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New YouTube Contest

Hi all,

I work for EPA’s Radon Program. You may have seen one of our Public Service Announcements (PSAs) over the last 18 years. These PSAs have helped educate millions about the dangers of radon, even winning an Emmy along the way. But looking to the future we face the challenge of educating a whole new generation of first-time home buyers about the dangers of radon. So we’re launching a new pilot project, the radon video contest www.radonvideocontest.com.

We are looking for 30-60 second video submissions with the theme “Radon: Test, Fix, Save a Life” which encourage Americans to test and fix their homes for radon. The contest website www.radonvideocontest.com provides instructions on entering the contest, explains the contest rules, and provides a link to the YouTube contest group. Entrants have until August 25th to submit a video. A panel of EPA employees will choose a winner, who will receive a $2,500 award and have his or her video shown at the National Radon Training Conference in Las Vegas, NV September 15-17.

As you can imagine, it was no easy task to convince our management to let us try this little experiment. But they took a leap of faith, so we’d really like the contest to be a success. That’s where I need some help. Please forward the contest information to anyone who might be interested, friends, family, alumni groups, etc. Thank you!

Also, please let me know if you’ve had any luck trying “Web 2.0” strategies in your organization.

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Great idea Jeremy. It’s a very innovative approach and I’ll spread the word to my friends.
I suggest others in GovLoop spread the word and help support innovative gov’t initiatives.

Kate Yemelyanov

Hey, some of my colleagues are working on a contest idea and are a little wrapped around the axle on how to administer it. How are you all running the competition?

Jeremy Ames

Hi Kate. It’s been a long road. Essentially we’re doing a mini “procurement” for artistic designs, based on a 1927 precedent the lawyers found. We built our own registration page, and simply “encourage” people to post their entries on YouTube. There are underlining issues with each of these decisions. I hope to write up a case study when the contest is done, but feel free to drop me an email if you’d like some ideas. Good luck!

Jeremy Ames

Update: Well with two weeks left in the contest entries are starting to roll in. So far three videos have been submitted. Several people have emailed questions, so I’m hopefully the bulk of the entries is still to come. Too soon to judge success, but our first entry is already up to 1100 hits on YouTube, which is encouraging.

Jeremy Ames

Update: Wow, 3 days left and we’ve seen a big uptick in submissions. We have 12 videos so far with nearly 3,500 hits collectively. So I guess the lesson here is that if you’ve done the work to promote your video contest, don’t panic if your group is empty those first few weeks.

When the contest is done we plan to do an analysis of what sites drove the most traffic to our contest page, which should be a big help next time around.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Jeremy – I missed this earlier post…please share the developments. I would like to post a story on my blog as well.

Jeremy Ames

Final Update: At contest close 30 videos were submitted, which have received over 5000 hits and counting! Thank you to everyone who helped promoted the contest and offered words of encouragement. I’ll post a new entry with our lessons learned in the next few weeks.