While WHSV-TV’s news and weather department went into overtime covering a big snowstorm moving into their viewing area, the sales team kicked it into high gear to find a sponsor that would back a weather-themed contest. The goal – to ask viewers to generate great on-air content and to make it profitable for the station. The Harrisonsburg, VA station (DMA 178) quickly came up with a plan, secured a sponsor, and turned it into a social media event that they called #WHSVsnow Contest.
Show Me The Snow
WHSV’s idea snowballed into a full-on campaign in just a matter of hours. With the impending storm, they knew that there would be plenty of great weather pictures that their viewers could submit and that WHSV could use on TV. They created a Facebook Contest using the SocialNewsDesk’s Facebook Contest Platform that gave viewers and easy way to upload snow pictures they snapped on their phones. Part of the incentive associated with the contest was the chance that your picture would be featured on-air and on social during the weather event. All of the pictures were categorized under the hashtag – #WHSVsnow – a great technique to streamline attention during weather coverage.
Show Me The Money
Augusta Health, a local hospital, signed on as the sponsor. They paid $5,000 for the Facebook entry component, heavy social media promotion, and multiple on-air mentions during the snow coverage and 24-hour contest blitz. They were also able to get new ‘likes’ on their Facebook page.
Here’s what was promised and delivered:
- 24 Hour Contest
- Sponsors’ logos on graphics, on air, and on banner ads on the website
- Contest promoted through on-air mentions during extensive weather coverage
- User-generated content displayed on-air
- User-generated content displayed on Facebook and on Pinterest
- Facebook Likes for the station and the sponsor
Show Me The Winners
10 lucky winners got their photos shown on WHSV’s morning show and they were also awarded a TV3 Social T-Shirt for participating. Their photos were also showcased on social media. One grand prize winner was awarded all those prizes, plus the chance to watch a newscast live with their family and a chance to be on TV with Meteorologist Jay Webb.
Show Me Results
In total, 353 entries flooded into the WHSV newsroom. Given that this was content they would have requested regardless – the ability to tie it in with a sponsor and give it a name was very helpful. The sponsor received 300 likes on their Facebook page in less than 24 hours and was thrilled to be an integral part of this WHSV’s special weather coverage.