As any regular Inc.com reader can tell you, these days airlines seem to excel not so much at providing speedy, comfortable transportation as they do at outraging customers and producing head-slapping PR blunders. From manhandling grandparents off planes to killing puppies to devising ever more annoying seats, most airlines are in the news these days for all the wrong reasons.
But one airline, it appears, actually knows how to do PR right.
Icelandic discount airline Wow Air is winning itself glowing headlines and plenty of positive exposure with a new PR ninja move. The carrier is advertising a position that will pay two friends to travel the world for the summer and blog about their experiences.
The best summer job ever?
The lucky pair selected will get a free apartment in Reykjavik that will serve as a home base for two and a half months' worth of travel to the carrier's 38 destinations. To sweeten the pot, each friend will receive a healthy salary of 3,300 euros (about $4,000) a month in addition to having all their travel expenses covered. In return, the pair of intrepid travelers will vlog and blog about their experiences and offer travel tips on the airline's website.
Interested in applying? If you think you and a buddy are the "fun pair of individuals who are able to think big" the airline is looking for, you'll need to upload a video of travel tips for your hometown to the company's website by May 14th. The lucky pair chosen start their adventure June 1st. If you've got a couple of months free this summer, someone to travel with that you won't want to kill after a week on the road, and a pair of itchy feet, this just might be the best job ever.
PR people, take note
While most of us are too tied down with kids, careers, and other responsibilities to chase this dream gig, the Wow competition offers more than just a great opportunity for idle daydreaming. It's also food for thought for PR pros and marketing professionals.
This is hardly the first organization to hit on the idea of paying someone to do "the best job in the world." A few years back, tourism authorities in Queensland, Australia, created a media storm by offering to pay someone a fat salary to live on a tropical island for six months as a caretaker. The campaign generated huge buzz, with more than 34,500 people applying for the job and more than six million visiting the Best Job in the World website. PR pros hailed the idea as pure genius.
And while it's doubtful most businesses have a spare tropical island to give away, the success of these types of campaigns does offer lessons to those with less jaw-dropping perks to offer. And these extend beyond the obvious truth that everyone loves giveaways, competitions, and exotic travel.
For instance, PR pro Desirae Kay Johnson notes on her blog that the tourism authorities behind the Best Job in the World campaign didn't just use social media as a billboard to spread the word. They also asked followers to vote on their favorite applications. "You should actively work to engage your audiences by encouraging participation," she writes. With creativity, any business can do that, no matter what it's selling.
The campaign also involved multiple phases that allowed Queensland to benefit from continuing buzz. "The PR campaign was designed to ensure continued media coverage," explains Johnson. "As it began to narrow down the list of potential applicants, Queensland Tourism sent out news releases to inform the media of the various stages of the campaign. This helped to drive greater awareness through continued exposure."
By setting up a clever (if far more modest) competition or giveaway of your own using these principles, you just might be able to spin up your own little storm of interest in your corner of the market.