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Instagram Coaster Accounts Are Not Real Media

I’m going to say something here that’s bound to tick off some of my readers – but it warrants being told:

IF YOU RUN A ROLLER COASTER OR AMUSEMENT PARK INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT…

YOU ARE NOT ACTUAL MEDIA.

There, I said it.

The same goes with just having a social media presence, whether it’s just a Twitter account or Tumblr that’s focused on parks or rides. None of that qualifies you to be invited to nor demand to be invited to a park media event.

This just about sums up most of Instagram...

This just about sums up most of Instagram…

Why? Well I’ll tell ya…

Credentialed media (such as myself) are invited to events because we earn it. We write proper news stories, we create content that’s more than just a photo and a caption. We provide insight for people who may be fans of the industry or the general public who might do a Google search.

Demanding that you’re invited to media events based solely on the fact that run an Instagram account dedicated to rides is laughable.

You have to have impact – you have to actually DO something besides snap photos with your phone and upload them.

Media events at parks – by their very nature – are supposed to be fun. But, that does not mean they are there for you and your “hundreds” of followers to HAVE fun.

Make sense?

Coaster Expert Kris Rowberry gets his thrill on

Getting my thrill on with the lap bar only “Superman: Ultimate Flight” at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

People like myself are there to work; to cover a story. When you shove your way to the front of the press line, or bolt in front of others to get on the ride – that’s counterproductive to our whole industry of covering parks. And it’s why more and more parks are second-guessing bringing in “online, coaster media” in the first place.

When the enthusiasm over a new ride or attraction blinds you – that’s not good. I’m not saying what you do is dumb or pointless – I just want you to realize there are more steps to be taken to get up the ladder.

This problem is so prevalent, that at one media event I attended this year, a member of the Instagram Mafia DEMANDED that they receive the park provided ride POV first from their PR Manager.

Really?

Think about that. It’s not about covering the park anymore, is it? It’s about…YOU…being first. That’s the wrong attitude to have.

Simply put, if you don’t create meaningful content or respect the parks you cover (and the people who cover them) then I hope you enjoy the latest attractions when they open to the general public – because that’s when you should be riding them, first.

***

Am I way off base? (It’s happened before). Let me know in the comments section below or on my social media links!

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6 responses

  1. Thank you, I fully agree with what you’re saying. The media days I’ve been to are often overcrowded with Instagram coaster accounts and it certainly impacts the overall experience.

    July 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

  2. Tysen

    Thank you for writing this! I am @coaster.keeper and the co founder of @Thrill.films A lot of people need to realize this problem! When the smiler crashed at Alton Towers, everyone was posting about that. People need to realize the time and effort you guys put into writing these story’s! Instead of typing and posting a quick 2 minute post.

    July 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

  3. Evan

    I agree with you, if these kids want to be at the media events then they have to truly earn it. It’s earned through hardwork and patience. Posting photos on Instagram isn’t hardwork, and for that matter they deserve to ride with the rest of the public.

    July 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

  4. I was humbled when I was added to my local parks’ invite lists, had been providing park updates and such for the past several years now via different outlets before my blog/site was created and had become well known for quality park updates during this time. When using Instagram, I prefer to use my own original content otherwise, if not available, I tend to share the original content creator’s post as that’s the “right” thing to do and helps them spread the word. I’ve also felt that Instagram is just a means of complimenting what we do and are more than just an Instagram account that posts “coaster wars” or takes other people’s photos without any credit.

    I had heard about a bunch of instagram accounts/people at one of the media events recently while my blog that I’m continuing to grow wasn’t quite on the list yet, made me wonder how these other accounts got in 🙂

    Also to add, if you are on the park’s media list, treat the parks with respect, they’re in the end spoiling all of us who attend these events, often with some cool perks we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do as a normal guest such as good food, being able to experience an attraction without the crazy lines/crowds, photo/video ops depending on the type of attraction…

    July 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm

  5. Brian Ondrey

    Speaking from the manufacturing side, this one somewhat cracks me up…the drive to be on before others for a new ride. This is never when the ride will be at its best. For coasters, it will be rare to get a full train during media events meaning a slower ride. Also this early, the ride is still breaking in. With a new ride, patience is key. To get the best experience, you are far better waiting about a month into it being open. It is running better at that point and often early issues have been ironed out.

    July 21, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    • I think we all saw that to be the best strategy with the slew of delays in openings 🙂

      July 21, 2016 at 8:42 pm