PR agency: Powell Tate
Campaign: "I am free enterprise" video contest
Duration: January to May 2010
The Chamber of Commerce launched an online video contest in January as part of its multi-year, multimillion-dollar nationwide Campaign for Free Enterprise.
Margaret Shepard, the Chamber's senior director of marketing communications, explains that with the "I am free enterprise" initiative, the trade organization "wanted to reach a broader audience that does not normally affiliate with the Chamber."
Shepard says the strategy was to focus on digital, using social media tactics and online ads to build buzz. Working with Powell Tate, lead agency for the video contest, the Chamber promoted the message that "everyone is free enterprise," she adds.
The Chamber encouraged visitors to post three-minute videos discussing their ideas for small business and free enterprise. Powell Tate VP Meredith Beaton adds: "We received testimonials. People put ideas to music, to dance. It was incredible."Tactics
The Chamber posted the submitted videos on its YouTube page and promoted the contest and campaign via networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Number of views determined finalists and winners.
Beaton says those who sent videos contributed to the viral success, "promoting themselves on YouTube, Facebook, and using digital to garner more hits."
More than 130 videos were submitted to the contest and the Chamber continued to expand its Facebook fan base.
The Facebook page, which launched at the beginning of the Campaign for Free Enterprise in October, experienced an increase from about 16,000 fans at the start of the year to more than 33,000 by the end of April.
Shepard says that following the crowning of a winner and finalists, which took place in May, "we're going to work to engage this group of people, who have been so proactive in submitting videos, in future Chamber efforts."