- Rarely will the production value of content created as part of PSA contests be on par with that is, or could be, produced by professionals
- The content of PSA contest does not typically have very wide distribution – i.e. winners of many contest are often only available on lightly-trafficked websites and/ or highlighted at conferences
- There will very rarely resources available to asses the impact of the user-generated PSAs so the most realistic proxy for PSA impact will be reach
Therefore, the goal of PSA contests should be to maximize participation in terms of the total number of individuals involved in the the development of PSAs. Some of the potential implications of this being:
- Consider formats that, though possibly less hip, have a much lower barrier to entry. In this model print and/ essay contests may be a greater good than video contests.
- Avoid contests that only solicit participation from a limited group, even if it is a group that may be well suited to the medium (i.e. film schools for video PSA contests).
- Don’t just think about the number of entries but think about having a contest with the most number of people appearing/ participating in a given PSA.
- Consider contests that look to link different groups together in the production of the video – content development, production, post-production – to get a longer chain of individuals involved with different skills and backgrounds.
- Look for ways to get the greatest number of different demographic groups/ target audiences involved. This will get not only more people involved but will also result in more culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging around a given topic.
What do you think of this approach? Anyone out there with PSA contest experience have other thoughts? What (realistically obtainable) metrics would you look at that could measure the effectiveness/ ROI of PSA contests?
And, as always, these ideas are mine and mine alone.