Magoosh GRE

Critical analysis of a PR campaign

| February 8, 2017


The value of the public relations campaign has become a topic of substantial debate. This essay assesses the role of the process and the value it has in today’s business world. With the evidence presented showing that there can be value found in a well-executed PR strategy, the Queensland 2009 project illustrates the pros and cons. This work will be of value to any researcher evaluating the nature of public relations.

1 Introduction

Public relations and the capacity to effectively communicate a concept or idea to the general public has become a veritable science in the modern world (Macnamara, 2010). The converse argument that some utilize is that companies should not have to create a campaign to sell a good product, has also been used to limited effect (Goeldner and Ritchie, 2003). The role of public relations campaigns, or PR, in the business world has continued to gain prominence as increased technology allows companies to reach entirely new markets (Ryan, and Jones, 2011). This essay examines the Tourism Queensland promotion of the Great Barrier Reef in 2009 in an effort to develop an understanding of the strengths and detriments of the approach. Widely regarded as being one of the more effective PR campaigns in modern memory, the exercise illustrated the power and impact that a well-considered strategy can have.

2 Public Relations Campaign

2.1 Background

The Tourism Australia website trumpets the Tourism Queensland 2009 “Best Job in the World” as one of the most successful public relations campaign in the world (Australia, T. 2014). Others cite the spectacle overshadowing the product in relation to this campaign (Macnamara, 2010). The Queensland campaign had a stated goal of developing an innovative method of promoting their destinations, while at the same time aligning market activity through all international markets ( 2014). Specifically targeted at a younger demographic the international Australian campaign offered a range of six out of the jobs in exotic regions to six lucky winners (Australia, 2014). Adhering to the basic principle of tourism, that there must be a unique offering in order to stoke interest, the Queensland campaign offered rare employment in an even rarer environment (Goeldner et al, 2010). Independent observers noted that the caretaker option enticed tens of thousands of applicants to apply (Sweney, 2009). Yet, others noted the uptick in management cost that this process imposed on the business (Macnamara, 2010). This choice of presentation indicates that the campaign was successful due to the rare manner of enticement, the unique obstacles coupled with the psychological challenge represented by the remote nature of the experience created a novel opportunity.

By targeting a demographic that was suited for their associated assets, the Queensland provoked international interest across a wide swath of populations and cultures (Sweeney, 2009). This supports the researches assumption that a large population would be interested in this brand of employment. This broad appeal serves to build an advertising platform that can be utilized to entice those that are not lucky enough to be chosen for the six positions advertised (Macnamara, 2010). Another factor that benefited the campaign was found in the word of mouth that appealed to a large swath of employable and most often employed people. This manner of inexpensive advertisement cost very little, yet provided a wealth of contacts that offered further revenue potential which is vital when considering similar concerns.

This appeal also generated such an exotic story to the media that the sizable addition of coverage was provided by outside sources (Sweeney, 2009). With another addition of low cost advertising, this evidence suggests that the capacity to increase the scope of advertising and operations will very likely offset any adverse impacts. With a sense of mystery and excitement the Queensland campaign provided a story line that everyone around the world could watch with interest ( 2014). Utilizing a simplistic approach that appealed to every demographic, the campaign successfully communicated with their target audience.

2.2 Key issues

The Queensland campaign felt that it was of primary interest to evoke a global interest in their properties through the PR effort ( 2014). By utilizing the form of competition to secure a ‘dream job’ the company offered an image that could be translated beyond the possible job, and into the realm of potential vacation. Utilizing a straightforward approach allowed for easy communication for every demographic (Sweeney, 2009). With positive exposure assured through the media interest in the contest, the continued stream of news and developments provided a demonstrative showcase for the entire regions assets (Sweeney, 2009).

With five key areas including launch, application, shortlisting and voting, application section and employment there was a comprehensive effort to maximize the exposure ( 2014). Every stage of this campaign was focused on effectively communicating the message to the largest group at the least cost. By combining different incentives the campaign capitalized on free media coverage to accomplish their goals of worldwide exposure.

2.3 Effectiveness

The Queensland PR campaign has been deemed an illustration of success and innovation by a wide variety of professionals and advertisers around the world (Pomering, 2013). The simple style, coupled with the psychological incentives combined to surpass company expectations. As evidence of their overall success, the Queensland Company claims the campaign has changed the face of global advertising in a positive manner (Australia, 2014). This point has a clear impact on the manner in which other modern operations are conducted. With numbers that are hard to dispute, the amount of interest generated by free media coverage alone provides a compelling appeal to the approach.

3 Conclusion

This essay examined the Tourism Queensland promotion of the Great Barrier Reef in 2009 in an effort to develop a deeper appreciation of the benefits and detriments of the approach. This research illustrated that it was the simple, direct, novel and innovative approach the Queensland PR campaign that utilized the xotic locale and attractiveness of rare employment, alongside the simple principles of timing and effective communication to sustain the interest of entire global population. As a result of this strategy the company experienced free media coverage, a wide base for extended communication and an overall improvement of their brand image. Further, this able utilization of assets on hand was accomplished at a minimal cost with maximum effect.

In the end the Queensland PR campaign of 2009 showcased what can happen when a company can tap into the dreams of a population, as well as the pocket book.


Australia, T. 2014. About the campaign – Best Jobs in the world – Campaigns – Tourism Australia. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Feb 2014].
Goeldner, C. R. and Ritchie, J. R. B. 2010. Tourism. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
Macnamara, J. 2010. Public relations and the social: How practitioners are using, or abusing, social media. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 11 (1), pp. 21–39.
Pomering, A. 2013. Indigenous Identity in the Nation Brand: Tension and Inconsistency in a Nation’s Tourism Advertising Campaigns. Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (1), pp. 66–79.
Ryan, D. and Jones, C. 2011. The best digital marketing campaigns in the world. London: Kogan Page.
Sweney, M. 2009. ‘Best job in the world’ campaign storms Cannes Lions advertising awards. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Feb 2014]. 2014. Tourism Queensland ‘Best Job In The World’ Social Media campaign – Marketing Case Studies | UTalkMarketing. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Feb 2014].

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Category: Essay & Dissertation Samples, Literature