Snag an award

Ohh the irony: Snagajob and its posse of hip .coms have slaughtered the cash cow formerly known as newspaper help wanted ads. Yet, the company has relied on the mainstream media to promote the brand. The company needs jobs seekers to use the site, after all.

Snagajob.com Founder Shawn Boyer was recently crowned the Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA. That’s a coup for the Henrico-based company and a testament to its marketing strategy. The SBA judges can’t discuss a company they’ve never heard of, after all.

And the press loop continues. Today Richmond.com posted a Q&A with Boyer.

According to a quick Lexis Nexis news search, Boyer has been quoted more than 50 times in the last two years in various papers around the country. That’s likely a very low estimate because it doesn’t count magazines, websites and small newspapers or TV spots. Usually Boyer dishes out advice on how to land a part-time job. (I’ve read about his PR strategy that explains all of this in detail but can’t find the link).

The Times-Dispatch quoted him 11 times in the last two years, which is less than other frequently quoted sources. (BizSense is working up a list). Snagajob’s name appeared in the Times-Dispatch 85 times in the last 5 years.

An editorial in yesterday’s T-D gushes, “SnagAJob isn’t only about growth. Last year, the company won the Greater Richmond Chamber’s prestigious Impact Award, which goes to businesses that are succeeding and contributing to the community.”

Let’s pause to note the irony: Snagajob and its posse of hip .coms have slaughtered the cash cow formerly known as newspaper help wanted ads. Yet, the company has relied on the mainstream media to promote the brand. The company needs jobs seekers to use the site, after all.

A few questions about the award:
How much is it worth to the Snagajob.com? Not the actual medal itself, which may be melted down and sold at the scrap lots on Mayo Island, but the publicity? The company got a nice plug in Fortune, one that has a headline calling Boyer a “Web Pioneer.”

The press release, meanwhile, was picked up all over the world. What might it have cost in equivalent marketing spending (always a very hazy calculation)?

Are there any downsides to the attention? Does it put the company in the cross hairs of some new regulator or government agency? Does it fire up a competitor the way football teams always say the opposition dissed them or failed to give them due respect? Will Monster or some other online player try to develop a competing service? Also, will the company lose some of its edge as it leaves the confines of small businesshood (it currently has around 110 employees).

At some point, BizSense will start dishing out prestigious accolades. Please send nominations for categories to [email protected]

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