The Transportation Security Administration, also known simply as TSA, is not known for evoking humour. Most of us shiver at the thought of the TSA as it often means long lines, having to throw out that nice bottle of perfume you just bought two days ago, or being sniffed inappropriately by a security dog. But this has all changed, thanks to Janis Burl, a middle-aged black woman who runs the TSA official Instagram account.
When Janis Burl took over as Social Media Manager at the TSA in 2020, she set out on a mission to revive the TSA’s social media accounts, which at the time were as dull as an airport hallway. Burl was determined to create more relatable content to increase audience engagement and soften the TSA’s image. And her secret weapon was comedy.
Two years and millions of laughs later, Burl now leads a team of six social media professionals and has skyrocketed the TSA’s Instagram following to a whopping 1 million followers; vastly exceeding the number of followers accumulated by typical pina-colada-by-the-beach, millennial travel influencer accounts. Burl uses a hilarious arsenal of puns, dad jokes, and witty banter to create captivatingly funny content- often posting pictures of the crazy thing’s passengers try to bring on planes. The page reached 54 million Instagram users in the last year alone and has been featured on the Today Show and The Tonight Show.
According to Burl, “Nobody remembers what was on the news in the morning, but they’ll remember the joke you told them.” Burl has challenged what it means to be a social media influencer, paving the way for other talented individuals to join the space regardless of their age, race, or occupation.
Written Credits: Stardom Staff