Loyalty Pays $100,000 at D.C. Marketing Firm

Former Giuliani pollster rewards loyal staff with up to $105,000.

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In former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's world, loyalty counts for more than anything. And apparently it's infectious.

Just consider Pete Snyder, the former pollster for Giuliani's 1997 mayoral campaign. Snyder, who in 1999 started New Media Strategies, a social network marketing firm, out of his Capitol Hill apartment, has just taken staff loyalty to new heights: giving 35 steady employees thank you checks of $80,000-$105,000. [Read 10 Things You Didn't Know about Giuliani.]

"We try to be a safe haven for employees," says Snyder, a frequent conservative and marketing commentator on Fox.

While other media and marketing firms have been hit hard in the recession, Snyder's has thrived, being the online marketing firm for companies like NBC, Dominoes, and Chrysler, and even helping Fred Thompson's presidential bid in 2008.

Three years ago, Snyder sold NMS to a larger firm, Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens. As part of the deal, Snyder "baked in" a promise to pay employees who stayed on for three years with a special bonus if business grew. It did, and on Saturday, 35 of those who stayed since the sale got the checks at a black tie party on the top of the W Hotel which overlooks the Treasury and White House South Lawn.

For Snyder, loyalty is a two-way street. "Employers need to give people a reason to get up," he said, adding that he hopes the bonuses will "incentivize" them to continue on with NMS.

As a longtime Washingtonian, he conceded that his story isn't a typical one in Washington. And he likes that. "To have success in business, if you try to emulate what happens in Washington, you'll be usually bankrupt pretty soon, so we try to do somewhat the opposite of what we see happening in town," he said.

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