Last year Accessibility Award finalists EVA Park took home the Tech4Good People’s Award, following a four-week battle, fighting off 26 other finalists. At last week’s Networking Event, Steph from EVA Park shared her advice for this year’s finalists, as voting for the People’s Award opened.
EVA Park’s winning entry was an online virtual world where people who have communication difficulties after a stroke can practice talking. Up against stiff competition in their Award category, they made the early decision to go for the People’s Award, and to focus their attention on Twitter, devising a strong campaign that would maintain momentum across the four-week voting period:
“Many EVA Park users and potential users weren’t able to vote in the People’s Award because website and Twitter are not accessible to them, so we needed to reach a broader audience.”
You need to be in it to win it!
“You have to really go for it. Develop a high-level plan, starting with which Twitter account you’re going to use, and decide who will lead the campaign. We didn’t have an existing Twitter account for the technology, and organisational or personal ones weren’t appropriate, so we chose one for a related SIG that had a couple of hundred followers.”
Mix up your content.
“The core of the campaign was to send an ‘official’ tweet everyday that promoted the voting process. We mixed this up with non-Awards-related content so that we didn’t bombard our followers, and made sure we gave them the value they were looking for by following us.
“Share new content, imagery, videos, links to resources. Remember to send different content out at different times of the day – you’ll reach a different target audience this way.”
Reach out to people.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for votes. Consider who can help you – supporters, service users, sponsors, customers, the CEO, partnering agencies, people with a keen interest in what you do. It might not be obvious at first.
“The key for us was asking people to retweet – the information we needed to be shared (our hashtag) was contained in the tweet, and all someone had to do was click a button, and it counted as an extra vote. We built up a small but diligent set of people who retweeted us, and every tweet counts!”
Don’t forget – not everyone is on Twitter.
“Use other media outlets – media, email, posters, events. A real turning point for us was an offline event we organised that happened to fall during the voting period. Although it had nothing to do with the Awards, we took the opportunity to promote the People’s Award and caught the eye of the Stroke Association, who supported us over the remainder of the voting period. This had a massive impact on our campaign.”
“It’s a fun campaign to be a part of, and humour kept us going over the four weeks.”
What would EVA Park have done differently?
“We didn’t take sufficient advantage of the support that the Tech4Good Awards offered us, and that was probably a mistake. They are connected to dozens of organisations who are available to help you – like Media Trust, who can match you up with media-savvy volunteers, and the Information Technologists, made up of 800+ leading professionals. Ask for help if you need it!”
Thanks to Steph for sharing her wise words at our Networking Event last week – remember finalists, get in touch if you need support during the voting period.