In January 2015, we fell in love with a dog we never met, a rescue pittie named Angel. Through the power of social media, we followed Angel on her daily adventures — from cookie store shenanigans and beach frolics, to year-round attempts at Trick or Treating — all thanks to her mom Rebecca Corry’s generosity in sharing her Angel with all of us.
We greeted the day with her as she basked in the morning sun, and at nighttime, after reading Rebecca’s frequent “gnite, hug em tight” sign-off that usually accompanies a photo of a sleeping Angel snuggled up for a night of happy hippo dreams, our hearts were warmed.
We listened to every ROO, saw every tail wag. We gleefully watched her devour some of her favorite treats (frozen yogurt, bacon, mini waffles with whipped cream.) We delighted in her stubbornness to walk in the direction she was asked. We ooh-ed and aww-ed over the adorableness of her playdates with her “favorites,” her pittie BFF Nana and her little human BFF Neka. We loved tagging along for walks (both real walks and “walk”-walks, which were really sunbathing sessions) and on trips to the nail salon (Angel lay on her leopard bed while Rebecca got manicures.) We marveled at her velvety-ness. We thought about how much our sweet pittie Ivy would love Angel and imagined the two of them meeting on the beach one day, smiling as we pictured how they would ROO and wiggle at one another.
Pit Bulls, Personal Branding, and Paying It Forward
Angel became a daily source of joy, a frequent topic of conversation, and a constant turn-to for inspiration.
Which is why the KOTAW Girl Gang nominated Angel for an award from Trophy Central, the trophy company on a mission to reward everyday heroes who make the world a better place.
We wanted to pay it forward after winning a trophy ourselves for “Excellence in Bravery, Determination, Creativity, Kindness & Pit Bull Advocacy” for the work we do for domestic violence awareness and to spread the Pit Bull love.
It’s our KOTAW mission to stand up for for Pit Bulls, battered women and anyone whose voice needs to be heard.
We must admit that out of the many accolades on our trophy from all of our extremely kind and generous nominations, “Excellence in Pit Bull Advocacy” is the one that made us smile the most. We’re so proud of the work we do to advocate for pitties and spread the Pit Bull love though our Pit Bulls and Personal Branding passion project. It truly gives our life purpose.
So how could we not nominate Angel for the next Trophy Central award? Angel, like Ivy, inspires us to stand up for Pits, much like she inspired her mom, Rebecca, to start the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. And every day Angel makes the KOTAW Girl Gang laugh, warms our hearts and reminds us to experience all the joy life has to offer.
Thank You, Angel
Quick confession: We made a pretty long-winded plea that Angel’s award be extra, extra special. We wanted it to accommodate all of the heartfelt text Bri wrote (and she edited herself considerably — otherwise Angel’s award would have turned into a book) as well as have an image of Angel etched onto the award (Kelsey spent hours creating a vector from an image of Angel using hand drawing as well as Illustrator). Because, like we said, we love Angel with all our hearts.
Here is the text that ended up on Angel’s award:
Thank you for making the world a better, more loving and more happy place. Thank you for giving millions of people daily joy and laughter and for inspiring us all to respect the now and live in the moment. Thank you for giving your mom the love and strength to Stand Up For Pits and save countless silly, sweet, inherently good velvet hippo lives. Thank you for being you, a real-life and forever Angel.
Pit Bull Love Megaphone
Angel’s mom and founder/president of the Stand Up For Pits Foundation, Rebecca Corry, has proudly devoted herself to being the voice of Angel and those like her. In doing so, Rebecca has become the KOTAW Girl Gang’s personal megaphone, amplifying our own voices that we’ve used on a daily basis to dispel ugly myths and spread the Pit Bull love ever since our baby Ivy — KOTAW Content Marketing’s Pit Bull Brand Ambassador — waddled into our lives and stole our hearts many moons ago.
Rebecca stands up for pits, but she also stands up for the people who love them, the people who endure the hurt of having hateful, ignorant nonsense spewed at and about their best friends.
Storytelling in Social Media, Positivity, and Making the World a Better Place
The KOTAW Girl Gang made a brand promise to introduce our readers, friends, fans and followers to anything we deem KOTAWesome, and that’s why this blog is dedicated to Rebecca and Angel.
Our overriding goal with Pit Bulls and Personal Branding is to inspire everyone to educate themselves on the issues surrounding Pit Bull discrimination, vilification, abuse and genocide, then TAKE POSITIVE ACTION to help end it.
