About Us

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Evolotus principals Gary Smith and Kezia Jauron have decades of experience in advertising, marketing, and public relations for a range of clients and products. They left the profitable world of corporate high-tech PR to create Evolotus in 2006. Evolotus and its clients share the same goal: to get the word out about a particular product or service in a way that serves the client as well as the world at large. (www.evolotuspr.com)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

ADI, Bob Barker, Jorja Fox launch circus bill

Although we've kept it quiet until recently, we've been honored to work on federal legislation to stop animal circuses with the team from Animal Defenders International (ADI), the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), legendary philanthropist Bob Barker, and "CSI" star and activist Jorja Fox.

Yesterday in a news conference on Capitol Hill, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) announced the bill, known as the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA). More than 35 media outlets attended the event. Below are highlights of the editorial coverage.

We feel a special responsibility not only to animals, but to other activists, to see this bill become law. We know people who have poured their time and resources into raising awareness about the cruelty and exploitation of the circus; we know people who have put themselves in enormous danger working undercover in circuses to document exactly how wild animals are forced to perform. We know people who have grown so jaded by the animal rights movement that circuses are one of the only issues - or the only issue - they remain passionate about.

You can follow this campaign, take action, and find out more at the Break the Chain website or Facebook page.

Time Magazine
Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
Washington Examiner
Los Angeles Daily News
Huffington Post
Fox News
Mother Jones
Local ABC News

Here is an outstanding photo from the press conference:

Here is a short video of some of Bob Barker's remarks.

Bob Barker addresses Congress from Animal Defenders on Vimeo.

And here is the video ADI showed to media and congressional staffers:

ADI: Congressional Video from Animal Defenders on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not a bad day at the office

Picked up three magazines at the health food store, and found our client, the film Yogawoman, in two out of three. Only one cover, though (still from the film):

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PR drives mobile donations

A new study on mobile giving reveals that of respondents who have made a text-to-give donation, 68 percent were inspired to donate by a television or radio news mention.

"Perhaps the most important observation based on these numbers, charities must support their text‑to‑give campaigns with cross-channel marketing activities that include television, radio, print media, events, and viral, word-of-mouth promotions," says the article on Nonprofit Technology Network's website here. "These activities drive greater response to a charity's call to action to donate."

While the rules applying to text-to-give campaigns are prohibitive for smaller organizations, there are still several ways to implement mobile strategies, according to our colleagues at Mobile Matters, a firm specializing in mobile fundraising for health and animal protection nonprofits. If your organization cannot receive texted donations, you can still create a mobile campaign, build a database of supporters' mobile phone numbers, send action alerts, send petitions and polls, and ask for phoned-in credit card pledges.

We look forward to any opportunity to work on projects that combine media/PR outreach with mobile campaigns. People are receptive to mobile giving, and forward-thinking nonprofits need to consider how they can combine it with their current PR strategies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BUST magazine review of Yogawoman

BUST is a magazine that offers "an uncensored view on the female experience and tells the truth about women's lives and presents a female perspective on pop culture."

This review by writer Casey Krosser includes some wonderful quotes: "the most joyful documentary I’ve ever seen," "the film radiates such positive energy, you can’t help but be moved," and "In the film, many of the yoga teachers discussed how yoga can unite communities, and it seems like this film could also do just that."

See the review here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Newsletter worth getting: ACC&D

The Alliance for Contraceptives in Cats & Dogs has some interesting news about a new permanent non-surgical sterilant for male dogs. This alternative to neutering, if successful, will save time and money, and allow shelters and rescue groups to sterilize more animals and prevent more unwanted animals. The manufacturer plans to begin training in November and the product is expected to be available in February.

For the complete newsletter click here. To learn more about ACC&D see www.acc-d.org.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

At War with the Internets

When a nonprofit client gets a sizable donation, or a for-profit client gets a sizable sales order, I try to ask how the donor or buyer heard about the client. Very rarely do I get a clear answer. If I’m lucky the answer is “they saw it on the news.” If I’m unlucky it’s “on the internet” or more recently, “on Facebook.”

