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Running a competition
by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com

One way to promote your business is to run a competition. You can adjust the competition to meet your budget and requirements so it is a flexible promotional option, and can be very effective.

As well as establishing the prize and how to promote your competition, however, there are some very important details to consider:

Check permit rules

These vary between states so it is important to check these for every state you run the competition in – namely every state if you are doing it online.

Whether or not the competition is based on skill, luck or both, running a competition to promote your business is called a traders lottery and may need a permit if the prize value is greater than a certain amount.

Even without a permit, you still need to follow some rules, such as a set of terms and conditions clearly indicating the prizes and their value, instructions on how to enter, how the winner is determined and how winners will be notified. If a permit is required, ensure you follow the rules of that permit as well.

Acknowledge prize donations

If others provide you with prizes, make sure you acknowledge them clearly and preferably at the same time as you detail the prize itself. A list of prizes and then a list of businesses donating the prizes reduces the value to the donating business but also reduces the availability of information for people looking at the competition.

By giving your donators plenty of promotion and acknowledgement, you are earning the good will o those and potential donators for future prizes.

Make prizes clear

People only enter a competition if the prize value outweighs the effort of entering. If they aren’t sure of what the prize really is, they are less likely to bother entering or may complain later when they receive a prize different to expectations. It could also open you up to legal issues.

A recent competition prize was ‘online advertising’. This is way too vague – how much advertising? Where online? For how long? Does it include the banner design or copywriting? A much better description would have been ‘3 months banner advertising at www.site.com.au’

Promote the competition

When placing ads, writing flyers, sending out letters or emails, blogging and so on about your competition, make it about the competition rather than your business.

Imagine getting a letter telling you how great business X is for a paragraph or two and then mentioning the great prizes you could win. Now imagine getting a letter about some great prizes in an easy-to-enter competition, with maybe a finishing comment about who is running it. Which one will get you excited and entering the competition?

Prepare in advance

Sometimes a great opportunity arises, but generally it is much better to prepare in advance for your competition. Some details to prepare for are:

  • arrange for promotions ahead of time – book advertising, make deals with complementary businesses, research competition sites, etc
  • have your entry form in place ahead of time so it can be tested
  • announce it is coming in your newsletter, blog and website leading up to it
  • get some banners designed and short ads written to use for promotion
  • ensure the competition is clearly marked on your website
  • prepare any media releases in advance, and give the media time to prepare it

  Clear communication is critical to the success of any business, but it is often left to care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.



© 2003 - 12, Tash Hughes