While this seems like an overwhelming, insurmountable task, we do it one sweet picture, one loving story at a time. People fall in love with our pictures and videos of Ivy on social media, the stories we tell about her in our blogs and daily conversations, and they start to fall in love with HER (in much the same way we fell in love with Angel). Over time, the people we reach through our positive storytelling in social media start to look at Pit Bulls and think of Ivy (as proven by the near-daily positive Pit Bull pictures and stories shared with us on social media) and change is made.
The KOTAW Girl Gang believes it’s up to all of us to stand up for pits. Which is why we would like to share with you some actionable steps you can take to support the Stand Up For Pits Foundation, which in turn will help end dog fighting and abuse, as well as help save Pit Bull Lives.
Here’s how you can help carry out Angel’s loving mission to make the world a better place for all pittie-pies:
1. Shop for ANGEL merchandise at the Stand Up for Pits online store — All proceeds from purchases go directly to the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. KOTAW Girl Gang members Bri and Kelsey love wearing their ANGEL “Be My Voice” t-shirts — and they’re great conversation starters. People will look at Bri and Kelsey’s ANGEL shirts, ask who Angel is, and hear all about Angel, Stand Up For Pits, our pittie-pie Ivy and our mission to spread the Pit Bull love.
2. Make your Amazon purchases through Amazon Smile for Stand Up For Pits Foundation and Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase directly to Stand Up For Pits Foundation. The KOTAW Girl Gang often makes purchases through Amazon that we could easily make in the stores just so we can support the Stand Up For Pits Foundation!
3. Use the “Walk For a Dog” app and select that you want to walk for the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. Yes, the KOTAW Girl Gang uses this app on all our walks with Ivy and LuLU and the app tracks each walk we take, then donates to the Stand Up For Pits Foundation.
BACK ON THE CLOCK
The KOTAW Girl Gang fell head over heels in love with Angel, a sweet pittie-pie we never met except through her pictures, videos and stories on social media.
Which proves that social media, when done right, can make us fall in love with brands, campaigns and Pit Bulls. It can also help us make quick connections we wouldn’t otherwise make.
For instance, Trophy Central sent Angel’s trophy to the KOTAW Girl Gang because we weren’t able to get the address for Stand Up For Pits through email correspondence (most likely because Rebecca Corry was busy being a superhero using her time to save Pit Bulls and hadn’t yet seen the emails) but minutes after posting about Angel’s trophy and tagging Rebecca on Instagram, we got a response from her that made all our days — and about half an hour after that, we had a mailing address sent to us via email. (Pretty KOTAWesome, huh?!)
Even more KOTAWesome were Rebecca’s thank yous to us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (our hearts were warmed to the point of happy tears and we wiggled our hips along with Ivy because she LOVES any and all good news and celebrations!)
Rebecca took a picture of Angel’s award (which Bri made extra cheerful with yellow flower embellishments!) along with a sweet velvet hippo named Olive she was fostering (who has since been adopted!) The picture also included a card Bri had written to Olive (which Rebecca said Olive LOVED!) and some glow sticks for Olive because we knew from Rebecca’s posts on social media that Olive likes to party (there is one video of Olive on a car ride adventure with Rebecca while listening to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” that is so adorable and hilarious we will remember it always!)
Rebecca also included the picture of Olive with her card, glow sticks and Angel’s award in a beautiful and touching video of Olive’s journey to adoption. That kind gesture touched all our hearts more than words can say, as did her back-and-forth communication with our mom on Instagram (as we sat right next to her giddy as can be!)
Social Media and Social Good
Social media — just like life — is about making genuine connections, having genuine conversations and (as is the case with Rebecca Corry’s and the KOTAW Girl Gang’s social media efforts) doing social good.
People who haven’t met Ivy in real life have fallen in love with her through KOTAW’s brand storytelling efforts — and in turn, it’s even making people fall in love with all Pit Bulls (which of course is our mission with our Pit Bulls and Branding passion project!)
Ivy gets more mail than all the KOTAW Girl Gang members combined — she is regularly sent cards, toys and treats from some very special people we’ve met through the magic of social media — and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that.
To keep track of all of Ivy’s pittie-pie adventures with her adopted Poodle Doodle LuLU and kitten-cat fairy, Doosis, follow these two Pinterest boards: 1) Pit Bulls and Personal Branding and 2) Pink Pit, inspired by the oh-so pink world Ivy lives in. You can also follow our Pit Bulls and Personal Branding Collection on Google Plus, follow Bri on Facebook, follow Kelsey on Twitter, and follow our mom, KOTAW’s Founder and Chief Storyteller Katherine Kotaw, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
Now tell us, what brands have YOU fallen in love with through social media? How do their brand storytelling efforts stand out? Please share in the comments section below — or just say hi to Ivy, LuLU and Doosis! The furry members of the KOTAW Girl Gang just LOVE getting fan mail!