Photo, video and writing-based contests with pre-moderation

Posted in: ApplicationsLast update: 26/06/20

Have you organized a contest in which participants must upload a photo, video or writing? Are you going to organize a literary contest and select the winning story to publish in the next edition of your magazine? Do you want to launch a short film contest and have an internal jury choose the winner? One of the most important aspects of these types of contests is the chance to moderate and revise content that users upload to the contest to try and win a prize. In this post we explain how pre-moderation works when applied to these types of contests and which features it should offer. We will also see how the pre-moderation system works for promotions created with Easypromos.

In contests where users upload their own content, it’s very important that the administrator has the necessary tools to moderate participations in order to control what content is published content and approve the winning photos and videos. In photo, video and writing-based contests, the pre-moderation system should provide solutions in the following two typical contest types:

1. Control over improper content in photo, video and writing-based contests

The organizer should have access to tools to enable them to review and filter participations uploaded by users before these participations are displayed in the gallery.

Example A: The tourism department of a city council decides to organize a tourist photo contest open to all followers of the council’s social network. The main objective is to promote local tourism with images, photos and videos which the users themselves will share on their favorite social networks.

In this case the pre-moderation system acts as a quality filter, enabling the administrator to ensure that content uploaded by the users meets the standards expected of the brand and doesn’t contain any inappropriate content.

Example B: A music store chain hosts an amateur music video contest where bands can participate with a video recorded of them playing for the chance to win the chance to play as opening act for a famous band in their upcoming tour. The videos have to comply with the contest rules set out by the organizer and the famous band and they only want to show the videos that comply in the gallery.

2. Contests in which users upload their entries (documentation, graphic material, videos) and an internal jury evaluates the content before selecting the finalists and making them public.

The administrator needs tools which allow him/her to review and approve participations sent by users, in a way that is quick and hassle-free, in order to decide which ones will reach the final.

Example: An online literary magazine organizes a writing-based contest in which users participate by uploading their written contribution. An internal jury is responsible for reading the texts and choosing the most original and creative stories. The winners will see their stories published in the following edition of the publication.

With the pre-moderation system, the jury will be able to read, review and validate the texts easily before choosing the winning stories and making them public.

What features should a pre-moderation system have?

1. Ask users to provide all the information required to register for the contest

In the preparation phase, depending on the type of contest you’re organizing, you should keep in mind which registration details are required from users who wish to take part: name, telephone number, city, ID number, title of entry, description or caption, photo or video, as well as any additional information you can request from users upon registration.  To this end, you are given the opportunity to customize the registration form that participants are obliged to complete, and from which you can subsequently obtain data.

2. Receive a notification in real time when a new participant enters the contest

After taking part by uploading a photo, video or text, users will pay attention to the contest to find out whether their participation has been accepted or not. With the aim of streamlining the moderation process and providing a rapid response to participants, it’s very important for the administrator to be kept informed about the users taking part in the contest. An email alert can be sent to the administrator each time a new user signs up, so that administrators can check which new users have signed up, even via cellphone.

3. Inform the user that the content will be validated before publication

It’s important that participants know that the photos, texts and videos will not be made public in the gallery as soon as they register, nor will they be accepted as finalists straight away; instead all participations will first be reviewed by an internal jury. Informing users of this will prevent them from feeling frustrated when they don’t see their participation published immediately.

To this end, it’s a good idea to explain to users how the moderation system will work in the different actions that you carry out, and to highlight this aspect during the whole participation process. You can also reinforce this message by sending an automatic email saying: ‘Thanks for taking part! We’ve received your photo and will now review it for publication.’ This strategy will minimize the number of queries made by participants and help you control expectations. 

4. System for accepting or refusing users’ participations

The moderation and approval of participations is one of the three management tasks that contest organizers will dedicate most time to. To facilitate this process to the maximum, the person or team in charge of carrying out this task should have a streamlined system for conveniently validating the photos and videos and either accepting or rejecting them. If this system is also available via smartphone it will permit the administrator to accept or refuse participation at anytime from anywhere.

