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5 Things the USA.gov Brand Learned from Launching Campaigns

By Leilani Martinez and Jessica Milcetich

The USA.gov team is launching a series of interactive, multimedia campaigns that package the most useful and relevant government information around specific topics. The whole USA.gov family — including GobiernoUSA.gov,Kids.gov, social media outlets, email lists and more — is working in a coordinated fashion for these campaigns in order to meet the needs of our users and also to reach new audiences, including traditional and non-traditional media outlets.

Our Holiday Campaign
Our most recent campaign, The 12 Days of Holiday Tips, launched on December 1. We’ve tried some smaller campaigns in the past few months for back to school and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but this is our first full-blown campaign.

This seasonal campaign offered practical advice and tips from across the government. We featured resources for the general public, Spanish-speakers and children on everything from how to celebrate on a budget to how save energy by using LED holiday lights.

The Details
Here are some of the main things that we did as part of this campaign:

The 5 Things that We’ve Learned So Far
1. Creating an editorial board is key to coordinate all the moving pieces. Our editorial board pulled people from across the organization. We started meeting about a month and a half before the launch of the campaign and probably could have started coordinating even earlier.

2. More marketing, please! We need to continually market the information through the entire life of the campaign. When the campaign is over, we can continue to point people to that information. We can also look to work with more agency partners to jointly create and promote information.

3. Build partnerships with government and non-government groups. This is related to the point above. It’s crucial to involve others from the onset. Our partners could help promote the information through their channels and tap into their networks.

4. Good opportunity to test new and creative ideas. Publishing one tip a day was a new venture for us and we’re still measuring how well it worked. The campaign was a perfect time to test this. We also had a chance to experiment with new promotion ideas, like the bloggers’ roundtable, and also with new formats, such as the embeddable slide show.

5. Be flexible and innovative.

The Future
The editorial board will meet early next year to discuss what campaigns we should work on next year. We want to focus on top tasks and services, partnerships and multimedia, including the use of videos, podcasts and inforgraphics. Stay tuned!

Do you have experience running campaigns in your agency or have you done something similar? Please share your ideas and comments.

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