Geographical Index > United States > Malaysia (International) > Article # 502
Media Article # 502
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
[Johor Parks has a hotline for reports and questions]
JOHOR BARU: Interest in Bigfoot is waning, judging from the declining number of calls to the hotline set up at the height of the euphoria.
Johor National Parks Corporation, which set up and manages the hotline, said there were days with hardly any calls.
“The number of calls have dwindled since we opened the hotline in January,” said director On Jabbar.
“Most of the callers wanted to know if the creature exists,” he said.
“They wanted to know if all the hype about Bigfoot was true. Others wanted to know where Bigfoot was sighted.”
Those interested in learning more about the [animal] or disclose sightings can call the hotline at 07-222 2221.
The Malaysia Star is the most widely circulated newspaper in Malaysia.
The Malaysia Star has an interesting way of introducing things to the public. Although brief mention had been made about this hotline in prior articles, it should be assumed that most people in the country still do not know about it, especially if it has not been the *focus* of a newspaper article yet.
The effectiveness and usefulness of an information hotline should be judged over a longer span of time than two months. It takes time for people to become familiar with new things. It requires repeated mention of a new thing before a large portion of a population is generally aware of it in the first place. That's why companies pay for regular advertising of their products in newspapers.
It is likely that many people assumed, as we did, that this hotline was strictly for the purpose of reporting sightings that occurred within one of the Johor parks.
If the hotline is not very busy receiving those types of calls, then it can be productively used to solicit qualified volunteer assistance from all quarters -- trained people from the military, scientists, science students, artists, photographers, film students, etc. It can also be used to solicit donations of useful radio and camera equipment for the rangers of the JPNC.
If those things have not been offered yet, it is probably because the public doesn't know you want those things. Using the hotline for organizing in that way will also yield good newspaper articles that will make the Johor Parks seem more inviting.
The Johor Parks web site should indicate that callers should leave a voicemail describing what they can provide, in terms of equipment, skills and/or volunteer support.
If the web site makes it clear that voluntary assistance is invited from foreigners, it will provide foreigners with both a personal connection within the country, and a stronger reason to come there. If JPNC is willing to do that, the web site should show the how the phone number would need to be dialed within from various
countries. That is how to signal a willingness to take calls from overseas.
This discovery is not going to be acheived by those who lose interest in something once the initial media excitement seems to cool down. It is to be expected that the first blush of romance will diminish in time, but it will not disappear entirely.
The same can be said of Loch Ness. There have been periods of great excitement when something new has happened, but then the excitement levels off, naturally.
Expect both ups and downs of interest. That is natural.
The excitment of the past few months was spurred by sightings and track finds that became national news stories, which subsequently became international news stories. Those sequences of events will occur again in the future. Many, many journalists around the world will be paying attention, from now on, to any significant developments there regarding the bigfoot story.
Here's a timely tip: One good photo, of a strong-looking, well-equipped, government expedition team, as it embarks on an expedition, into a dark forbidding jungle, will likely go global, because it will have the nuance of a scene from King Kong.
There will be an expedition coming up in May. That will be an excellent photo opportunity for this sort of thing.
As time goes on, more people will know about the Malaysia bigfoot story, because more people will hear about it in conversation with other people. So do not pronounce this story dead yet. People will always be interested in it, whenever something new comes up.