Presentation Title: Wildin’ Out Online: Equipping Zookeepers with Social Media Skills
Presenter(s): Erin Castillo, School of Information
Abstract: In August of 2021, I presented at the 2021 American Association of Zoo Keepers National Conference held in Los Angeles, California. My presentation, Social Media In and Out of the Enclosure, taught zookeepers the differences between four major social media platforms, strategies to use each effectively, and how to leverage analytics to improve organic performance. This was one of four presentations that made up the conferences media skills professional certification course, whose goal was to equip and empower zookeepers to share their rewarding professional stories with the public through various channels of communication. The challenge I faced as an information professional was delivering content in a digestible and effective format for those who were not as experienced with social media. I utilized various zoos social media accounts to mine for teachable content and tasked my program participants with creating the copy, image, and tags for their own posts. This experience has made me a stronger information professional because it required me to package and deliver information into visually understandable, real-world examples that others could easily learn from. By equipping zookeepers with tools and strategies to navigate and manage their organizations social media accounts, they are better equipped to share the rewarding (and mundane!) aspects of their roles in animal conservation. The most fulfilling part of my experience was making information more understandable and approachable for zookeepers, one of whom shared that my presentation was the most useful conference program she had ever attended.
Link to Recorded Presentation: https://youtu.be/G6r52mLNLIU