The proposal she turned in follows.
“How do you Conserve?” YouTube Competition
This document outlines the process for integrating YouTube as a resource into the Office of the Governor of Georgia as a means of aiding in the state of Georgia’s current water crisis.
For a variety of reasons, Georgia finds itself in a multiple-year drought beyond what it has seen in the recorded past. Within the last few months, the state has seen climatologists predict that the next several months will bring little rainfall. The water reservoirs are dangerously low. It has become clear to the state that our conservation efforts need improvement.
Governor Sonny Perdue has asked businesses and citizens in the effected counties to cut their water usage by 10 percent. The Department of Natural Resources has suggested the following as methods of water conservation: wash only full loads of dishes and laundry, take a shower instead of a bath and fix leaking faucets and toilets.
To encourage further participation in water conservation by Georgia citizens, the Governor could announce a competition to conserve by asking citizens to create and post YouTube videos that demonstrate how they are effectively conserving this precious resource. The competition, and use of YouTube, would not only aid in water conservation, but it would spread the message that efforts are necessary. Encouraging citizens to post on YouTube would present a more “human” side to the water conservation effort, helping to make the point that every individual effort counts.
Perhaps the most substantial motivator for making use of YouTube is the Web site’s association with producing “viral video.” The term refers to video content that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing. With the recent proliferation of mobile Internet devices, these videos can be viewed at anytime and almost anywhere. In addition, the site promotes the option of spreading videos by encouraging users to “embed” them in other sites, such as traditional Web sites, blogs and social network pages, and e-mailing them to others. The viral nature creates incredible potential for, not only positive publicity, but also making substantial progress in the effort to conserve water.
YouTube was founded in February 2005, and since then it has become a leader in online video. In November 2005, YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital and was officially launched in December. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen became the first members of the management team. Hurley and Chen currently serve as chief executive officer and chief technology officer. In November 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google, Inc. YouTube has partnered with providers such as CBS, Sony Music Group, NBA and Warner Music Group. In June 2007, the entire interface of the Web site became available with localized versions in numerous countries.
YouTube is the premier destination to watch and share original videos worldwide. On www.YouTube.com, anyone can easily upload video clips through Web sites, mobile devices, blogs and e-mail.
Unregistered users can upload and watch a majority of the videos on the site, but registered users may upload an unlimited number of videos. There is no cost associated. Videos are placed into categories including: autos, comedy, entertainment, film, how-to, music, news and politics, people and blogs, pets and animals, sports, and travel and events. In 2006, special functions were added that allow users to post “responses” to videos and subscribe to content feeds.
Since its inception, a number of corporations and nonprofits have made use of YouTube as a means of marketing a product, service or cause. Dove, Coca-Cola, Delta, Cingular and American Red Cross, to name a few, have taken advantage of YouTube.
Furthermore, Samsung is currently hosting the UpStage lip-sync video contest, Nestle’s Nesquick created the Shake It video contest and Puma Fragrances is looking for creative videos to express what “gets you going.”
For the 2008 election, a number of political candidates used YouTube as an outlet for advertising their messages to the public. This year, CNN aired a debate in which candidates responded to questions from a pool of videos submitted to YouTube.
According to the YouTube site, the user base is 18 to 55 years of ago, spanning all geographies. The most recent figures claim that YouTube has “nearly 20 million unique users per month” who are watching “more than 100 million videos per day.”
A. Secure a co-sponsor for the competition to provide a prize for the video contest winner. The most enviable sponsor is one based in Georgia, willing to create a video on how they are conserving and is able to provide legitimate evidence that they are making an effort in conservation. Consider Chick-fil-A or Home Depot.
B. Create a “contest” on YouTube, similar to those on http://youtube.com/contests
C. Create a new link that reads “How do you Conserve? Contest” on the left-hand side of http://www.gov.state.ga.us/. This should link to a new page on Governor Sonny Perdue’s Web site. On this page:
1. provide general information about the water crisis and ways to conserve. Link to www.conservewatergeorgia.net and other associated Web resources.
