Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment - What If? Colorado Reality Competition Challenges Emergency Survival Skills

  • Challenge

    State sought to increase the number of Colorado residents who assemble home emergency preparedness kits

  • Solution

    Select volunteers to live together and test their emergency preparedness skills and knowledge

  • Results

    Webisodes reality competition viewed 30,000+ times and increased number of Coloradans with home emergency preparedness kits

Challenge

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Division (EPRD) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sought to increase the number of Colorado residents who assemble home emergency preparedness kits and receive seasonal influenza vaccinations. The EPRD partnered with GFM to build awareness for these initiatives through a reality competition.

Solution

The cornerstone of the campaign for EPRD was the What If? Colorado reality competition. Coloradans were encouraged to audition for the competition by submitting a video on YouTube to be chosen to participate in a multi-day event during which contestants would live together in a house and face a variety of challenges designed to test their emergency preparedness skills and knowledge. These video auditions were also shown on the campaign’s microsite, www.WhatIfColorado.com, and voted on by the public. The contestants were chosen from each of the nine regions throughout state. Throughout the competition contestants shared their experiences via social media by actively blogging and participating in online webisodes.

In addition, WhatIfColorado.com offered an online tool for the general public to calculate the quantities of food, water and other items needed for their emergency kits and tied this in with a grocery partnership with King Soopers. GFM conducted viral outreach for this tool by seeding messages on blogs and popular social networks such as Cafemom.com, Facebook, Meetup.com, Wannago.com, YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo and Revver.com.

Results

The reality competition webisodes on the What If? Colorado website were viewed more than 30,000 times. Most importantly, the number of Coloradans who reported having emergency preparedness kits in their homes increased following the campaign, leading EPRD to deem the campaign a huge success.