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Hamerton Zoo Park Zoos and marketing

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by stubeanz, 23 Dec 2014.

  1. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    Zoos and marketing... Many zoos do this brilliantly and clearly employ marketing experts, even many small zoos who cannot afford a specific marketing manager or public relations manager still have a good business sense and know how to respond to bad reviews without coming across as patronising and overly defensive.

    So I was pretty shocked to find whilst browsing trip advisor the way that Hamerton zoo reply to 1-3* reviews, even some very concise fair reviews in my opinion get bashed in reply.

    Link here... Search results: Hamerton - TripAdvisor

    This is a zoo that I personally love mainly due to the fact it is one of those zoo enthusiast type zoos with unusual species we all love, it also feels like walking around a private collection especially when there's only a few people at the zoo that day.
     
  2. Big Rob

    Big Rob Well-Known Member

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    Yikes. They really don't take kindly to bad feedback do they.:eek:
    I'm calling in here for the day on the way down south for New years Eve. If their staff treat me with distain as highlighted by some of the reviews I wont wait and put it on trip advisor,they will get told first hand that " manners cost nothing!"
    I do think that sometimes people do expect a lot from staff that work at smaller venues, but i will see for myself.:)
     
  3. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    That is the toughest responses that I have seen from an attraction to bad reviews on TA. I think that a more measured response is fine, as there is little one can do to defend a reputation, but they were possibly bordering on personal attacks. Surprising.
     
  4. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you will have any problem with the staff at Hamerton, each time I have spoken to them they have gone out of their way to be helpful and to answer questions about the animals.

    Remember to look for both subspecies of aardwolf.
     
  5. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for pointing these responses out! I think they are totally the wrong way to go, from a PR point of view, but they are wholly understandable, very well written - and passionate in a way that is somewhat admirable. That said, when sarcasm is being deployed against people who have left four star reviews, perhaps the approach needs changing!
     
  6. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    I also have never had a problem with questions being asked but then again I assume we are asking slightly more interesting questions than 'what's that monkey called?'
    I have also been told by a member of staff that they hate having to interact with the public and this is why they love winter time!

    I am sympathetic to the keepers in that respect as i also get asked the worst animal questions going by the public but then again I also see it as a way of educating their prejudices and sometimes is just best to take one for the team and be polite even though you feel annoyed by the response.
     
  7. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    The "circus acts" they refer to? Are they the routines that say elephants and seals are put through to demonstrate how keepers can make simple health inspections? Are the general public being lied to by the likes of Whipsnade for including such "displays" under the guise of animal welfare?

    I'm not trying to stir anything up, just hoping to justify clear a few things in my own mind for future visits to parks and zoos.
     
  8. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Are they forgetting who pays their wages? It's not the zoo-nerds asking the interesting questions. It's the masses of less knowledgeable people.

    Personally I think it's an essential part of any modern zookeepers remit to be able to interact (politely) with the public -if they can't do that they're really in the wrong job.
     
  9. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    It appears they are even talking about lemur walk throughs, keeper talks/feeds and animals shows?
     
  10. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    I think it's as you say.

    I think Hamerton are being overly aggressive in their defense and mis-informing (at least by implication/vagueness) about other collections to make themselves look morally superior. In reality not many of their animals are large enough for the type of husbandry training routines usually demonstrated to the public. I also think there's a whiff of hypocrisy given their camels are often bridled and they allow visitor interactions with Cheetahs.

    I like Hamerton a fair bit but recognise it's shortcomings and it appears their responses to Trip Advisor is, overall, one of them. Some of their reponses are not logically robust or particularly well argued and do them no favours. It's a given that places (zoos and otherwise) get criticism (some reasonable, some not) but I've seen other places defend themselves much better without alienating the "neutrals".
     
  11. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Definitely true. Keepers are the medium between the animals on display and the general public. Visitors crave the inside knowledge they can gain from people that have the envious job of working with animals at a zoo. There are plenty of obnoxious people and those that ask stupid questions in all aspects of life, it isn't just limited to zoos.