In January 2009, 'Tourism Queensland' in Australia launched a campaign dubbed 'The Best Job in the World' and judging by the response, it would be reasonable to assume that the opportunity on offer was the ultimate dream job for many, many people (35,000 applicants in fact – and this was at a time when Facebook had 'only' 350m users, compared to 2.7bn in 2021).
The 6 month position (with a AUD$150,000 salary) entailed being a 'Caretaker for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef' and the responsibilities were as follows:
- Clean the pool
- Feed the fish
- Collect the mail
- Explore and report back
That was it!
Naturally, being operated by Tourism Queensland, the goal was promoting the Barrier Reef region to the world, specifically some of its relatively unknown islands. Despite social media and the internet having significantly less penetration at the time (remember that the first iPhone was only launched in 2007), the campaign featured on a number of TV news channels and, through various media, was hugely successful in promoting the area to a global audience. Of the many impressive statistics released by Tourism Queensland after the campaign, here are the ones which caught our eye and should be an incentive for any business owner considering innovative ways to promote their business
- 35,000 applicants from 200 countries
- More than AU$430m in estimated global public relations value
- Winner of several PR awards globally
- Generated 8.6m website visits
Dream Job Winner
The 'winner' of this dream job was 34 year-old charity events designer, Ben Southall from the UK. During his tenure, Ben visited 100 Queensland destinations, fielded more than 450 media interviews, posted more than 75,000 words on his blog and produced 47 video diaries.
The result of landing a dream job role (particularly when it is this highly publicised) is that new opportunities become available to you which might not previously have been possible. On account of Ben's quasi-celebrity status, he wrote a book 'The Best Job in the World: How to Make a Living From Following Your Dreams' (click the link to view the book on Amazon).