Content ideas

5 Halloween contest ideas for newsrooms

Looking for ways to scare up some reader involvement? Halloween is the time. Here are five ideas:

Hold a costume contest at the paper: Ask readers to bring their kids, pets, co-workers — whoever — all dressed up and have staff ready to judge (and take photos and video). The prize(s) could be a gift certificate from a local retailer or a free subscription to the paper, and you’ll come away with a photo page and Web gallery.

Make ’em scream: Horror movies are part of any Halloween fan’s bag of tricks, and what would those flicks be without the screams? Hold a scream contest at the paper or a local establishment, and don’t forget the audio/video/photos. Winners can take home scary DVDs, movie tickets or other Halloween-themed prizes.

G-G-G-Ghosts!: Solicit readers’ stories of ghostly happenings in your town. Is there a spirit in the old theater? A woman in the window of an old schoolhouse? Run the stories in print and online, and map the haunted locales.

Haunted house faceoff: Ask readers to vote on the best haunted house or other seasonal attraction in town, in print and online. Include video tours of the attractions online as part of the voting.

Mmm…beer: Pumpkin beers abound this time of year, so a homebrew contest just might be in order. Get a few tips from MetroWest columnist The Beer Nut’s contest over the summer.

Don’t forget that GateHouse News Service has a ready-made callout asking for readers’ pumpkin photos, and we’ll have one in the next week or so asking for readers’ costume photos, too.

Have another idea? Let me know, and I may include it in a future GHNewsroom post.

(Visited 141 times, 1 visits today)
Previous post

News Cube: Public service journalism templates

Next post

The AP Style 3-D hyphen