2. provide guidelines for the video competition.
a. Instruct contestants, anyone currently living in Georgia, to create an original and relevant video, lasting between one and five minutes, that demonstrates how they are conserving water.
b. Instruct contestants to upload their original video to the contest page that
was previously set-up with YouTube. Provide a link to this page.
c. Provide the competition start-date, immediately, and the deadline, Dec. 20, 2007.
d. Specify that the video will be judged on success in demonstrating water
conservation, quality of expression, originality and creativity.
e. Mention that it is understood that citizens have varying degrees of access to video production equipment. Encourage all to apply.
3. specify that the winner will be announced on http://www.gov.state.ga.us/ and on the YouTube site on Dec. 23, 2007. Provide details about the prize, as discussed with the corporate sponsor.
4. provide information about the sponsor, their conservation video and appropriate links.
5. regularly embed video-submissions.
6. post a video of Governor Perdue conserving water and a video of the corporate sponsor conserving.
7. mention that the governor’s office reserves the right to use the video submissions in adverting and conservation efforts.
E. On Dec. 23, 2007, announce the winner. Post a video of Governor Perdue congratulating the winner on both sites. Provide the winner with the prize supplied by the corporate sponsor. Use a format similar to the one specified above, to announce the winner to media.
F. An optional follow-up includes using the winner’s video in advertisements and public service announcements to raise awareness of the water crisis and conservation efforts. This should be followed with current information on the state of the crisis in Georgia.
Tracking the Success.
Do not measure the success of the YouTube contest only with regards to Georgia residents, as nationwide coverage is equally important. Raising awareness of water being a resource that we should not take advantage of is a critical message for everyone. With this contest, the nation will hopefully become more knowledgeable of the current crisis in Georgia, take measures to help our state and take the necessary steps to ensure this does not happen in other areas. It is important to mention that increased water conservation cannot be an assumed result of the contest. The more important factor is that we increase awareness. Awareness comes with participation, whether it’s submitting a video, watching a video or reading a related article. Social media is about having conversations, and it’s not always obvious how to measure the use of these tools. To examine the success of the YouTube contest, consider:
- A. the number of contest submissions. Contests currently taking place on YouTube, including those sponsored by Samsung and Nestle, have anywhere from zero to 84 video submissions. If we use those numbers as a basis for comparison, 200 submissions would be extremely successful. Take into consideration the fact that, in order to create a video, on average, it takes at least two people. Family and friends of those involved will likely watch the video. Taking part in this process, whether making the video or watching the video, will increase awareness and possibly generate water conservation.
- B. the number of views per video. Currently on YouTube, of all the videos related to “Georgia’s water crisis,” the one with the most views is at 620 views (“Lake Lanier: Running Dry,” http://youtube.com/watch?v
=iNO88SfKia4). If that number is used as a comparison, then Governor Perdue’s video, the corporate sponsor’s video and the winning submission should have at least that number. With each view, we can assume that the viewer’s awareness of the water crisis increases in a small way. Further, we can hope they make more of an effort to conserve.
- C. the number and nature of comments. If a comment is left, you can assume the viewer has been engaged in the video submission. Positive comments (“great video,” “thank you for doing this,” etc.) are a measure of success. To be considered successful, Governor Perdue’s video, the corporate sponsor’s video and the winner’s video should have at least 10 comments.
- D. amount of traditional media coverage. The most likely way for people in states other than Georgia to become interested in the YouTube videos is through traditional media. Whether the contest is mentioned on Good Morning America or picked up by Newsweek magazine. In order to view this contest as a success, coverage by these national outlets is necessary. This coverage does not have to occur during the contest. In fact, the most obvious time for it to occur is after the winning video is announced. Consider having the winner appear on morning news and do print interviews.
- E. the number of page views for the contest page on Governor Perdue’s Web site, which can be tracked using Google Analytics. As it was previously stated, this Web site will not only have contest details, but it will also have information about the water crisis and how to conserve. With each page view, people will become more aware. In turn, they may choose to conserve water more efficiently. Also track the bounce rate (look for a percentage less than 50), as well as the average time spent on the site (2 minutes is good). Related to this is the number of other Web sites that link to the contest page.
Note: this proposal was created for as a part of a student project in class (ADPR 5990) & is no way an indication of what the organization is planning on doing regarding social media. Students selected clients & social media tools on their own based on their personal interests.