April 11, 2014
Nothing can sour a campaign faster at the finish line than having people up in arms over the video contest judging criteria.
People have been known to get pretty vocal if they think something wasn’t quite right with the voting or the overall outcome of the contest. That kind of talk can circulate pretty quickly, and can harm the chances for future campaigns.
To avoid upset entrants and speculation about the judging, it’s up to you to make the whole process as transparent as possible. Here’s how:
Provide reminders about rules and entry
Every contest includes a set of rules and guidelines to follow. Things like age requirement, content rights, and other important factors are spelled out so entrants know what they’re getting into. Instead of posting the rules once, consider having them show up more frequently.
Post-contest disgruntlement can happen when people feel they were treated unfairly, or didn’t win because of a loophole in the rules. No one wants entrants or people watching the contest to walk away with bad feelings about it. Even if everything on your end was on the up-and-up, sometimes it’s simply a matter of people not reading closely and then feeling cheated. Displaying the rules prominently and often is a way to eliminate the problem, by making sure the rules can’t be missed.
Allow the public to handle voting
Allowing the public to vote through likes and other social media options benefits you in two ways.
First, it’s easier on your end. If you set up the means and process for voting on entries ahead of time, once it’s time for the voting period to begin, you’ll have done all the work already.
More importantly, it gets people invested in what’s going on in the contest, and makes them feel like they’re being judged more fairly. If you take up the judging side of things, there’s a greater chance that any dissatisfaction with the results will be linked, fairly or not, to your brand for future contests.
For your next contest, keep the video contest judging criteria visible. Link to it often, and make sure the language and meaning about what you’re looking for is clear. Also, consider who’s going to be in charge of judging. It can be a lot easier, and it’ll go over well if you let the public dictate the outcome of the contest.