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Hatch Hop to it for Rabbit Awareness Week 2012

By Natalie Owen

08 October 2012

The Hutch…sorry Hatch team, together with rabbit welfare and industry groups, once again hopped to the help of UK vets to improve the health and happiness of one of the nation’s most popular pets during Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW; 15-22 September 2012). The team initiated a nationwide campaign that saw free rabbit health checks being offered in vet practices across the country, to reduce the high numbers of pet rabbits suffering in Britain and raise awareness of their long term needs.

The RAW partnership, which promotes rabbit health and wellbeing, featured hundreds of participating vet practices offering free rabbit health checks, as well as pet shops and rescue centres running educational events throughout the week. The 2012 campaign centred on the importance of regular vet health checks and vaccinations, to protect pet rabbits from two distressing and potentially fatal diseases – Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).

We acted as the central press office for all RAW partners including Burgess Excel, MSD Animal Health, RSPCA, PDSA, Blue Cross, Wood Green The Animals Charity and RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund). We also helped create PR packs which were distributed nationwide to veterinary practices who signed up to the initiative, enabling them to create their own local PR around their events.

The campaign meant we managed a mass media assault on all national and regional print titles, with a stats based press release backed up the rising numbers of Myxomatosis cases in the UK. The team also produced a B-roll video of rabbits in the correct habits and issued to all national and regional TV stations, ensuring a constant, clear and, most importantly, correct message was portrayed on TV.

Like the 2011 campaign, the results were overwhelming. Coverage is still coming through thick and fast and, on the last count, had reached over 220 pieces!! On Saturday 15th, which marked the start of RAW, coverage could be seen across Sky News bulletins throughout the day.

Having won gold at both the CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards and PR Moment’s Hedgehog Awards last year for Best Measurement and Evaluation, the team are now burrowing into figures and feedback. We’re all ears for the results.