In 2015, I strategized the BillionActs Hero Award with the intent to generate new user leads, generate web traffic, and increase brand awareness. The central idea included an award presented by a Nobel Peace Laureate during PeaceJam’s yearly film premiere at the Monte Carlo Television and Film Festival. Nominees in 5 categories win an award based on a half jury, half public vote. By 2017, this multi-department social media contest received 10,036 new registered users, 30,903 votes, and 94,222 organic page views.
Public nominations were accepted until March of 2017, users were encouraged to nominate their favorite Act of Peace through the BillionActs website. At the end of the year, we selected 10 of the best Acts of Peace logged on the BillionActs website, and these top ten acts of peace became the semi-finalists for the Hero Award. The semi-finalists competed in 5 different on-brand categories; Best Youth Act, Best Non-Profit Act, Best Business Act, Best University Act, and Best Up and Coming Peacemaker. We created a video for each semi-finalist that briefly explained what each semi-finalist accomplished that qualified them for the nomination. For quality control reasons, we made all the videos in-house. This ensured that we portrayed our brand to the public in a consistent manner and that no person would have an advantage or disadvantage based on the quality of their video production. I wrote copy for each of the video scripts, which followed a simple formula. The formula was, demonstrate the big picture then position the semi-finalist as the solution. The scripts then went through an extensive editing process to ensure each video was on-brand.
While drafting the scripts, I communicated the strategy and the structure of the contest to PeaceJam’s internal web team. Such as; How the landing page should look? What order the videos should go in? Why did we decide not to display vote counts above 1000? Which each had their own strategic answer.
Semi-finalists were allowed 4 weeks between April and May to encourage their followers to help measure their impact by voting. During this time period, I drafted language for the nominees to share on their social media outlets and coordinated with each of the semi-finalists’ marketing teams to highlight each nominee on a particular day, across our internal 1.1 M follower social media network. This allowed us to maximize our organic exposure for each nominee. Voting required users to register through the BillionActs of Peace website. This resulted in new user registrations. In order to prevent the contest from becoming a popularity contest, the winners were partially determined by popular vote and partially determined by a jury made up of Nobel Peace Laureates serving on PeaceJam’s board. Winners were announced just after the PeaceJam Foundation’s board meeting that June.