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April 03, 2009


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John Frazier

Thanks, David. It's really fun to be a part of something when it takes off like this. Major kudos to Tourism Queensland and CumminsNitro for developing this idea.

Kathleen Seide

I thought this was an amazing way to get the word out as soon as I heard about it. I mean, how much did it cost to put it all together (including the job benefits) compared to the amount of free word of mouth they got - people EXCITED to tell others about Australia.

A strange side affect?

There are 11 people heading to Australia for interviews and 30,000 who didn't make the cut. T.Q. took the 30,000 people most excited about the Great Barrier reef, got them excited, then depressed them.

I hate to admit it about myself, but after working so hard to put my video together I was upset that my time was wasted. There were server problems for me, and many others, so maybe I was more upset than those who were only turned down.

I wonder how this could have been put together so that the negative after-affect is lessened?

David Meerman Scott

Kathleen, a very interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. I hadn't even considered those who entered but did not make the cut. Hmm... David


what an amazing story. The web is powerful if you can strike that right cord at the opportune moment. In my case, I'm attempting to reach the sports writing market with young sports writers, many of which (like me) were laid off these past few months. You're invited to my rave!

David Meerman Scott

Kevin - did you see my post "An open letter to journalists: You have an amazing career opportunity on the Dark Side"? I wrote it with people like you in mind.

Scott Kimler

David - I echo Kathleen's observation and I've linked an article in which I've turned the tables a bit on Tourism Queensland, rating them as a prospective employer.

I'm sure that TBJITW will be lauded, awarded and used as a case history of "an excellent marketing campaign", Tourism Queensland made some serious blunders along the way and lost a LOT of credibility, as a result.

The question that has yet to be answered: "Will 'The Best Job in the World' convert "buzz" into increased tourism revenue?"



David, I did! It was a good post and -- while i'm getting started with my sports website -- I am also working as a business blogger. Enjoyed the New Rules because before I read that, I was ironically not too keen on blogs.

Michael Pines (car accident attorney)

Great story. That is exactly the kind of buzz that everyone should be striving for in today's web-oriented world, where a message can be carried across the globe instantaneously.

In the legal field, it is different challenge to generate the kind of excitement that the Best Job in the World creates. So we've been trying to create a unique Car Accident Blog (that focuses on auto accident causes and preventative measures) that we hope can be a resource for all car drivers.

Here is a blog that links an increase in car accident statistics to revocation of traffic tickets:


Hopefully, by gaining their trust through our auto accident blog, maybe they'll look to us to help them with their case. At worst, anyone that checks out our blog can benefit from our personal injury attorneys' knowledge of automobile accidents.

Steve Buchholz

Scott: You are right on. While I embrace all these wonderful and exciting promotional opportunities, we need to wait before we declare something a success.

Creating "buzz" is great, but is that success on its own? It could be if you don't have bills to pay. Most of us, however, judge success on the line that matters: the one at the bottom.



First off just wanted to say that I read the New Rules of Marketing & PR and got so much value out of it. Brian Halligan suggested that I read it. Thanks for writing such a helpful book!

I invested a significant amount of my time in the BJITW not only by applying but also by creating the community for the BJITW applicants on Ning - http://islandreefjob.ning.com - which turned out to be quite a vibrantly engaged community. I guess you could say I more than did my part to contribute to the rave and the viral element of this campaign!

I agree with what Scott is saying (a member on Ning by the way – hi Scott!) that the real test comes in whether or not this will result in higher tourism revenue for Queensland and not just buzz.

