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Friday, April 16 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
The Rise of Pets in the Political Sphere: How to Use Paws to Further Your Cause

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According to the American Pet Products Association, 67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. Political candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Secretary Pete Buttigieg are famous dog owners: Warren’s golden retriever, Bailey, appeared as a 25-foot inflatable outside a Democratic Party event in Des Moines; President’s Biden’s two German Shepherds are featured numerous times in his presidential digital ads; and Buttigieg’s two pups have a fan-run Twitter account with more than 90,000 followers. Candidates are using their pets to relate to their public and establish their humanity vis-à-vis their animal friends. And organizations use this tactic, too -- the organizing platform, Action Network, is among the organizations that utilize images of dogs and cats on website error pages. The usage of cute animals conveys humanity (“I have a dog, therefore I’m human” or “We all make mistakes -- here’s a cute cat!”), while simultaneously relating to an audience.

In this training, we’ll tell you more about this cute pet phenomenon and teach you whether and how to adapt these humanity-conveying strategies for your cause, organization, or campaign. Guest appearances include our pets, Kikue, the cat, and Lilly, the dog.

Friday April 16, 2021 1:45pm - 2:45pm EDT
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