Contest-ing PR: 8 Winning Ways to Giveaways


If you’ve ever won a contest, you know how good it feels to be a winner. Hosting a contest invites participation and gives people something to talk about: you! This post first appeared here in April 2007 with the first three steps only. Today, I’m adding in five more. What would you add?


Original Post Begins Here . . .

Update:  Thanks to Andrew Peters, an MTN ezine reader, uber cool blogger and virtual PR expert based in Singapore, for his permission to share his email with you in response to this ezine article:

Hi Barbara

Thanks for your latest email, we are currently putting together a
contest and your Words of Wisdom are very timely

Thank you…

Andrew Peters | COO | The Pacific West Communications


Here’s a clip from this week’s ezine article, “Contest-ing PR: 8 Winning Ways to Giveaways”

Step One: Start Out with What’s In It For Them

Choose a prize that makes people say, “I want to win that!” This may seem like the last decision you need to make, but having an enticing prize makes the incentive to enter that much more powerful. And, you can build your creative campaign around it. Also, the better the prize, the more viral your contest becomes.

Step Two: Figure Out What’s In It For You

Determine your contest’s purpose – is it to generate leads, qualify prospects, come up with a new design, position your company as a resource, contribute to your community or something else? It may be all of these or just one.

Step Three: Write Winning Rules

For more formal contests, write your rules carefully and take your time. Check with a legal resource to make sure your fine print covers any liabilities. And, be sure to ask for all the customer information you want to capture beyond the basics and into buying preferences, industry or even lifestyle questions that give you clues into buying behaviors.

Step Four: Set Up the Game Plan

Design a way to enter and submit entries, preferably online so you can track responses. Drive traffic to a designated URL and email address to gauge responses.

Step Five: Call for Entries

Publicize your contest with a press release, a blog entry or advertising. To track search terms and reader statistics, drive your traffic to a designated contest URL and email address. Set up a mini-site or blog page that promotes the contest and collects entries.

Step Six: Evaluate Entries

Giving your contestants your score card along with the entry helps them do their best and helps you by making the entries more consistent. After you collect the entries, you can judge them yourself or call in an expert panel of judges to choose the winner. Contact every entrant to let them know you appreciate their efforts and offer a small consolation prize.

Step Seven: Announce Your Contest Winner

Telling someone they’ve won a contest is exciting. Capture the moment by recording the phone call, shooting a video or taking a picture. Then, include the image[s] in your press release along with an explanation of why you selected this entry and a quote from the winner on what it means to them.

Step Eight: Evaluate Results

Compare the contest’s results to your goals. Count the number of entries, site visits, new leads and media mentions. Add it all up and think about what worked, what needs to be changed and how the contest was received by your employees, your customers and your communities. Then, get out your calendar and set the date for the next one!

To request permission to reproduce or republish this article, contact connect AT corywestmedia DOT com.

About the author . . .

An in-demand publicist, professional speaker and marketing communications consultant since 1990, Barbara Rozgonyi is grounded, edgy and prophetic. “Panoramic PR,” Barbara’s latest project, compresses everything she knows into an affordable, manageable course that teaches small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, experts, coaches and anyone else who wants more free publicity how to get completely covered by being fully exposed. Claim a free report and get automatic articles like this one at

Your Turn

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