Paws for effect! How volunteer marketers used lockdown to change the world through a love of dogs

Posted on Sep 16, 2020

Paws for effect! How volunteer marketers used lockdown to change the world through a love of dogs News Post Image


During lockdown three fantastic marketing volunteers have been helping Paws & Pause, a socially conscious doggy daycare centre in London, to grow their business. They have created a new website and provided copywriting, branding and social media marketing support.

Jodie and Grace founded Paws & Pause a year ago after working together coordinating a recovery programme in Wandsworth. With their shared love of dogs and belief in the power of animal therapy to support human wellbeing they decided to create a business where they could look after dogs and make a positive difference to people in their community. Their social enterprise provides people who have been out of work due to mental health or substance abuse issues with training and employment opportunities. 

When they had to temporarily close the business during lockdown Jodie and Grace wanted to use their time wisely to revamp their website, which they had created themselves, and improve their marketing. They posted help wanted ads requesting support from marketers on Pimp My Cause, but little did they know how far volunteer marketing support could take them.

Jamie Fenton, an experienced Head of Brand Marketing for Stanley tools, responded enthusiastically to their help wanted ad, wanting to use his expertise for good while on furlough. 

You can see for yourself the beautiful newly transformated Paws & Pause website. The image above shows the new look created by Jamie.

Jodie said: “Jaime worked with us to redesign our website and make it fit with our brand and really give people a feel for what our enterprise is all about. He was so easy to work with and took our brief on board and came back with our current site which we LOVE! He stripped it back and made it fresh, fun and modern which is exactly what we wanted for the site.”

Jamie said: “I wanted to offer my marketing skills and experience to a good cause on a pro-bono basis during a short period of furlough, and Paws & Pause immediately grabbed my attention - a brilliant cause combining two things that interest me - dogs and mental health. By building Paws & Pause a new website I discovered more about my own skills, found new inspiration and was able showcase my talent in ways I can't normally. The team at Paws & Pause were also incredibly grateful which made the whole experience most rewarding.”

The marketing volunteering didn’t stop there. Laura Robinson, a creative copywriter, also offered up her expertise while on furlough. Laura created the web copy for the newly created website and helped Jodie and Grace to create a brand persona as a guide to support their future marketing efforts. 

Jodie said: “Laura worked with us to develop the copy on our website once Jamie had finished the actual design and made Branding Guidelines for us, to help inform other marketing work we do in the future. Laura was lovely to work with and again got our ideas for the image we wanted to portray very quickly, we loved the wording and brand guidelines which we've already used in moving our marketing forward”

Laura said: “I loved working with Paws & Pause. Jodie and Grace made the work easy: they were so friendly and approachable, and gave me a really open brief so I could play around with a few ideas (the creative dream!). It was also a great opportunity to experience a new category, and it actually led to me getting some more freelance work in the pet space. But more than anything, it was lovely to do something small for such an amazing social enterprise. Seeing the positive work that Paws & Pause do (and using my skills to help a bit) really brightened up my lockdown. Would do it again in a heartbeat!”

And the volunteer riches didn’t stop there. A third volunteer came forward to support their social media marketing. Jodie said: 'Amy Johnson contacted us via Pimp My Cause after being put on furlough to help with our Social Media. Amy helped us develop a social media calendar template and then took charge of our Instagram for the lockdown period. This was a HUGE help to us, as it meant we had time to focus on how we were going to restart the business when we were able to reopen. Amy came up with great ideas that were interactive, playful and she was really great at helping us to navigate our messaging during difficult times with sensitivity and kindness. We learnt a lot from Amy's work with us and are very grateful for all the help we've had from Pimp My Cause during this time, it's been quite overwhelming how much people wanted to support our cause and help us to grow."

All of the incredible support provided by these volunteers is helping Paws & Pause to grow. They are currently working with five trainees and they’ve just taken on a former trainee as their first part time member of staff. 

And over the next year Jodie and Grace aim to expand into bigger premises so they can work with more dogs, support around 20 trainees a year and put on dog-based wellbeing events.

If you’re inspired by the work of Paws & Pause and want to get stuck in, they are currently in need of help with PR, with creating a promotional video and with marketing their events and would love to hear from you!

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