Give your solution the exposure it needs to succeed

How to promote and campaign as of 8 February 2017

Want to rise to the top of the Bright Minds Challenge and gain supporters all over the world?

Promoting your solution doesn’t have to take much of your time. And it shouldn’t be difficult. But it will need a push from you – or someone you know – to get the ball rolling, and to keep it moving and growing.

With a good story, a few personal appeals, some smart activity on social media and a bit of luck, the excitement around your solution could soon take on a life of its own. The skills you build up while campaigning to win the Challenge will also help you win backers and partners in the marketplace.

Whether or not you win the main prize500 hours of tailored support – the added exposure you’ll gain by campaigning for Bright Minds Challenge votes could open new doors for your project.

5 steps to gain supporters – and votes

Don’t wait until the voting begins to start mobilizing your supporters. Lay the groundwork now for a big grassroots show of support.

  • Get your story in order

    By entering the Challenge, you’ve already thought hard about how to describe your project’s global potential. Now what are the key messages and sound bites that will get people inspired to take action?

  • Get people involved

    There’s no need to go it alone. Your solution will go further faster if you get people to take on dedicated roles – a campaign manager, social media ambassador or photographer, for example.

  • Get going

    The sooner you start sharing your story with the Bright Minds community – and your own personal and professional network – the better your chances of amassing the following you’ll need to reach the Top 10.

  • Get steady exposure

    Stay engaged and help your network of supporters grow and grow. A little effort once a week or so – to update your supporters and say thanks for their help – could make all the difference.

  • Get votes

    During the voting phase (8 - 28 Feb), use all tools at your disposal to get even more people backing you. Remind everyone you know to get voting – and to tell the world that they’ve supporting your solution!

Your campaign central: the Bright Minds website

The Challenge website offers a host of ways to connect and be seen, starting with your solution’s dedicated Bright Minds page. Here are some tips and inspiration to help you get started. Even just focusing on one or two of these areas can make a big difference. And get your solution more votes.

Keep updating your page. Think of your Bright Minds page as a blog where you can add videos, photos and other updates. The more you add to your page, the easier it’ll be for your supporters – and potential supporters – to see who you are, what you’ve done and why they should back your solution.

Be active in the community. Comment on others’ updates. Reply to your supporters’ comments or questions. And if someone does something to help promote your solution, thank them for it publicly. They’ll feel good and you’ll gain extra exposure.

Ask your supporters for help. Ask your them if they’ll lend a hand with your project or your promotional efforts. They may have skills that you don’t. Want some thoughts on how best to promote your solution? Or simply struggling to come up with ideas? Ask them.

Be in the Bright Minds Buzz. The Bright Minds team is on the lookout for examples of innovative campaigning, new connections forged because of the Challenge and other success stories. If you have something unique that you’re ready to share, please get in touch.

Mark key milestones and events. Just reached 1,000 votes? One week and counting until voting comes to an end? Every significant event in the Challenge is an opportunity for you and your team to revitalize your followers in the Bright Minds community and rev up their support.

Rally your network – and your hometown

Chances are, your team already knows or can easily connect with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who’ll be eager to vote for and support your solution.

Get everyone you know to help out. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to champion your cause. Try asking everyone to do just one thing. It’ll help maintain focus, keep any one person from being overloaded and ultimately get more things done, quicker.

Mention Bright Minds to everyone you meet. Whenever you give a presentation, attend an event or have the floor for any reason – be sure to get in a plug for your solution, and ask people to vote. If you have a website, add a banner. If you use an email signature, edit it to mention the Challenge and ask for support.

Don’t forget to share your Bright Minds solution page URL:

Get into the headlines. Talk to any editors you know, whether it’s online or offline, academic or general. Newspaper, magazine, newsletter or blog. Most editors will be grateful to have the additional content. When the piece is published, share it with everyone you know – and via your Bright Minds page, too.

Think smaller and local. Smaller can be bigger. We can’t all have a direct line to the editor of New Scientist. But we can all drum up support in our local community. Sports teams, neighborhood groups, business associations – they’re all potential supporters. Think about ways to connect, like posters, canvassing, flyers or an interview on local TV.

Get creative to get noticed. Organize a screening of your video or a demonstration of your solution, with a Q&A session. Set up a showcase in the cafeteria or coffee area at your workplace or university. Desk drop (or even Snapchat) a personal invitation for people to vote. Or do something unusual, like a light projection or flashmob.

Everything you do to get your entry noticed will also be helping spread the word about our goal of fast-forwarding renewable energy

Go social with #BrightMindsChallenge

Get active on social to boost your solution’s exposure. Whether you’re an old hand at tweeting and posting or a complete newbie, here’s what to consider.

Pick your channels. Cast a wide net, if you can. But start with the social media channels, forums and networks where you’re already active and known. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are a good start.

Update your profiles. Update all your social media profiles to mention your solution and the Bright Minds Challenge. Include a link to your Bright Minds page and also the hashtag #BrightMindChallenge so people can easily follow along – and tell others.

Ask people to share. Don’t just link to your solution, ask your connections directly for help. Make it easy for them by asking them to share your tweet or Facebook post. And don’t forget to ask for their vote!

Shout-out your news and updates. Don’t forget to share every update to your Bright Minds page, every article about your solution and every tweet that someone else makes about your solution. It’ll get what you’re doing seen much more widely. And could translate into votes and other forms of support. Need a Twitter refresher? Check out this guide to good tweeting.

Get clever with videos and pics. Visual content goes furthest on social media. So think about posting photos of your solution milestones to Instagram. Add short videos to YouTube or Vine, or even livestream them via Periscope. Then share them widely. Invite your supporters to post their video thoughts, too.

Always include the Challenge hashtag. Add the #BrightMindsChallenge hashtag to every social media update that you make. Not only will it remind everyone what you’re doing, but it’ll also help get your tweets and other postings seen by everyone in the Bright Minds community.

Let people into your world. People follow people. So don’t be afraid to share what’s happening for you and your team in real time, behind the scenes. Your highs, your struggles, your moments of inspiration. Real moments create real followers. It’s that simple.

Follow these general principles

  • Be tenacious, but don’t spam anyone.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for support, but don’t be pushy.
  • A personal request works better than broadcasts.
  • Be thoughtful about timing. Most people pay more attention on weekdays.
  • Be yourself, always have fun and always adhere to the Challenge guidelines.
  • Believe in your solution’s potential – and others will too.

And finally, a quick checklist...

  • Have you included your Bright Minds solution page URL?
  • Did you remember to insert the hashtag #BrightMindsChallenge?

Every time you put these out into the world your chances of gaining followers and supporters goes up. And so does our chances of helping the world get to 100% renewable energy, faster.