This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

Using contests effectively

Since we worked on the most number of events in our history in 2014, we probably ran more contests than ever.

Contests can work great for both traditional and social media campaigns, but most obviously for events because you can give away prizes (either physical or experiential) along with admission for a certain number of people.

I have found over the years that the most effective form of contesting is with bloggers and/or Facebook and Instagram, IF your client has a large following. We will still do them with traditional media outlets but find that they have stipulations against giving away certain types of prizes, so tickets will usually suffice.

Even though there can only be one winner (unless you arrange for the rules to state otherwise), the contest generates exposure for your event which will prompt people to attend even if they do not win the prize.

Some of the most sophisticated bloggers will use an app (like Rafflecopter) or another service to garner entries, most commonly via social media (eg. “Enter by following us” &/or liking, commenting, regramming or re-tweeting).

While the minimum prize value for contests have been $50-100 in our experience, the greater the value of the prize, the most likely we will offer that to the outlets with the greatest following. Similarly we will look at the theme of the prize (some vendor prizes focus on food vs. eco items or for the family, etc.) and match that with the type or theme of the outlet.

If you have run at least one contest with one of our clients this year, THANK YOU!

Do you have any other tips on contesting that have worked really well for your campaigns?

This is our last PR tip for the year – please continue to send in your questions and suggestions for future blog or video blog topics!

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