Some of you may have seen us in the local media over the past few weeks, both on TV & in the press. We have had several small snippets in the local papers what with Mothers Day, new Penguins and various bits and pieces going on and yesterday we were on CBBCs Officially Amazing with Sir Nils Olav, the knighted Penguin. Any coverage is obviously a good thing for us as it gives us exposure to a wide audience.
In this day and age of Social Networking it is easy to get our news out to the general public. Facebook & Twitter are free, easily accessible and hugely popular so offer a great forum to share our news and interact with our guests. Not only does Birdland have it’s own accounts but you can also follow Spike, our hand reared King Penguin. (www.facebook.com/spikethekingpenguin & www.twitter.com@spikekingpeng ). Even this blog is a good way to announce news and share our day to day working lives.
When it comes to dealing with the press we have a PR department who have a network of local news groups that we can send press releases to. The staff liase with Nikki (our PR guru) to fine tune stories/get pictures before releasing to the wider world. If a story is picked up sometimes there will be a photographer or reporter sent along to get more info. This weekend, for example, I spent 20 minutes with a photographer trying to capture photos of our new Humboldts for a press release (as I write this I’ve just had a text from my mother saying we are in the local paper today!). We have regularly done pieces for local radio both on site and down the phone.
For the more specialised requirements of TV programmes or photo shoots a lot more planning is needed. Generally this involves the penguins and this can sometimes be as straight forward as getting them to feed or swim. In other instances the media want something specific. In the past we have had to get the penguins walking across stages with green screens for computer editing. This can sometimes take days to train the birds and hours on the day for the perfect shoot. We have done work for the BBC, Channel 5, National Geographic, LG Freezers and DK Encyclopedias in recent times.
Penguin stage/green screen
This weeks updates include:
We have a Black Necked Swan cygnet, hatched on Friday. A second cygnet died during hatch and the other 2 eggs are doing nothing at present. The cygnet is doing well and has been hitching regular rides off dad
The male Roul Roul Partridge has joined the single female in the Glass House and all is going well. We have also paired up 2 single Southern Lapwing
The Emerald Dove eggs are due this week, the birds are on a course of anti bacterial medicine and worming powder to give any chicks a good start. They are also getting a supplementary fed
The Blacksmith Plovers now have 2 eggs, they are not sitting as yet but we expect at least 1 more egg. Next door the Bartletts Bleeding Heart Pigeon are also on 1 egg
Chris attended a presenter training course in preparation for the forthcoming Easter holidays and is busy setting up the Encounter Zone for lots of hands on fun
Nest boxes are starting to go up
We have some building work going on in both the gift shop and around the cafe. Both are still accessible with minimal disruption
Thanks for reading