Winter holidays present ample engagement opportunities for newsrooms.
Let’s explore some of those opportunities in a contest.
For the next week or so, I’m going to collect nominations from Digital First newsrooms, explaining your engagement projects. Sometime after I gather all the nominations, I’ll post them here and voting will begin. The winning newsroom (or two) will receive a Priority Mail box stuffed with candy.
Your engagement project needs to be something that’s conducted at least in part between Veterans Day and New Year’s Day. It doesn’t have to be tied to a holiday, but obviously holidays present lots of opportunities:
- Did you engage around Thanksgiving, asking people what they’re thankful for or for recipes (or something else)?
- Did you engage around Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday?
- Did you try some kind of Hanukkah engagement?
- Are you running a Christmas engagement project (recipes, memories, video renditions of Christmas carols, holiday lights map and/or contest …)?
- Are you doing some year-end or New Year’s engagement (best resolution, community voting on biggest local stories of the year, best local entertainment event, etc.)?
- Are you doing engagement around Kwanzaa?
- Are you engaging around holiday travel (inviting people to submit pictures of them reading your newspaper in fun destination settings or to submit other travel photos, people whining about travel delays, as I do occasionally, etc.)?
- Are you helping needy people in the community through a drive such as collecting donations of winter coats or canned goods?
- Is your engagement built around winter weather, rather than a holiday (snowman photos, community map tracking where the plows have been, winter weather memories)?
- Is your engagement built around a local sports team (basketball starting, football team headed for a bowl game)?
- Is your engagement not geared to the season but just happening now (maybe tied to people’s efforts to register for Obamacare or lied to a local issue or event)?
- Something I haven’t thought of?
Deadline for entries will be Monday
morning, Dec. 16 23. Your entry should include a description of the project, including how the public participates. How are you using social media, your website or app(s), your newspaper to promote the project or for people to participate? Include a link (or more). Send a photo or video that’s part of the project (or a link to it). Are you offering a prize, and if so, is it offered by an advertiser or from the newsroom budget (or someone’s closet)? Is there an advertiser tie-in or another way that the project generates revenue? Are you running the project in a partnership with any community organizations or with your blog network? Do you have metrics showing engagement, participation, viewing, social media engagement or traffic from your project?
You can email me your entry, but I prefer entering by posting in the comments here.
If your project is New Year’s-focused, let me know whether you would feel at a disadvantage if the voting happens before Christmas. If a few projects would prefer voting in 2014, I’ll delay the voting until then.
Otherwise, we’ll vote the week of Dec. 16, so I can send out candy to arrive in the winning newsrooms Christmas week. Update: We do have a New Year’s-focused entry, so voting will start Jan. 2, and I’ve extended the deadline for entries for a week.
If you’d like to participate and don’t have any ideas (that whining-travel-tweets idea was pretty lame, I admit), see last year’s Valentine contest or the Valentine, spring and fall engagement contests this year and see if you can adapt one of those ideas to this season (with enough improvements to land the candy).