2021 WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB
AN INTERVIEW WITH WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB’S DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS GAIL MILLER BISHER
1. This year’s media coverage of Westminster from Lyndhurst was seamlessly presented. How did WKC and FOX pull it off? We have a great working relationship with our media partner and this year, due to the pandemic, they were able to begin plan- ning earlier in the year. FOX Sports works at remote, outdoor sporting events year-round, so being at Lyndhurst was similar to a golf tournament for them. As the Group tent was going to be on-air, the design was handled by FOX so that it would look good on television. However, the WKC Operations team worked closely with them on the layout to ensure a proper dog show experience was had by the exhibitors and all safety protocols were in place. Of course, having Lyndhurst as a backdrop this year attracted Media attention because of the club’s 145-year history in NYC. Even though we had to reduce the Media attendance to 10 percent this year, we supplemented our content (videos, photos) through an online portal for the Media who could not attend. Westminster is an institution in the eyes of the Media, a historic brand and a NYC sporting event. Once they attend the show or interview an exhibitor, the Media quickly learn that, at its core, the events are about the love of dogs and the dedication to the well-being of the dogs. Making dog events relevant and understandable to the Media—and thereby to the general public—is my personal and professional mission. Each year, I seek to fulfill the club’s mission, which enhances the lives of all dogs, celebrates the companionship of dogs, pro- motes responsible dog ownership, and breed preservation. Using that guideline, we seek story features for the Media that will pro- mote purebred dogs, the sport, and the WKC. We are fortunate that there are so many great stories about our exhibitors, filled with love and passion for dogs, that oftentimes prove how purebreds continue to contribute to our communities today. Presenting rel- evant stories through the Media to inform and interest the general dog lover is an ongoing journey that is necessary on event days and beyond in today’s dog-owning climate.
180 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021
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