Award-winning PR and high-impact social media for Gold Line Feeds

PR agency


Ambitious independent animal feed manufacturer Gold Line Feeds (previously Dodson & Horrell) approached us after learning of our PR and social media expertise within the animal sector.

They briefed us to support two of their specialist dog-food brands:

  • Autarky — a range of natural feeds specially formulated for active dogs.
  • Chudleys — a selection of dietary options specifically for gundogs and working dogs.

The brief was to support brand activity and drive consumer product demand to grow Autarky out of its heartland consumer base using the mediums of social media and PR. The KPIs set were:

  • Increase their social media audience by 3,500 over a two-year period
  • Achieve an influencer reach of over 25,000 per month
  • Increase web traffic by 50% during PR campaign period

For Chudleys, the brief was to drive brand awareness by introducing more gundog owners to the brand through social media. The KPIs set were:

  • Achieve an influencer reach of over 25,000 per month
  • Increase their Instagram and Facebook audience by 2,500 over a two-year period


Social media content

We fully immersed ourselves into the gundog and working dog industry to truly understand the relationship between different types of dogs and their owners/handlers, creating audience profiles of Autarky and Chudleys shoppers.

Once under the skin of the two different audiences, we generated a bespoke social media strategy around three content pillars: engage, inspire, and educate. This allowed us to showcase the brands’ key messages and products, while creating engaging campaign-led content that drove excitement to attract new followers.

One such initiative for Chudleys was the #HallOfGame photo competition, with themed rounds of voting, encouraging the gundog community to submit their images and win a prize. For Autarky, we created a virtual working-dog show with themed classes (such as best leap and wet dog) with entrants encouraged to invite their own friends to vote for them to be named ‘Top dog’.

To support the ambitious growth targets, we also identified a suite of brand partners to collaborate with and provide prizes for competitions. We approached and developed relationships with those that had complementary audiences aligned to Autarky and Chudleys, such as Sporting Saint and WeatherBeeta, who shared the competitions and campaigns with their followers. This helped recruit new like-minded followers to the pages.


For both Autarky and Chudleys, influencers partnerships were a fundamental part of our social media strategy to grow the brands’ following and generate brand awareness. This involved:

  • Identify and engage — we interrogated the working dog and gundog influencer landscape to source ambassadors against a checklist of requirements, based on aspects such as their interests, size of following, and engagement. Before directly approaching the targeted influencers, we built a rapport by following and engaging with their content.
  • Proposition — by understanding the target audience, we created bespoke packages to delivered to their doors. For Chudleys, this included a feed nutritionally matched to the dog’s life stage and stage of the shooting season, a branded gundog training tool, and nutritional information, encouraging them post with #ChooseChudleys.

For Autarky, these packs included a feed of their choice, a branded dog bowl and the Autarky 28 Day Challenge starter pack to stay #ActiveWithAutarky.

  • Nurture — once established as a brand supporter, we nurtured these relationships with additional gifting timed to seasonal dates (such as the start of the game-shooting season, when gundogs need a diet formulated with increased protein and vitamins to support a higher workload).


In response to Autarky’s brief, we launched a search for the ‘UK’s Hardest Working Dog’ — a campaign to recognise the work dogs do across our lives through a competition which celebrated all types of working dog.

We created a campaign that would enable us to engage with owners, handlers, and representatives of hard-working, active dogs across the UK. Our research revealed that many other categories of dogs are described as ‘working’, beyond the traditional farming sector including security, assistance, emergency services, celebrity, therapy and sporting dogs. The result was a competition to recognise the work of dogs across four categories:

You can find out more about the campaign here.

social media


Our work with both Chudleys and Autarky exceeded all KPIs:

  • Increased Autarky’s following by 6,890 over two years (almost double the KPI).
  • Increased Chudleys following by 4,495 over two years (almost double the KPI).
  • Achieved a PR and influencer reach of over 7 million for Autarky’s Hardest Working Dog campaign
  • 164% YOY growth in direct traffic to the Autarky website through PR campaign period (exceeding the KPI by over 100%).
  • we achieved a PR reach of 3.2 million and saw a
  • Chudleys – we were able to achieve an influencer reach of over 720,000, against a KPI of 25,000 a month.

The ‘UK’s Hardest Working Dog’ campaign also scooped three PR awards. Gold Line Marketing Manager Jimmy Ireland said:

“spottydog communications have been the pawfect partner for the Gold Line Feeds brands, Autarky and Chudleys, and have helped grow our audience base by 144% over a two-year period. They came up with a brand awareness campaign for Autarky, in which they managed end-to-end, which secured not just exponential traffic to our website and press coverage, but three awards in the process. I would have no hesitation in recommending spottydog communications.”

To read more about our pet sector case studies click here.