Matthew Epstein, creator of googlepleasehire.me, has succeeded in grabbing the attention of Google staffers and social media followers the world over in a carefully planned and executed guerrilla marketing campaign. We’ve seen people appeal publicly for employment with the search giant before, but none achieved the same viral success as the (sometimes) mustachioed Atlanta resident.
Google Please Hire M.E.: The Story So Far
After spending a month plotting out his self-described “OMG PR stunts and WTF marketing” strategy, Epstein launched his assault with a blog post on his own domain and a new website at googlepleasehire.me. The website was complete with testimonials, an embedded YouTube video, “Google Video Resume,” an interview request form, and a link to his online resume.
His campaign spread like wildfire August 3, eventually catching the attention of a Google employee who, Epstein says, passed on a link to Google’s HR department.
Epstein also caught the interest of at least one would-be scammer, who posed as a senior employee in development with Google and encouraged him to send his credit card information in order to verify his identity and speed up the hiring process. Though more convincing than most phishing emails, the Gmail address did give it away. Google confirmed the man does not work for their company and this is not their practice for job applications (in case anyone else gets any bright ideas).
Minutes after he sent a life-size cardboard cut-out of himself off from the local FedEx to Google’s HR in Mountain View, he received an email from a (real) Google staffer who “took steps to get the ball rolling for him.” After filling out the requisite paperwork, Epstein hopes to hear back from Google sometime this week to schedule a phone interview.
In a later update on his blog, prompted by an onslaught of questions by email and on social media networks, Epstein clarified that as the time of writing, he had not officially heard from Google HR. Epstein reported via Twitter this afternoon that he had a call with a Google recruiter, and it went "smashingly," also noting that Microsoft unexpectedly called him 5 minutes before the Google call. Epstein said he been contacted by “dozens and dozens” of other Google staffers offering encouragement.
Why Google Please Hire Me Worked
Whether he lands a job or not, his objective was to get Google’s attention and he succeeded. There are a few key factors that undoubtedly helped this go viral and propelled Epstein to an internet sensation overnight, attracting the attention of the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle (among other mainstream media):
- He knows his stuff. The website, the blog, the video, the resume... all are well done and obviously took time and planning. Epstein also has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising and a few years experience, which doesn’t hurt.
- The mustache. It’s quirky and kitschy, but it worked. The persona he created in his video, with the neat scotch and that God-awful mustache, carried over through the rest of his efforts and generated conversation and shares. He successfully branded himself overnight.
- He engaged followers/readers, using humor and the charm only a scotch-swilling caricature can, responding to one woman’s tweet questioning his tactics with, “With 9% unemployment it’s starting to feel like putting on a fake mustache & drinking scotch IS the only way to get job today.”
- He attracted the attention of influencers, who retweeted him, blogged his story, and sent (mostly) words of encouragement.
- He thanked the person who put his story on Hacker News; though it generated an onslaught of negative buzz within that community, it became top news and he had several thousand hits to his site.
So the guys at Gizmodo weren’t impressed. In a competitive job market with a very specific skill set, you have to give him points for trying. You can’t argue with numbers, so here are a few he shared from the 36-hour mark of his campaign:
- Over 4,000 Facebook Likes, 3,000 tweets and 1,500 Google +1s (up from 150 Likes, 80 tweets/retweets, and 20 Google +1s on day one)
- 50+ job interview offers
- 400 LinkedIn profile views and 150+ requests to connect
His site analytics and YouTube counter had not refreshed at that point, but at the 48-hour mark, his Google Video Resume had over 4,300 views, up exponentially from just over 600 earlier in the afternoon. About seven hours later, as of 7:30 a.m. EST, that had increased again tenfold to over 45,000 views.
Epstein actually expressed some disappointment that he hadn’t executed the entirety of his PR/marketing campaign; he had planned on two to three weeks of buzz generation and publicity. He promised to move forward with the rest of his strategy if he hasn’t heard from Google by the end of next week. They may need to hire him just to head off the next phase of his campaign.