5. Send a personalized notification to each user upon accepting or rejecting their participation

Being able to send a quick notification to each participant, informing him/her of whether or not his/her photo has been accepted will greatly improve the participant’s experience. Participants will be grateful to receive an email directly from the organization.

To this end, after accepting or refusing participation it might be useful to program an email to be sent automatically to each individual user informing him/her about the approval status of his/her photo or video.

How does the Easypromos pre-moderation system work?

All contests created with the Premium and White Label versions of the platform provide a complete system for pre-moderating and managing participants, designed to facilitate the administrator’s tasks of revising and approving the content uploaded by participants and responding to the following needs:

  • Total control of the content published in the gallery: in this way, the administrator is the one who has the final decision regarding content approved for publication or for entry to the final.
  • Streamline the process of reviewing and approving participations by way of a quick and intuitive system which enables entries to be ‘approved’ or ‘refused’ with a single click.
  • Inform and notify participants of the status of their participation by automating the sending of emails to participants.

Below, we explain how this works and outline all the features available to help you get the most out of it.

How does it work?

When previous moderation is activated, after uploading a photo, text or video to the contest, this participation will not be published immediately to the contest gallery, but will instead remain as pending in the administration panel. This allows you to manually validate entries before they are published in the gallery.

Characteristics of the Eaypromos pre-moderation system

The Easypromos pre-moderation system offers the following features:


1. System for ‘accepting’ or ‘rejecting’ the participation

The photos, videos or texts that users enter into the contest will be marked with the status ‘Pending’ in the administration panel until the administrator reviews the content and clicks on ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’:

Photo, text and video contests with pre-moderation

In this way, users’ participations in the contest can appear in the participants list under one of the following three statuses: pending, accepted or rejected, meaning that it’s possible to find out the approval status of a participation at a glance.

2. System of email notification with latest participants

As contest administrator you can activate the option for receiving an email notification informing you about the latest users who have registered. In this way, you can see from your smartphone who the latest registered participants are. The notifications are sent every 30 minutes and group together all the new participants who have registered during that period.

3. Automating the sending of emails to participants

Create an email to inform your users about whether their participation has been accepted or rejected. To do this you can use the Emails platform. This will permit you to program a personalized email to be sent automatically to each participant after you have ‘accepted’ or ‘rejected’ their participation.

In order to customize the messages even further, you can use ‘smart tags’ to include individualized information in the email that might be of interest to the user. For example, you can include a direct link to their photo displayed in the contest gallery, as well as buttons for sharing the contest on the social networks. In this way, as soon as the user receives the email confirming that his/her participation has been accepted, the user will be able to click on the link to see the photo published in the gallery and then proceed to share it.

Photo, text and video contests with pre-moderation

Check in the following tutorials how to program the sending of these emails:

4. Inform users that participations will be reviewed before publication

It’s important that users participating in a contest know that there will be a process of moderation by an internal journey which will manually review each of the participations received. The application offers various spaces, which are totally customizable by the administrator, where this and any other information can be included. Some of these spaces are:

    • Terms and conditions: you will have a space reserved from where you will be able to explain what the contest consists of, the participation process, and the prizes up for grabs. In the same space you will also be able to include a paragraph explaining how the reviewing and moderating of participations works. Make the most of this space to outline the criteria that participations must meet in order to be considered valid for the contest, or to give some tips and recommendations to your users.
    • ‘Thank you’ page: this is the page that users will reach after uploading their photo. Make the most of this space to thank them for their participation and inform them that their photo will be reviewed for approval.

  • Program an email to be sent automatically to each user after they register. In this email you can thank them for their participation and take the opportunity to inform them that their photos will be validated.

How is the pre-moderation system configured?

The pre-moderation system is available for any contest created with the Premium and White Label versions of Easypromos. It can be activated at any time from the promotion editor. 

Learn how to enable pre-moderation of contest participations.

Marian Jubany

Customer care Easypromos’ team

Publication date: 2015-08-05