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Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

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The Mayor's Alliance Strength Training Program provides shared learning experiences for APO representatives. (Photo by Rick Edwards)

The Mayor's Alliance Strength Training Program provides shared learning experiences for APO representatives.

Photo by Rick Edwards

Out of the Cage! (April 2010)

From Social Media to Microchipping Seminars, Strength Trainings Help APOs Work Smarter

Tweets and blogs and wikis and causes?…Twitter and Digg?…MySpace and Facebook? The flood of social media and online marketing opportunities is fast becoming the wave of the future, with its own new language and etiquette. To ensure that Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) don't drown in the torrent of new possibilities, but instead rise to the occasion and tap into this new stream of promotional opportunity, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals offered a timely and informative APO strength training seminar in March: "Social Media & Online Marketing," presented by Diane Gauld, a seasoned marketing and communications professional who recently joined the Mayor's Alliance team to develop more effective online strategies for the organization. As with most of our APO trainings, the session was held at the ASPCA's midtown office on Eighth Avenue and 37th Street.

Diane's presentation demystified daunting issues and answered many inevitable questions about the latest trends in online marketing for the several dozen APO representatives who attended. Afterward, Diane provided attendees with the Powerpoint presentation she used for the session. If you didn't attend the session but want to view the presentation, you can request it from Diane at

The Mayor's Alliance Strength Training Program is open to all APOs and New York City Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI) individuals and organizations interested in learning more about the topics offered. The program has been in place since 2005, the first year of our ten-year strategic plan to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C). The trainings are designed to equip participants with the tools they need to meet the increasing and constantly changing demands they encounter in their lifesaving work and thereby increase capacity within their organizations to work more effectively — and save more lives.

Among the topics covered in past trainings are infectious disease control in foster homes, what to do when you encounter sick or injured urban wildlife, how to develop and improve adoption contracts, how to recognize and report animal cruelty, and an introduction to PetPoint shelter management software. Since January, in addition to the session on social media and online marketing, topics have included how to use public relations and the media to promote your organization, presented by the our PR team at M. Silver Associates; how to manage your organization's 501(c)(3) designation, conducted by the ASPCA's Beverly Jones, member of the NYC Bar Association's Committee on Animals and the Law; and an overview of the basics of microchipping, presented by Larry Feldstein, a representative from HomeAgain microchipping.

Throughout the coming months, APOs will have plenty of additional opportunities to expand their scope of knowledge about important and interesting topics. Some of the trainings currently being developed include:

Grant Writing

Big Apple Bats (Vector Species)

Conflict Resolution

TNR 101 for Limited Admission Shelters

Bully Breed Identification Workshop

Compassion Fatigue for Feral Cat Caretakers

All APOs will receive invitations to attend upcoming sessions, so be on the lookout for our e-mail alerts. We encourage you to join us — you'll not only enjoy an educational experience, but also you'll have the opportunity meet and mingle with your APO colleagues who share your passion for the animals.

If you have questions about the Mayor's Alliance Strength Training Program, or suggestions for topics about which you'd like to learn more, please e-mail