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Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Carol Ann Hackley

First Committee Member

Qingwen Dong

Second Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Abstract

This study was investigated the public relations and marketing strategy and tactics used by Micke Grove Zoo in the last five years. A case study methodology was used to answer the three research questions. The research analyzed the Zoo's past and current marketing and public relations strategy and efforts. What was collected fell into six categories: Special Exhibits, Programs, Promotional Material and Publications, Volunteer Opportunities, Events and Miscellaneous. It showed that MGZ has stopped some of the programs, events and publications, but has not implemented new ones. What they are doing has remained relatively the same for the last five years. Also, MGZ has not and does not have a public relations or marketing strategy, is not using social media and does not have regular contact with the media through press releases. The data categorized was then compared with the information collected from five experts in the field of public relations, marketing and zoos.

The five professionals interviewed agreed that a zoo needs to have a marketing and public relations plan, be using social networking and updating their website, -constantly search for new audiences and stay in constant contact with the media.

From the data collected a series of tactics were developed. It is suggested that MGZ try to incorporate as many of these tactics into a marketing and public relations strategy. They include, developing a marketing and public relations plan based upon the zoos mission and goals, using social media, regaining accreditation and creating and maintaining a relationship with the media.

Pages

83

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