Use Photo Contests for Captivating Calendars

Posted on Aug 15, 2018


Looking for a creative way to engage with your consumers?  Every year, Midstate Electric Cooperative hosts a photo contest for members. Winning photos are featured in the following year’s calendar and displayed in the utility’s lobby.

Teresa Lackey, Midstate Electric Cooperative’s marketing and communications manager, says they started mailing calendars to members directly in Ruralite Magazine 5 years ago.

“Before we did that, members started coming into the office before they were printed, asking if the calendar was available,” says Teresa. “Members look forward to receiving the calendar every year.”

Hosting a photo contest is an interactive way to gather photographs for a custom calendar. Be sure the winning shots are timeless.

“I try to pick photos that match the seasons, and options I won’t get tired of looking at for a month,” says Ruralite Assistant Editor Mike Teegarden, who often judges photography contests for utilities.  Mike suggests leaning toward scenic and wildlife options, as opposed to cute pets.

“We look for pictures that capture a moment, are well focused, pay attention to detail and make use of lighting opportunities,” says Teresa.

Photo Contest Tips

  • Keep it local: Midstate Electric requires entrants to be members and gives priority to photos taken in their service area.
  • Be specific: Print requires high image resolution to look great. Give your members specific file size guidelines to follow.
  • Offer incentives: By offering winners a prize, you provide extra motivation to participate. More participation means more options for making an attractive calendar.

Once you’ve chosen your winning photographs, Ruralite’s custom calendars provide an affordable way to keep your logo and message in front of readers all year long.

Midstate Electric Cooperative adds utility-specific dates to their calendar, including office closures, the annual meeting, scholarship deadlines and the calendar contest deadline. Adding your dates to a calendar with a bonus black layer of ink is affordable and an easy way to give custom calendars a try.

Need more personalization options? The 2019 Ruralite calendar features six pages in the back you can customize with your own content, such as a letter from the general manager, board of directors list, financial data and graphics, statement of income, balance sheet or candid staff photos.

The deadline for orders for 2019 calendars from Ruralite is September 20.  Ask your editor about how to place an order, special discounts to make custom options affordable, or contact info@ruralite.org.

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