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Tourism Queensland hires dog to run Instagram account

September 10, 2013 Headline News, Social Media No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Tourism & Events Queensland has hired a dog to operate its official Instagram account as part of a new social media campaign.

In what the Queensland tourism body claims is a world first (as well as being a good half-year away from April Fool’s Day), Jester Gull, a six-month-old Weimaraner puppy from Hamilton Island is said to have “barked at the chance to put a leash on Queensland’s Instagram account and take it for a walk”, as a media release howlingly puts it. Queensland's official Instagram has gone to the dogs, well just one dog

A sample of the spiel: “For the next week you can follow my pawsteps as I show you around my backyard and post photos of my favourite things to do and see in The Whitsundays.”

And the best part about living on Hamilton Island?

“No cats!”

Queensland’s Instagram watchdog also posts to his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, apparently, which have a combined following of almost 300 loyal fans.

Having made quite a few celebrity friends in his short life on Hamilton Island, including motorsport legend Craig Lowndes, Olympic medallist Michael Klim and most recently Channel 7 Sunrise weather presenter Edwina Bartholomew, Jester hopes his new job will propel him to the same dizzy heights of fame and fortune as other well-known Dogs of Instagram like Tuna, the Dachshund-Jester again - The WhitsundaysChihuahua cross with an unfortunate overbite.

The campaign will give control of the @queensland Instagram account to a different Queensland-based Instagramer every week, showcasing the Sunshine State through the eyes of a local.

Tourism & Events Queensland’s Top Marketing Dog* Steve McRoberts said the campaign was designed to shine a light on what a day in the life of a Queenslander looks like.

“It’s all about connecting real Queenslanders with potential visitors and to show what life here is really like behind the scenes,” he said.

“A memorable holiday is not always about the location – it’s a combination of what you feel, the people, and the things happening around you in that particular place.

“By sharing their stories with the world, these passionate local Instagramers are essentially saying ‘Next time you’re in Queensland, do as the Queenslanders do’.”

Each curator must post a minimum of two photos a day (maximum of six) for the duration of their week-long stint. They are encouraged to share what they see, how they feel, what they eat (within reason!), their favourite places and what they do on an average day during the week and on weekends.

Jester the dog (@jestergull) will manage the account for the first week, from Monday 9 September to Sunday 15 September, followed by two humans: Nathan White (@nathanwhiteimages), a local photographer from the Capricorn region and Keiran Lusk (@keiranlusk), a park ranger from Moreton Island.

Applications are open to all people currently living in Queensland with an Instagram account and an eye for photography. Apply at thisis@queensland.com (dogs welcome).

Tourism & Events Queensland’s Instagram account has more than 6,500 followers and has been active for around a year. To date more than 18,000 photos have been tagged with its official hashtag #thisisqueensland.

Edited by : Peter Needham

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