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December 10, 2015

How To Make Sure Your Sponsored Content Still Has Soul

in Blogger & Influencer Relations by James Hills
I'll admit it ... I was once a firm advocate of the "old way" of doing PR. You know, that practice of reaching out with what you know is an earth shattering piece of news and hoping that the media would be willing to write about it and share how awesome your brand is. Sadly those days are long over and we live in a new media paradigm where professional media organizations have been largely replaced with bloggers and even those that still exist tend to rely heavily on sponsored content. This includes formats ranging from talkshows to corporate blogs like Mashable and even publishers like Condé…
Local Bloggers and Social Media Influencer Tips
Feb 20, 2015 3483

Tips For Planning Local Blogger and Social Media Influencer Events

There are a lot of times when we focus on national brands with massive potential reach and geography isn't important. However, it's also important to think about how to reach local people through social media and blogger relations too. After all, chances are that your business thrives on people…
How Cruise Ships Can Make Money from Onboard Social Media
Dec 12, 2014 4287

How Cruise Ships Can Make Money from Onboard Social Media

I'm really excited that most of the major cruise line companies seem to be working on ways to bring affordable, unlimited Internet packages to their ships. Sure, it may not happen tomorrow for every ship in the fleet but this is the sort of thing that can be a paradigm shift for the cruise industry…
How to Run a Sucessful Surprise and Delight Campaign
Oct 16, 2014 4545

How to Run a Surprise and Delight Campaign on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook

Sweepstakes can be scary and complex since they often require complex rules and that means legal needs to be involved. Surprise and Delight campaigns on social media though can be super easy to execute if you follow the steps below. NOTE: Social Media policies on different networks may change at…
How to Get Noticed by Brands as a Startup Blogger
Sep 13, 2014 7996

10 Things a Startup Blogger can Do to Get Noticed by Brands

Blogging often has a high turnover because honestly it is a lot of work and it isn't something sustainable for a lot of people. As such, there are alway new bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters rising up through the ranks looking to make a name for themselves. While some simply want to write about…
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Sep 08, 2014 2470

What are Travel Brands Looking for When Working With Bloggers

As a travel blogger at, this is something I have wondered about for a while - what exactly are the travel brands looking for from me and why are they sending me on "free" trips, sending swag, and inviting me out to dine at fancy restaurants. It seems like a strange question to ask…
Aug 07, 2014 11092

How to Manage Multiple Instagram Accounts On A PC

Instagram is hot, we all know it but it is limited currently to mobile only. This means that if you want to upload photos you need to do so on your phone or tablet and login / logout if you want to manage multiple accounts. However, some enterprizing people have found ways arround that and we took…


If you are running a contest and the outcome is not what you expect, pleeeease do not change the rules!  Changing the rules during a contest/sweepstakes may seem like the answer but if you have anyone who already entered the contest you are setting your organization up for ridicule including bad PR, and a possible lawsuit.

Your organization may be upset that the contest/sweepstakes you are running is not attracting as many people as you had hoped and the only answer to that is for YOU to work harder to get more entries.  Possible ways you can do this are contacting some bloggers you know and asking them to help promote the contest through their channels.  If you wrote a press release but did not follow up NOW is the time to follow up.  It is never to late to follow up even though following up should be part of your original plan.  Do a viral video yourself about the contest.  The video does not have to be professional produced.  Some of the best viral videos are from organizations that pull out their Flip and shoot. 

Things you need to look at are:  Do we have the contest/sweepstakes information located properly on our website so people can find it?  Ask someone you know that is not that great with the computer to try to enter your contest and first see if they can then secondly ask them if it was difficult for them to enter.  If they could not find the entry point move it where you will get the most attention.  We know everyone hates paper these days but postcards still work.  Place postcards at your business location and/or pass them out to businesses nearby so that they can distribute them. Lastly, use your social media connections like crazy!

We could go on and on about all the things you should to do and frankly all of these ideas should have been done in the first place.  Just remember whatever you do changing the rules by extending the contest/sweepstakes or altering the rules is not the answer.  If the contest does not work out and there is no way to fix it look at it as a learning experience and consider consulting with an agency or having a brainstorming session with your colleagues to come up with ideas on how to improve for next time.  If you hired an agency to handle the contest and it was not properly done talk with the appropriate heads and see what went wrong and possibly fire them and move on.

There is no easy solution but to suck it up and learn from your mistakes and move on.  If you change your contest because you think it is going to help your organization you are not helping anyone and in fact you are probably hurting yourself the most.  Remember an upset entrant can spread negative talk about your organization faster then you can spread positive talk.

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