4 Steps to Getting Your Program Off to a Great Start

by Ellen Trunk Second Street

Create a Team

In order for your contesting program to be successful in the long run, you need to have buy-in from people in multiple departments across your organization. Feedback is important, and your promotions program shouldn’t be isolated from other initiatives at your company.

James Blasco of the Daytona News Journal and Rebecca Capparelli from GateHouse Media both correlate all their success to having put together their dream team. They both shared their stories at the Second Street Summit. Once you have this cross-departmental team in place, it will be much easier to align your goals and create a long-term strategy for promotions and interactive content.

Create Your Dream Team

Figure Out Your Goals

There are a TON of benefits to running engagement campaigns, including database growth, increased revenue, and much, much more. This article outlines the seven top goals facing media companies today (including time on site, pageviews, and growing social following.)

Before you begin to plot out your promotions and interactive content, you want to sit down with your cross-departmental team and make a detailed list of the goals you want to achieve. But, don’t stop there. As Beth Mann of WPSD-TV explains, you want to set goals that are ambitious, but attainable. Beth shared her team’s strategy for making $500K in digital revenue in her small-market of Paducah, KY.

Achieve Your Ambitious Goals


Planning is what separates successful programs from the mediocre (and no one wants to be mediocre!)

No matter what time of year you decide to start running promotions and interactive content, you should start by creating a year-long campaign calendar. You will be most successful if you create a cohesive strategy focused on achieving your goals right from the start.

Download our Planning Calendar and Revenue Tracker to get you started on the right foot. In this interactive tool, you’ll be able to input all your engagement campaigns and track their revenue.

Get your copy of Your Planning Calendar for Promotions.

Launch Your First Contest and Evaluate Your Results

If your first contest isn’t a runaway success, don’t fret.

While it’s possible that your first contest could be an incredible success, it’s much more likely your program will continue to steadily grow and improve over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t (and as you collect more and more email addresses to market to by adding opt-ins to the registration pages).

So, if the results of your first contest aren’t what you hoped they would be, turn the disappointment into an opportunity by taking the time to identify what didn’t work and what steps you can take to improve your next promotion.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Was the contest type the right one to achieve your goals?
  2. Did you have a good prize?
  3. Was the contest marketed and promoted well?
  4. Did you plan far enough in advance for the sales team to sell?
  5. Were you offering a compelling sponsorship package?
  6. Was the contest set up correctly and running error-free?

Knowing what didn’t work is often the best way to make improvements that will lead to big results for future contests.

Get your copy of the 359 Ideas to Engage Your Audience Playbook.