They deserve tremendous praise for creating a world wide rave with their campaign. They did many, many things right. For the sake of dissecting this campaign though, here are some areas where they stumbled in terms of using the social media channel properly and to most effect:
- TQ did not capitalize on people going to their site on a daily basis. At no point in time were any of us applicants or other interested parties shown in depth information on Queensland itself on their website. There could have been all sorts of information fed /made available to us as we were salivating over the idea of living in the Whitsundays and scuba diving the GBR. Instead our attention was only on the candidates and their videos not Queensland itself.
- A lot of the Top 50 people they chose had PR/tourism/TV backgrounds. This was never stated as a requirement. As such, many of the 34,000+ that did not make the Top 50 felt used by this campaign. They believe that they spent their time making a video, blogging/tweeting about it, telling their friends to check it out etc. when they never really had a chance. The job was portrayed as being available to anyone who was adventurous and a good communicator when in fact it appears there was a hidden requirement. By hiding that requirement intentionally or not, they got more people to apply and spread the word. I think this lack of transparency hurts Tourism Queensland.
- Their choices for Top 50 and Top 16 clearly show that they were selecting candidates based on their geographic location (where they have regional tourism offices) as opposed to the strength of their application. They lost credibility and interest again with the masses because in the end there was a hidden agenda.
- A social network like the community I created could have been a powerful additional channel for TQ to use to reach and interact with their target market. It could have been the platform on which the eventual Island Caretaker communicated. The audience would have been built up during the course of the campaign and not starting when the blog of the IC launches on July 1. As such, many people have tuned out now and will not come back then to follow the blog.

Again, it goes without saying that from a viral / rave perspective, this campaign was off the charts. However, since I have followed the BJITW so closely for the whole time and in such an in-depth manner by running that community, I just wanted to point out where TQ didn’t necessarily excel and could do differently next time (if there is one!) In the meantime, my money is on a candidate from Asia or with an Asian background to be living in the Blue Pearl on July 1 because that is where the growth in tourism looks to be for Australia. Who of the 16 do you think will be the Caretaker, David?


David Meerman Scott

Kathleen, Scott, Susie & Steve

I am very surprised at the reaction. This is what is so interesting about social media. I thought this was such a wonderful effort and talk about it a lot on the speaking circuit and wrote about it here.

But clearly there is another side.

Yes, now that I think about it, it is really strange that there is not an easy way to learn more about the are on the micro-site. And now that Susie points it out it also seems odd to me that there is not a social media component to the micro site.

Anyway, thanks to you all for opening my eyes to another aspect of this marketing initiative.

Take care,


John Frazier

Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

The fact that Tourism Queensland achieved their Web traffic goal for the entire year in 36 hours proves the amazing viral success of this campaign took them by surprise. Had they known this was going to be this big I’m sure they would have done many things differently. I’ve been involved in a number of runaway success PR campaigns and seldom can you predict exactly how widely a story will be embraced. Bottom line, hindsight always does seem to be 20/20, and if they run this campaign again it will definitely be something reflective of all they’ve learned this time.

In their wildest, wildest dreams they thought a maximum 30,000 applications was a sensible cut-off. When the avalanche continued right up to the last minute, they kept applications open well beyond the deadline and ultimately accepted almost 5,000 more than planned. From day one, at every turn, the response has been overwhelming and unprecedented. Sadly, there were people who were not able to get their video posted in time. I feel badly, both for those who spent so much time and effort preparing a video, and for TQ, who may have lost the perfect candidate in the process.

Can you imagine advertising a job opening and getting more than 34,000 resumes? Quinn & Co. was not involved in judging the applications, but I can tell you that absolutely every employee of TQ was deployed to help vet the 34K+ videos. Each used consistent criteria in judging every one of them. So far as I know, there was no hidden agenda that they were looking for someone with a broadcast background, but since the mission was to find a great communicator, it makes sense a lot of journalists rose to the top.

Unfortunately, only one person can get hired and the success of the campaign can only be judged after he or she has completed the assignment, the global economy has recovered and people have been traveling again for a while. I’m betting that at the end of the day they will have made many more friends than enemies.

With every job search there are always disappointed job seekers who do not get the position. In my career, I’ve often been one of them. Often. I know how it feels. However, I hope all those who were excited about this job and didn’t get it will be gracious and excited for whoever gets the gig. I hope they follow them on-line during their six-month experience. And I hope that someday, they each visit Queensland.

Alison Charter-Smith

Loved this post, and a great example of the right message at right time. How much more "right time" could it be, when the world's economies are imploding and the offer to live on a sunny, warm and beautiful island. How much more "fantasy island" could you get?


I guess that things are perfect when it happens at the right time, done in the right way by the right person:-)


I like the creativity behind the method as well as the low cost. I have also been creating 1 mintue videos. Then I post them to a Free site call http://www.Adwido.com I post here because they target specific keywords specific to my product to boost traffic from search engines.


Scott: You are right on. While I embrace all these wonderful and exciting promotional opportunities, we need to wait before we declare something a success. http://www.mediafiretorrent.com

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