I headed to work yesterday with my favourite radio presenters talking about a photograph of lions in the snow at a Scottish safari park.
I arrived at work yesterday to be greeted with wall-to-wall newspaper coverage (including various front pages) of lions in the snow at a Scottish safari park.
When I got home last night it was to be greeted by my missus on the phone to various friends and relatives asking if they’d seen – you’ve guessed it – the photos of the lions in the snow at the Scottish safari park.
Bosses at Blair Drummond Safari Park must have been rubbing their frozen hands together in glee at the coverage in what turned out to be a spectacular PR success story – like the front page picture shown here on the Scottish Daily Express.
Fair play as well, because the photos were superb (yet mysteriously did not have a byline for the photographer in any of the papers I saw).
I had my first and only trip to Blair Drummond in the late summer. I was very, very impressed. The facilities are excellent, from the parking and the play areas, to the DIY barbecue areas and the animal viewing platfoms.
Unfortunately the day we were there was a scorcher (there weren’t many this year). That wouldn’t normally be a problem, except that the Scottish bears (sporting bad hair-dos, beer bellies, tattoos and “leisurewear“) reacted entirely predictably.
At the first sign of sunshine half the park (and it was mobbed) stripped down to their waists, with unpleasant acres of peely-wally flesh on display. It was, frankly, horrible. I don’t mind rubbing shoulders with the great unwashed. But when it’s a bare, hairy and sunburnt shoulder, I just wish they’d put it away.
You wouldn’t have to endure this kind of unpleasantness anywhere on the continent – so we why should we have to put up with it from a bunch of dietary challenged, pasty-complected Central Belt Scots?
Later we were bemoaning this fact to another family who’d been at the park just a few days earlier – and they had exactly the same complaint. In fact, they got so fed up they cut their trip short and headed home. And that’s just two families – I suspect there are many more who feel the same way.
I can give the bosses at Blair Drummond one priceless piece of PR advice (and this is a freebie!) that will do them far more good than all the snowy lions and cute lemur pictures imaginable.
It is this: take a lead from the bosses of Legoland in leafy Windsor, where Middle Englanders turning up with their kids for a day out are warned they’ll be shown the door if they so much as think about stripping off, as this sign points out: