A photo contest is a fair and fun way to get the images you need and give exposure to members.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
Has anyone ran a successful photo contest or cover contest for your printed directory?
Running a photo contest provides the chamber with a number of images, gives the winner some PR attention, and engages the community. But what are the best practices for running a contest?
Tips for a Chamber Photo Contest
Open it to the Community
Decide whether the contest should be open to members only or the entire community. You’ll receive more attention if it’s open to the community, but if the winner is a non-member business, members who are competitors of this business may become resentful. If you make it members only, you’ll need someone to verify each entry.
Opening it to the community will produce more entries and give you an additional opportunity to speak with nonmembers. It’s also more likely to generate a buzz.
Give it a Theme
Give your contest a theme: Best Attraction in Town, Best Thing about Living Here, What Makes Us Special, etc. Playstation was extremely successful with a contest that asked entrants to reproduce their logo in creative ways.
Ask for Everything
Contest entrees almost always become property of the company running the contest. Ask for free usage rights for every entry. While you don’t have to ask for exclusive rights, meaning the image becomes your property, for every entry, you can build your image bank quite easily through a contest.
Even if the entrant didn’t win the cover contest, you can still use those other images on social media and give the attribution to him.
Make it Legal
Before creating any contest, make sure you have someone with knowledge of the law take a look at your rules. This applies if you’re hosting on social media as well. Make sure you are up-to-date with the latest contest rules on the platform of your choice. Even if you knew them before, take a new look. Things change quickly.
After the legal review, post the rules publicly on your website. Everywhere the contest is mentioned, link back to that page.
Make it Mobile-friendly
Make sure the contest is easy to enter for your mobile users as well. Many people take picture with their phones. Making it difficult to enter directly from a phone would be a mistake.
The final tip is that a contest must always be promoted. Use everything your have – social media, your website, your email list, the chamber newsletter, even your email signature.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit: Norma Davey