The ongoing search for publicity involves legitimate mass media outlets – newspapers, magazines, websites, television, radio – as well as content generated by individuals. Individually generated content today includes bloggers, tweeters, podcasters, tumblrs, flickrs, and no doubt by the time you read this, another Next Big Web Thing.

A great deal of public-generated content is a result of news media content. Bloggers see something in the news they want to share with the world. Their analysis or commentary about what they’ve seen gives added value to their followers, and many blogs are collections of re-posted content the blogger found interesting and relevant. But without that initial media hit, there would be nothing for the blogger to analyze or curate. Of course we include influential bloggers in our PR outreach, and the lines between blog and online publication are blurrier than ever. However, this type of content-inspired-by-content is one of the more obvious hallmarks of a blog. (With rare exceptions, a media outlet does not consider coverage in another media outlet to be newsworthy.)

Social media content similarly derives from news media. People frequently share magazine articles and broadcast news clips with their social networks. In a campaign earlier this year, one article about our client was shared more than 1,200 times on Facebook alone. Rather than posting the client’s website with the comment “check out this great org,” people posted and reposted the link to the article itself. PR generated the article; individuals shared it with others on their social sites.

My war with the internets comes from the confusion these content trails can create. When a donor tells my client they heard about the organization “on Facebook” or “on the internet,” there’s no way of tracking what they may have seen and whether it came from PR efforts. It’s possible my client hears “on Facebook” and wonders whether their promotional dollars would be better spent on social media instead of a hardworking public relations agency. “I read about you on a blog” doesn’t say much either, and might cause a client to consider hiring a marketing intern to post spammy comments on blogs.

But if someone says “I heard about what you do on a blog that linked to a Time Magazine article,” or “my Facebook friend posted a story from her local TV news in Florida,” the content trail is identified.

There’s a mistaken belief that social and viral media success come from grassroots publicity, a small-d democratic internet. On the contrary, there’s a good chance that grassroots effort isn’t real grass, it’s astroturf that is a result of strategic PR.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Newsletter worth getting: FARM

Newsletter du jour: FARM

FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) is a national nonprofit founded over 20 years ago, working to end the use of animals for food through public education and grassroots activism.

In today's newsletter: World Farm Animal Day October 2, free copies of Farm to Fridge courtesy of Mercy for Animals, and an invitation for small nonprofits to submit proposals for a FARM Sabina Fund grant.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Prevention magazine on Yogawoman

The October issue of Prevention magazine (circulation just under 3 million) devoted a half page to the documentary Yogawoman:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Huffington Post on MFA's undercover investigation

Thanks to Joe Satran for covering the Iowa Select investigation:

Iowa Select Farms Pig Abuse: Animal Rights Group Releases Gruesome Undercover Footage

Time Magazine on MFA's undercover investigation

Time's Alexandra Silver covers MFA's Iowa Select investigation:

"Consumers watching the video can take little comfort from the idea that these are the doings of one bad company and that the meat produced there represents just an isolated part of the market."

and notably:

"In a nifty bit of moral jiu-jitsu, [company spokesman Howard Hill] also turns the blame back on the MFA investigator. Quoted in the company's official statement, he complains that, 'videotaping abuse instead of reporting it is indefensible.' In other words: Why didn't you stop us?"

For the story "Animal Cruelty: Could a Barbaric Pig-Handling Video Hurt Major Grocery Chains?" click here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

NBC Los Angeles: 2 Stories on Beagle Freedom Project

Their site does not permit me to embed the video, but NBC Los Angeles aired a wonderful story on the rescue of nine laboratory beagles, which can be viewed and read here:

Laboratory Beagles Arrive for Adoption

The network took additional footage from the release, which is here:

Later, anchor Colleen Williams had founder Shannon Keith and Malcolm (whom we fostered) in her studio for her show. That clip is here:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

KTLA News: Dogs Rescued from Research Lab Need New Homes

Local reporter Mary Beth ("MB") McDade did a great job with her story on the release of nine beagles from a research lab. We particularly appreciated that this station showed the wonderful fosters who had waited so patiently!


