Campaign: The official opening of the world’s first luxury animal ward
Mhairi Clarke was asked to organise the official opening of the world’s first luxury animal wards at Fitzpatrick Referrals, an event which would mark the beginning of a new future in the care and rehabilitation of Britain’s pets.
The unique, custom designed wards were designed to be unlike any other kennel facility, elevating animal care to a whole new level in the UK.
This would be the first time that the practice had opened its doors to the media since the filming of the ‘Bionic Vet’ series on BBC ONE, a six part series which chronicled the work of the team at Fitzpatrick Referrals.
The objectives of the campaign were to:
- Promote the tripartite approach to care, emphasising the importance of environment in post surgery rehabilitation of small animals
- Position the practice as offering the gold standard of care for pets in the UK, highlighting the unique ‘care package’ the practice offers with its diagnostics, ground breaking surgery, rehabilitation centre and outdoor facilities
- Introduce the future of veterinary care to pet owners in the UK
- Promote ‘Team Fitzpatrick’ – the ward, physio, medical and surgical teams who dedicate each day of their professional lives to providing a truly outstanding service to referring vets, clients and their patients.
Mhairi Clarke PR created an event which would showcase Fitzpatrick Referrals’ unique state-of-the-art facilities in the context of an animal whose life had been changed by the expertise, technology and care available at the practice.
Michael Ball – star of stage, television and well loved radio broadcaster – was invited to officially open this final phase of the wards. Michael’s dog, Freddie had been admitted to Fitzpatrick Referrals six months previously, following a road traffic accident which totally destroyed his hip. Freddie became the eighth dog in the world to receive a revolutionary kind of hip replacement, a technique pioneered by surgeon Dr Noel Fitzpatrick and the opening event was organised to coincide with Freddie’s ‘see out’ consultation.
Michael Ball officially opened the new facility by cutting a red ribbon with one of Dr Fitzpatrick’s scalpels and Mr Ball was presented with a special commemorative tile with a print of Freddie’s paw to mark the occasion.
The media were given access to the new wards for photo opportunities with Michael, Noel and two patients in the wards. Case studies were provided and the media received a tour of the practice before breaking off to conduct one on one interviews with Michael Ball and Noel Fitzpatrick.
Further photo opportunities were provided to the media at Freddie’s consultation and the hub of media gathered were then invited outside the practice to capture Freddie’s first few steps with his new hip.
The event was well attended by the local print and broadcast media in Surrey, pet press, BBC Radio, Reuters and Channel 5. A press release was issued on the day of the opening and further coverage was obtained in each of the main veterinary publications in the UK and international news websites.