Send in your entries for March engagement madness

trentonian-bracket-bigger

Let’s have some fun with March engagement projects.

My Valentine’s engagement contest resulted in 10 great engagement ideas. I’d love to get enough ideas for March engagement to use some kind of bracket in the contest.

Tell me about your newsroom’s March engagement project. It can be something related to the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament (as the Trentonian did last year in its best-bar bracket, shown above). You can do something relating to the start of spring or to St. Patrick’s Day. Your project can involve engagement around the March religious holidays: Lent, Easter, Passover or another holiday that’s important in your community. Or maybe you’ll engage around something else, such as a community event.

What you need to do is use this entry form to tell me about your project (including a link). The engagement project doesn’t need to be finished to join the contest, but you do need to have announced it. The deadline for entries is March 11. I will launch the contest with a blog post the following day (a week before the start of the NCAA tournament). The entry form invites your suggestions for how the contest will run. I’d like to involve a bracket in some way. And I’m open to a two-phase tournament, weeding the field to some finalists (and allowing the finalists to provide updates on how their projects are going) for a second phase of voting.

The Valentine’s contests this year and last were limited to my blog, The Buttry Diary. But we’re running this contest on both my blog and Inside Thunderdome.

My Valentine’s contests were open to Digital First Media newsrooms. But we’re interested in learning from successful engagement by other newsrooms, too, so I’m opening this contest to non-DFM newsrooms. Any journalistic venture can join this contest. (I may have separate brackets for DFM and non-DFM newsrooms. And be warned that DFM staffers might be disproportionately represented among readers of these blogs. So you’d better plan on some campaigning for your entry.)

I also welcome your suggestions for reasonable prizes for the winning newsrooms. My default prize is boxes of candy, a bigger one for the winning newsrooms and a smaller one for the runner up. The Saratogian (winner) and Reporter Herald newsrooms celebrated their Valentine’s victories:

A final point: That entry form was really easy to make using Google Forms. If you’re not using them as an engagement tool, you might consider how to use them in your engagement project. They’re simple to use. Go to Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), click “create” and choose “form” from the options. From there, the options are pretty self-explanatory. You click Send Form to get the link to share. Or you can just click “view live form” and send that link. You can view the responses by clicking “responses” (one of the options is to create a spreadsheet for your responses, which I did).

Steve Buttry

By Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry is Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media. He oversees our efforts to transform newsroom operations and culture to more effectively pursue our digital goals. His duties include responsibility for social media and community engagement. He has visited most DFM newsrooms personally, leading workshops and coaching editors and other journalists in following the Digital First approach.

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