KCAL Los Angeles on Beagle Freedom Project

The local media has been incredibly supportive of our Beagle Freedom Project rescues. Here is just one of the four stations' stories:

Rescued Beagles Getting A New Leash On Life

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

KALW San Francisco: Do slaughterhouse videos influence you?

Rose Aguilar, host of Your Call on San Francisco's NPR station KALW, had Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy For Animals, on her show along with Grist's Tom Laskawy.

"Do slaughterhouse videos change your opinion of how animals should be treated? On the next Your Call, we'll have a conversation about undercover investigations into how animals are slaughtered for food. Have you been influenced by amateur videos and how? Join us live at 10 or send us an email at feedback@yourcallradio.org. There have been efforts in many states to make these videos illegal. What do these videos reveal about how we treat animals? And should they be legislated? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you."

To listen to the show click here. For Tom's article on the subject click here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

‘Ag-gag’ bills face tough row to hoe

Grist continues to be a friend to animals with Tom Laskawy's piece on the "ag gag" bills sweeping many states throughout the nation. If passed, undercover investigations such as those conducted by Mercy For Animals, which often expose crimes against animals, would themselves be criminal acts and the cycle of concealment would be continued.

‘Ag-gag’ bills face tough row to hoe

A few days after this article was published, Tom was kind enough to appear with MFA's executive director Nathan Runkle on San Francisco's NPR station KALW on the show Your Call with Rose Aguilar. That show is available in the archive here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grist's Tom Philpott: "animal abuse is rampant"

Grist's Tom Philpott covers the E6 Cattle investigation by Mercy For Animals in Meat Wagon: Undercover video shows sick calves getting brains bashed in with pickax, and more:

"There's no reason to assume this operation is any kind of outlier...To employ a fashionable cliché, animal abuse is a feature, not a bug, of factory farming."

It's very gratifying that Grist, which covers environmental news, is putting more effort into exposing animal abuse in the food system. Animal advocates need to speak frankly to this audience about the impact of their food choices. 

Wall Street Journal: Mercy For Animals investigation impacts price of cattle futures

Lester Aldrich of the Wall Street Journal covered the abuse at E6 Cattle company in Hart, Texas:

"The video, which has been posted to the internet, pressured live-cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Traders were concerned its graphic nature would cause a pullback in consumer demand for beef.

"The video helped to push June futures down 1.3% to $1.1565 a pound after the contract hit a two-week high earlier in the trading day"

Texas Sheriff Investigates Animal-Cruelty Video Rattling Cattle Market

It is ironic that the impact was credited to a predicted reduction in demand for beef, since E6 is a facility that raises dairy cattle. Perhaps the analysts don't think the consumer knows the difference between dairy cows and beef cows?

Later, we learned that it's probable this market dip resulted in fewer calves being born into lives of misery on factory farms - another MFA victory, albeit a much quieter one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Houston Press on Mercy For Animals "Farm to Fridge" tour

Animal-Mutilation Film Screens Tonight Near Rice U.
"Just in case the online version of Farm to Fridge - The Truth Behind Meat Production wasn't enough for you, go check out the animal-abuse document[ary] on giant screens tonight."

Coverage like this helped draw crowds to the video events held on busy streets, shopping and dining districts, exposing thousands of people to the truth about where their food comes from.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CBS Los Angeles on Mercy For Animals "Farm to Fridge" tour

Many thanks to CBS 2 weekend anchor and reporter Rob Schmitt  and the whole crew for this fantastic story on MFA's "Farm to Fridge" tour.

Animal Rights Group Sets Up Big Screen TVs To Shock And Awe Meat Eaters


Thanks as well for all the comments and shares, which tell the media that stories like these are appreciated.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish/The Atlantic

 Beagle Habilitation

Andrew Sullivan is a beagle lover. Who knew? I suppose his caricature gives him away.