SPCA's Web-based contest attracts traffic to new site

Recognizing a need to update its Web site to be more dynamic and usable, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) enlisted marketing and Web development firm Bold New World to create a redesigned site, which launched in January.

Recognizing a need to update its Web site to be more dynamic and usable, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) enlisted marketing and Web development firm Bold New World to create a redesigned site, which launched in January.

The SPCA still faced the challenge of generating traffic to the new site, so, with the additional help of 5W Public Relations, the team devised a Web-based contest.

Strategy

The PetStyle Contest invited pet owners to upload photos of their pets to the site, where registered users could vote on their favorites, with the top 10 winning various prizes. "The goal was to really drive people to the site and get them to register," says Kevin Mercuri, SVP at 5W. "By going to the site, they were also being exposed to SPCA messaging." The shorter nature of the contest restricted outreach to short-lead publications, such as dailies and online media.

Tactics

The team targeted reporters and columnists that cover pet and lifestyle beats at major publications and also reached out to regional and local pet blogs. After a top 10 had been established, the team targeted local media where those pets were from.

"We also had a tell-a-friend e-mail option," notes Stephanie Scroggs, SPCA director of communications. "That viral effect was great."

Results

About 3,650 photos were submitted to the contest, which drew more than 12,500 voters. During the contest, the site generated more than 1.5 million page views, doubling its previous total. The tell-a-friend option was utilized 9,500 times. "We also had almost 700 people sign up to volunteer during the time of the contest," says Scroggs.

Future

SPCA and 5W continue to work together. "You can definitely expect to see more contests on SPCA.com," Scroggs adds.

PR team: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Washington) and 5W Public Relations (New York)

Campaign: PetStyle Contest

Duration: Mid-May to mid-July 2007

Budget: $10,000 for PR; $35,000 for Web site costs

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