Employee Event the Media Will Love — a Picnic and a Parade

  • This is an opportunity to achieve two objectives. You can organize a Postal Service employee family event and at the same time make the community aware of the serious issue of dog attacks. Ask which employ­ees would be willing to participate in a planning committee and then divide the tasks among them.
  • The event would start with a short parade, providing you have secured a permit, to the prearranged picnic site. Letter carriers and their families would parade through a residential neighborhood to bring attention to the issue of dog bite prevention. Signs with brief dog bite statistics and facts about prevention are a nice addition.
  • Invite letter carriers who have previously been injured by dogs to lead the parade. By walking with their families, they put a human face on the statistic of 3,184 letter carriers injured by dog bites last year. They can tell their stories, and perhaps show their scars, to help others avoid the kind of pain they have suffered.
  • Consider inviting someone from a local animal shel­ter to talk about animal safety and responsible pet ownership. In smaller communities, consider part­nering with neighboring postmasters to hold a joint event. You’ll have more examples, and you will be able to interest media in the surrounding communities.
  • Be mindful in selecting your parade route and picnic site. While it makes sense to use this opportunity to bring attention to problem areas of your community, do not create a parade route that you know to be unsafe. Also check with city officials to obtain any necessary parade permits.

Planning the Event

  • Complete and mail the news release 2 weeks before your event. You can also use the facts in the release to share brief remarks about the impact of dog bites on the Postal Service.
  • Give newspaper editors and television assignment editors a call between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. a couple of days before the event as a followup to your original news release. You can also send the media advisory as another reminder. Just one note about a typical news day: Editors are typically making assignments in the morning and will be busy in the afternoon as their deadlines approach. Late morning calls are usually better. Just in case the editor asks for more information, have the news release and media advi­sory available before you make your telephone calls. Timing your parade to begin on a Saturday around 10 a.m. will give you the best chance for media coverage.
  • Ask the editor if he or she would be interested in covering a parade of Postal Service employees and their families who are taking the message of dog bite prevention to the streets of their community. You can create more interest if you describe dog bites as a community issue and not a Postal Service problem. Tell the editor that small children represent the major­ity of victims and are estimated to be 900 times more likely to be victimized by dog attacks than letter carriers.
  • Be sure to add that this is a good opportunity for the public to learn how to avoid dog bites and an oppor­tunity for dog owners to learn how to reduce the risk of their dog attacking someone. Make sure the news editor knows that letter carriers who have been bitten by dogs will be available to talk with reporters and explain how the event affected them and their families.
  • Postal News logo.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [Insert Your Name]
[Insert Date] [Insert Your Phone Number]
Internet: www.usps.com

News Release
[City Name] Post Office and [Local Animal Shelter] Lead the Parade
for Dog Bite Prevention

[City] — They walk the streets of [City] every day, and Saturday, [Date] at [Time], [Your City] letter carriers are bringing friends and family along with them to deliver a very special message. The message they will deliver has received a lot of media attention lately, but it is one that letter carriers have been concerned about for decades. It is the need for the entire community to work together to avoid the cost and pain of dog bites.

Last year more than 3,184 letter carriers in the nation suffered the pain of an OSHA recordable dog bite. But that number pales in comparison to the more than two million children who received dog bite injuries in a single year.

“That’s why we’re coming out on Saturday to deliver this important message,” says Postmaster [Postmaster Name]. “Several of our letter carriers know first-hand about both the prevention and the pain of animal attacks, and we want to do whatever we can to help educate the community — especially parents and pet owners.”

Letter carriers who are on the job, having recovered from animal attacks, will lead the parade and are available to talk about their experience. [Name of Health Care or Animal Protection Official] will join letter carriers along their route to talk about dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership. A sample of some important facts that officials can share is attached. [Attach Dog Bite Prevention Background.]

The parade route will be [Describe the parade’s route so reporters can catch up with you if they miss the beginning of the parade].

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Postal News logo.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [Insert Your Name]
[Insert Date] [Insert Your Phone Number]
Internet: www.usps.com

Media Advisory
[City Name] Post Office and [Local Animal Shelter] Deliver a Very Special
Message This [Day]

Attention: News Editors

WHAT: Letter carriers of the [Name] Post Office™ will be joined by their friends, family, children, and even some of their pets as they deliver a very important message to the community. [The appear­ance of a well-trained dog owned by one of your letter carriers will help dispel the myth that Postal employees don’t like dogs.] Postmaster [Name] and [Name] of the [Local Health or Ani­mal Protection Agency] will speak about the problem of dog bites to the Postal Service™ and the community as they travel a parade route through the [Name] community.

Letter carriers, who will lead the parade, have recovered from animal attacks and will share their stories in order to help others avoid the pain they have gone through.

Media can also obtain tips on how to avoid dog bites and learn what dog owners can do to reduce aggressive pet behavior.

WHEN: Saturday, [Date and Time, preferably no earlier than 10:00 a.m.].

WHERE: The parade will begin at [Describe Parade Route] and end at [Picnic Location].

BACKGROUND: Three thousand one hundred eighty-four letter carriers were bitten by dogs in 2006 but this number pales in comparison to the more than two million children who were needlessly victimized by dogs. The owners of many of the canines claimed their pet “would never bite” or even “wouldn’t hurt a fly.” This year, the Postal Service and its letter carriers work to prevent these painful, sometimes fatal, injuries by promoting community awareness and responsible pet ownership.

CONTACT: Postmaster [Postmaster Name] at [Phone].

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Postal News logo.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [Insert Your Name]
[Insert Date] [Insert Your Phone Number]
Internet: www.usps.com

Public Service Announcements
May 19–26 Is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Below you will find three public service announcements (PSAs) for your consideration. Spring is here, more people and dogs will be on the street, this is the perfect time to participate in an education campaign aimed at reducing these painful and costly attacks.

For decades, the Postal Service™ has taken a leadership role in preventing animal attacks even though letter carriers are members of the third most likely group to be bitten by a dog. Children and the elderly rank number one and two, respectively. More information is found on the Dog Bite Prevention Background sheet attached. [Attach Dog Bite Prevention Background.]

Please join the Postal Service in this important public education campaign by using these public service announcements (PSAs) and by interviewing Postal Service, animal protection and public health officials during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.


It’s that time of year again, and the Postal Service, health care providers and animal protection professionals need your help. Last year, nationwide, 3,184 letter carriers were victimized by dog bites. But that pales in comparison to the more than 4.7 million people — most of them children and the elderly — who are bitten. You can help protect your letter carrier, meter reader, newspaper delivery person or your neighbors’ children by making sure your pet is properly restrained. Be a responsible pet owner. Help prevent the injuries and death caused by animal attacks. This message is a public service announcement of this station and your local Post Office™.


At this point in our nation’s history, even the comedians know that “dog bites man” is no laughing matter. That’s why the nation’s letter carriers, who suffered more than 3,184 dog bite injuries last year, are reminding pet owners to restrain their dogs to protect letter carriers, meter readers, children and others who may come near their dogs. This message is a public service announcement of this station and your local Post Office.


Pet owners, did you know that if your dog attacks a letter carrier, you could be held liable for all medical expenses and other costs, which can run into thousands of dollars? Don’t think your fence is the only protection you need — especially if a letter carrier or delivery person must enter your yard. The Postal Service is not anti-dog, but pro-responsibility. Responsible pet ownership includes making sure your pet is properly restrained. Last year, more than 3,184 letter carriers were victimized by dog bites. Help your letter carrier deliver safely for you. Don’t let your pet bite the hand that serves you. This message is a public service announcement of this station and your local Post Office.

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