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Durrell Facebook page

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Rick J, 3 Dec 2012.

  1. Rick J

    Rick J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2012
    Posts:
    134
    Location:
    Jersey
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering, out of interest, how many of you follow Durrell's Facebook page?

    Is there anything you'd like to see discussed in more detail, and do you feel updates are 'too regular' at times? I'm trying to find the fine line between being engaging and informative, and seeming like I'm spamming people!

    Would love to hear your ideas and thoughts... it occurs to me that a more effective page, and thus more tangible following ('likes') will give us a better chance of securing sponsorship and support, which we greatly need at the current time.

    With tourism down in Jersey, and visitor numbers to the Wildlife Park dwindling, we really do need to find a way to stay afloat, for the sake of our conservation work - which was always the main point of this establishment. Gerry (Durrell)'s legacy is sadly not as strong as it was... books don't see the same audiences as they once did, and there is a genuine worry that unless we move into the new media world, we will lose what our founder had striven so hard to build.

    The question of ethics when it comes to awareness has come up, but to balance the need to 'publicise', here are some Durrell facts that perhaps don't get communicated effectively at the moment:

    -81p in every £1 raised from the Wildlife Park or memberships goes into conservation projects around the world

    -There are currently 50 projects in 15 countries completely led by Durrell staff

    -Our on-site university has so far seen 3,500 graduates from 135 countries gain the practical and academic tools required to start their own projects in their own countries, with the native species that most need it. Grants and iniatives Durrell provides make sure that the most effective and passionate people get education from experienced conservation professionals, regardless of financial means

    -The site in Jersey, housing the captive breeding and research centres operates it's own organic farm, growing 80% of everything required for animal feed on-site, and totally free of pesticides and chemicals

    -Office paper is recycled for animal bedding, then soiled bedding is burned in the biomass burners to heat tropical species. Animal guano is used to fertilise. Nothing is wasted, everything organic on-site is composted.

    Sorry for the huge post folks, I'm just trying to figure out how best to increase our audience on Facebook! As this forum is very much an enthusiast 'brain trust', I figured you may be the best people to advise me, if it's not a huge ask!

    Many thanks,

    Rick (Durrell Communications Officer)
     
  2. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    6,022
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
    All of the arrivals and births would be nice
     
  3. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,992
    Location:
    Knowle, UK
    I follow the page - I've recently found that facebook can actually be quite interesting if I follow many different zoo/conservation pages.

    A few of those facts are fairly hard to get across without a relevant announcement (e.g. October's post about the Durrell Conservation Academy was a good reason to bring in the fact about 3500 graduates). I think it's absolutely fine to squeeze these facts into facebook posts and press releases - the recent frog post mentioning Madagascar could easily have also said that it's just one of the 15 countries where Durrell leads conservation projects (identification of species - green bright-eyed frog[?] - would also have been good).

    I think you could make more use of the facebook page as an advertising tool without causing much of an imbalance. I came across preparations for this year's Durrell lecture in London by pure chance, but was unable to stay due to prior engagements. It would have been great if this had been better advertised through facebook so that I could have made plans around it. Conversely, I think the facebook page is being used well to advertise the new Monopoly board.

    I also think it's acceptable to occasionally post something like 'Here's our lovely new baby ****. Why not come and visit the rest of the group at Durrell this holiday season? Did you know that more than 81p in every pound you spend at Durrell goes straight back to conservation projects around the world? So why not visit us and give endangered animals a helping hand this Christmas?' (I know it's pretty rubbish, but it's just an example of how you might integrate these points.)

    From a more personal perspective, I find that some of the posts promising further news aren't followed up in a way that's easy for users to follow (e.g. Princess Royal visit, TV crew guest). I'd also love it if we heard a bit more about some of the rarer, more exciting species that Durrell work with (e.g. Angonoka, mountain coati).

    Just another opinion, but hope it helps. :)
     
  4. soozthecat

    soozthecat Member

    Joined:
    20 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    22
    Location:
    Cambridge
    I follow a lot of zoos and some post shameless advertising which is rather mindnumbing.
    I think one or two posts a week with a photo of animals from round the park taken by keepers or even nice ones taken by the public can be really nice.
    Maybe monthly features on a conservation project durrell supports?
     
  5. Rick J

    Rick J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2012
    Posts:
    134
    Location:
    Jersey
    Hi guys,

    Firstly, let me offer my apologies for my lack of response. I had neglected to tag Durrell in the post, and therefore 'lost' it in the threads, and somehow convinced myself it had been deleted as spam or too much of a 'vested interest'.

    Devilfish, many thanks, not only for the very helpful and considered feedback, but also for taking such an obvious interest in our work. I agree, and feel the same way about all of the points you stated. The news 'follow ups' is something that I have to be more careful about. I had posted something about a film crew, only to discover that because the presenter was actually a minor, I couldn't name her.

    Thanks again, and all points a gratefully received and considered. If you have any other comments, or ideas for things you'd like to see (or indeed not see), please do let me know.

    Rick