SPOTLIGHT: Symbio Wildlife Park and Peoplecare gain national recognition.
Symbio Wildlife Park
Tourism Australia’s 2016 social media competition was taken out by Symbio Wildlife Park, a local business based in the northern suburbs of Wollongong. As part of the G’Day USA competition, the Australian tourism industry was invited to submit their top social posts from 2016, and a panel of judges picked the best for showcasing Australia as a holiday destination. A video of a butterfly ‘photobombing’ Willow the koala’s photo shoot by Symbio Wildlife Park created a viral sensation and helped it to take out the award in a tough competition.
Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer and judging panelist, Lisa Ronson, said the outstanding quality of entries demonstrated how enthusiastically and effectively Australia was embracing social media as a tourism marketing tool. “What has struck me most strongly about this competition, is not just the amazing quality of the photos and videos submissions, but the great stories that lay behind each of these postings and, importantly, the impressive results that have been delivered for all of these operators,” she said.
Symbio’s video had over 38 million combined views on Symbio and UNILAD’s social media channels, plus an additional 2.3 million views and over 74,000 likes/reactions on Tourism Australia’s Facebook page. It was also covered globally by prominent media outlets including Fox News, BBC Worldwide, Good Morning America and CNN. Symbio Wildlife Park's marketing manager Kevin Fallon confirmed that following the video, visitation to the park increased by 66 per cent from any previous October. Overall, the park has seen a 96 per cent increase in visitation since 2014-15, which Kevin said he attributes primarily to their success on social media.
Peoplecare has recently appointed Peter Buckley, a former engineer and head of Thomas & Coffey Wollongong, to a newly created executive role as Head of Innovation and Strategy as part of its strategic focus. As part of his new role, the team will be looking at what new technologies can be implemented to make members lives easier, with a new mobile app on the horizon amongst other initiatives.
The focus on innovation follows the news late last year that Peoplecare became the first business in Australia to achieve Auscontact Association’s new world class contact centre accreditation. Leading the way with Australian businesses with contact centres, Peoplecare was assessed on 20 categories based on international best practices. Auscontact chief executive Fiona Keough said Peoplecare was leading the way nationally and was a great example of how progressive the Illawarra region is when it comes to business best practice.
'Being the first in Australia under the new system to formally recognise their responsibility to their staff and customers in this way should give the Illawarra community, as well as Peoplecare members all around Australia, an enormous sense of pride' she said.