January is finally over (hoorah!) and in the world of lifestyle PR, that means some of our focus in now on planning exciting new PR and digital programmes for our clients.

Front of mind is how we can make the most of our allocated budgets – minimum input for maximum output. And also how can ensure a constant flow of coverage throughout the programme, in between activity spikes.

Setting up an editorial competition is a really effective way to keep your brand in target publications, without huge project costs. Competitions are helpful for bridging the gap between campaign pillars and keeping consumers interested.

Here are our top five tips for competition success:

  1. Be exciting

The aim is to get as many people as possible to enter the competition, so your prize needs to be exciting and engaging. Be creative if necessary and think laterally about ways to bolster the offering and excite readers enough to encourage them to enter. For example, if you produce tea, offer to create a bespoke blend for the winner and give them a year’s supply of it. 

  1. Secure partnerships

There are cost implications when setting up a competition with a publication – insertion fees, bolt-ons, and the minimum prize value (MPV) – to consider. If your brand produces a low value product, then partnering with a higher value brand can be a clever way to enhance the offering and boost the value of the prize. This will allow you to place competitions in quality titles with a large MPV, and you both score coverage and entrants. Win win!

  1. Host online competitions

If there is the opportunity to host the online competition mechanic on your website rather than on the publication site, take it. It will redirect traffic directly via a link to your page, increasing hits and therefore helping with search engine optimisation (SEO).

  1. Clever copy

This is probably the only time you will ever have complete control over the copy that appears in this publication – so use it wisely! You’ll be certain to have a word count limit, but there is scope to ensure the tone of voice for the brand and key messaging are weaved in.

  1. Opt in for data capture

In a world where many consumers are reluctant to opt in for newsletters, this is a golden opportunity – a database of competition entrants who actually WANT you to have their details (it might be in the hope of receiving that ‘CONGRATULATIONS!’ email, but still…) This is as important (if not more important) for your brand as the initial insertion, you’ve got a great reason to get in touch with consumers directly – winner!


Polly MacLannen- Wild West Comms

Words: Polly MacLennan

Account Executive at Wild West Comms

Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest PR and digital insights