunity to use the visual appeal of an undeniably cute pet to shine the media spotlight on SPF’s commitment to mental health initiatives.
LBC suggested including the dog, appropriately named Spiffy, in the 2023 graduation ceremony to highlight his own completion of obedience coursework to become a certified therapy dog. By pairing Spiffy’s graduation with that of the Class of 2023, we added a unique, highly visual and extra cute angle to SPF’s commencement. With cheers from his fellow classmates and the crowd, Spiffy crossed the stage to collect his diploma while wearing a graduation cap.
That (paired with our thoughtful pitching) captured the media’s attention. The story lent itself to both written and visual news, so that is how we framed it to reporters. LBC even recorded student interviews and pieces of the graduation ceremony to share the story with visual mediums short on staff.
Spiffy appeared in articles by 11 local and national news outlets including People.com and NJ.com. ABC News and Good Morning America each posted a minute-long video (using our footage) on social media and an article recapping the story.
A report by LBC through Meltwater captured the weight of the media attention. It showed that 65.5 million viewers saw the story, equating to $913K advertising dollars for the district. Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools is an exceptional district, and the media coverage showcased the out-of-box and innovative approach to education akin to SPF