Articles 27/11/2017

Jordan Middleton Q and A

Posted By Marc

Ever communicated with the official THORPE PARK Resort Social Media channels? If so chances are you’ve spoken to Jordan, the resorts very own Social Media Manager! Social Media to a theme park is becoming increasingly important, from providing support to every day guests to getting the word out about the parks latest attractions. We put a series of questions to Jordan about what the role entails and more!

Hi Jordan! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the Theme Park industry

Hello! I’m Jordan, better known to most of you as the gal behind the THORPE PARK Resort social media channels.

I guess the answer is a little boring – I applied! Behind the scenes I have a degree in Film and also a Masters in PR, and alongside Uni I helped with the social media operations for the theme park enthusiast website CoasterForce. I also run by own blog, Cupcakes & Coasters (pluggy plug plug) so the combined experience from all of those things plus an honest passion for the industry helped me land my role as Social Media Exec back in 2015.

What does your day to day role entail?

It’s hard to describe day to day because every day it changes – in general I am in charge of creating, operating and implementing our social media content calendar. It’s a fine balance of producing fun and engaging content, remaining on theme and reactive to wider news and events as well as continuing to drive home general marketing messaging for the Resort too. Once I’ve detailed what I want to achieve it’s a case of setting out and actually creating the content, whether that be on park filming, writing a blog post or setting up competitions. And everything in between!

What's the funniest / strangest thing that have been sent to the Thorpe Park social media accounts?

There have been LOADS of really weird things sent to our account, and usually I’ll have to take a step back to laugh and just go…what? I do always love it when we get people tweeting or messaging in asking for a ride op’s number because they fancied them. I’ve also had a few complaints come through about a caravan park up north, also called Thorpe Park which is always pretty hilarious to me. Oh, and also there’s a roofing company who apparently did the roof of the dome? Every now and then they do a tweet to remind everyone of their work, which I think is equal parts hilarious and adorable.

In a world where social media is ever-present and always changing, how do you keep up?  Do you ever take inspiration from other parks / companies?

I’m a social media addict myself, so I like to think I’m pretty on top of trends and things. When you’re on it as much as I am things tend to come naturally? I think there’s a fine line with brands being a bit cringe if they try to be too ‘down with the kids’ so I try my best to toe that line. And yes, of course! My number one inspiration is Universal Orlando, their social media is always on point and if I’m feeling in need of inspiration I always take a look at their accounts. Other companies whose social I love include Netflix, Wendy’s, Innocent, Paddy Power and C4.

We've noticed over the past year or so that the Twitter account has quite a distinctive personality now.  How hard has it been to create this, especially with the banter/cheeky side of things?

I think it’s a lot to do with the confidence behind it – anybody who knows me knows that that tone of voice is just…me! But again, it’s about knowing when to switch from playful banter to serious, especially if we have a disgruntled or upset guest. Nobody wants to have banter when they’ve experienced an issue. But I guess it’s been about doing it gradually. If I’d started and immediately began taking the piss out of everyone then I don’t think people would have warmed to it so much? Make friends first, playfully taunt them later! I feel like ‘Thorpe’ has made a lot of friends through Twitter since I’ve operated the account, which is really fab in itself.

Being an enthusiast yourself you must have fun having banter with fellow enthusiasts from the @Thorpepark account – do you think you’ve managed to take anyone by surprise with your Theme Park knowledge on the official channels?

Yes, definitely. One thing I experienced from enthusiasts is there was an air of ‘I know what I’m talking about more than you do, Thorpe!’ so it’s always hilarious to surprise people by name-dropping manufacturers or proper names for elements. Like, we’re not naïve, we do have a grasp of the wider industry and we like to play with that in our interactions.

 Is it difficult keeping things a secret?

Not really. Honestly, most people are really respectful. I’ve had a few instances where people have tried to ask me for info, but generally speaking if I make it clear that I can’t, nor would I like to reveal anything people get it and back off. And also a lot of the time we reveal everything we possibly can, but we do like to keep some secrets. It’s always so much fun when we finally get to reveal them and letting the cat out of the bag just spoils the anticipation that everyone on the marketing team has worked so hard to create.

Can you give us any more information on “The Safe Zone” and 2018? 

 That you should meet us there!

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