National Specialty PR Tool Kit

Traditional Media:

Ways to Increase the Chance of Coverage for Your National Specialty

Encouraging local media to cover your National Specialty is a great way to promote your breed and educate potential owners about the type of lifestyle that is suitable for your breed. Aside from inviting the local news station or newspaper reporters to cover your show, there are other things you can do to increase the chances of coverage.

If you are unable to get a confirmation from the crew on whether or not they will attend your event, offer to send a spokesperson to the studio to conduct an interview. Try pitching yourself or another club member specifically as a spokesperson and offer the station the opportunity to cover the show through different angles (see National Specialty Ideas to Pitch below). Always offer to bring examples of the breed with you. TV crews love the opportunity to have dogs in the studio.

Tell them how your dog show stands out from other events that take place in your area -- and make sure you follow through with your claims! The more creative you are with your pitching, the more likely you are to pique the interest of the media.

Need assistance with media contact information? Contact communications@akc.org.
Here is a sample press release and media alert you can send to media.

National Specialty Ideas to Pitch

  • The largest gathering of [BREED] in the United States for 2014
  • Meet the Breed
  • Breeder referral & how to find a responsible breeder
  • Breed rescue efforts
  • Responsible Dog Ownership
  • Economic benefits of dog shows to local community
  • Any issue faced by the local dog community (ex. Dog friendly parks)
  • Buyer beware issues, in which puppy buyers are urged to be careful when looking for a dog over the internet has been a popular topic in the news
  • Discuss the history of your breed and/or how it came to the US
  • If you offer agility, obedience or another special event in conjunction with your show, the media may be interested in learning about it and/or having an in-studio demonstration.

Social Media:

We recommend that you start a Facebook page dedicated to your National Specialty or add a tab to your club’s existing Facebook page as a place to send media and spectators for more information.

On this page or tab, post a spectator-friendly time table. Post the judging program or times when they can see the dogs at different ages (i.e. puppies are on Friday at 9am, older dogs called “Veterans” show Saturday afternoon, etc.). Post the times of other public-friendly activities, including breed parades, activities like Agility or Meet the Breeds times.

View a Facebook tutorial for clubs.
View a Twitter tutorial for clubs.

Parent Club Talking Points:

  • Your Parent Club is the AKC designated guardian of the breed in the United States
  • Your Parent Club exists to preserve and protect the future of the breed
  • This breed was developed for X purpose and is ideal for a (busy, quiet, family, etc.)
  • lifestyle
  • Your Parent Club members must uphold a set of standards for ethical breeding practices
  • Your national specialty is a great way to meet breeders and breed experts and find out more about the breed
    • Last year x # of your breed was registered
    • Your breed is not for everyone because...
  • Your breed makes a great pet because...

What to include on your club Web site:
Create a special section for the press called a "Press Center" and include the following

  • Club Fact Sheet
  • Breed Fact Sheet
  • Spokesperson Bio
  • Club newsletter

Other ideas and information to share with media:

Get an Official Proclamation Proclaiming National Specialty Week “BREED WEEK”
AKC Facts and Stats
Above & Beyond
Economic Benefits of Dog Shows

Download a PDF Copy of resources here.