Who's Who in the Zoo?
25th May 2016
HANGING OUT WITH KOALAS, TAKING TONS OF PICTURES AND BROWSING FACEBOOK... SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM, RIGHT?
It isn’t all Koala cuddles whilst working at Featherdale Wildlife Park! There are many different roles across various departments just like any other business. These include administration, marketing, hospitality, retail and maintenance (as well as animal care!). Social Media and online engagement has become a critical space for any business to be involved in and much to the delight of animal fans across the globe, Featherdale uses outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to share content with hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Bringing you this content along with the assistance of Featherdale’s fantastic Animal Care team, is Social Media & Sales Executive, Maxwell Love! You can usually see Max out and about in the park with a DSLR camera around his neck and an iPhone handy, ready to post the freshest and wildest content right as it happens.
Check out his journey with Featherdale and find out more about a role that just might surprise you!
Q. Name (or Nickname if you’ve got one!)
A. Maxwell Love (but most people call me Max)
A. Social Media & Sales Executive
Q. How long have you worked at Featherdale?
A. I’ll be hitting my ten year Featherdale anniversary in October! Not bad for a 25 year old!
Q. What is your favourite animal at the park?
A. Archer the Koala without a doubt, and also Spike the Wedge-tailed Eagle.
Q. Tell us about your Featherdale journey!
A. It’s been quite a ride from a casual Retail assistant position to the diverse role I have today!
I first started in the Retail department, at Featherdale whilst studying in high school (year 10). At the time, I was interested in increasing my customer service skills and readying myself for a career in marketing or business administration.
I then moved across to the Billabong Café, to learn hospitality skills and broaden my overall skill development. This role was very handy whilst I was studying Business & Commerce at Western Sydney University. I was an Assistant Team Leader in the Café which complimented the managerial skills I was learning during my studies.
After graduating with a shiny new degree, I moved into a full-time Administration role which included the coordination of day-to-day activities in the Featherdale office, as well as assisting the Finance department and manning the switchboard for incoming phone calls and emails.
From here, the management team felt that with the parks continuous growth, a Reservations Coordinator role was required to assist with international tour group bookings, birthday parties, functions and events! This role also included an introduction to Sales and Marketing, such as site inspections, private tours and networking opportunities, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
After some months, a position became available to manage Featherdale’s digital communications and assist the Director of Sales and Marketing. This included entertaining thousands of online followers across many Social Media platforms and generating content, which sounded like a fun and rewarding role (and very Gen Y, I thought!).
I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and set myself a challenge to really grasp the demands of a content-hungry audience and deliver Featherdale’s most important and entertaining messages. You can check out the great work we do at the park by clicking the links below:
Q. What are some of your daily duties?
A. The great thing about managing such a strong Social Media presence, is that the role is very fluid. Whilst it requires significant planning (a content strategy/planning calendar is critical!), sometimes the best idea, photo or video opportunity will completely surprise me. I have found that spontaneous and natural content resonates highly with our followers and they enjoy the immediacy of the posts.
Some daily activities include:
- Content planning meetings with the animal keeping team.
- Taking pictures and shooting video (which may include hanging out with lots of baby animals and of course our resident superstar, Archer the Koala!)
- Writing content pieces for our Latest News blog http://www.featherdale.com.au/latest-news/, our online newsletter Featherdale Press, as well as organising collateral for print, digital and radio advertising.
- Planning promotions for our guests, such as our recent Mother’s Day “Bring Mum for Free!” campaign and exciting school holiday activities.
- POSTING content across Featherdale’s Social Media platforms. Check out #featherdale! And responding to comments, mentions and customer reviews!
Q. Do you have any advice for anyone looking to work in the Zoo industry?
If you have a passion for all things animals, a Zookeeper role isn’t the only way into a great establishment like Featherdale Wildlife Park. I’m lucky enough to spend loads of time with Australia’s largest collection of native animals on a daily basis and share this experience with our fans each and every day.
If there is the ultimate role in sight, seek out every available opportunity to upskill, obtain experience and immerse yourself into the organisation and make it your mission to move forward each and every day.
If you would like to know more about being a Social Media manager within the zoo industry or have any questions for Max, feel free to send an email to email@example.com and we’ll pass it on!