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Prepare to Announce

Prepare to Announce

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DEVELOP

In this phase you'll determine the challenge structure and implementation timeline. During this critical step, you'll work with internal groups to establish eligibility and submission requirements, terms and conditions, and judging criteria. You'll connect with your communications team to outline your announcement and ongoing outreach strategy to engage potential solvers.

Other Phases

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Prepare to Announce

Before you announce the challenge to the public, verify the actions you took in earlier phases to ensure you tie up any loose ends prior to launch.

Make sure:

  • proper management and staffing are in place;
  • the implementation plan and responsibilities are clearly understood by all staff, partners and support contractors; and
  • the primary website, promotional materials and other initial communication products are finalized.

If you haven't already done so at this point, reach out to the Challenge.gov program team. They can help you identify anything you may have missed as you prepare to announce your challenge. Also, you'll need to work with them to at least list your competition on Challenge.gov, even if you're not using it as your primary challenge website.

Key Takeaways

1. Leave sufficient time for final notice and approval of launch with agency leadership and partners.

Leave enough time before going public to make sure everyone who needs to know is aware of your launch event and associated messages. You don't want to surprise agency leaders or partner organizations with a launch.

Final review and approvals can take time so make sure you get any necessary reviews and clearance of all launch materials as early as possible. If you're working with other organizations get approval to include their logos and give them an opportunity to provide input on the announcement.

Finally, complete any required financial procedures related to obligation of funds to a contractor of partner before or in conjunction with the launch and announcement.

2. Publish your Challenge.gov listing.

Make sure your Challenge.gov listing is ready to go and includes all the relevant information and links.

If you're using Challenge.gov as your main website to interact with participants and accept submissions, make sure your challenge page includes information about eligibility, prize amounts, rules and judging, and how people should submit solutions.

If you're hosting your challenge on another site, you still need to create a basic listing on Challenge.gov. Make sure you fill out the required fields to do this and include the appropriate link out to your main challenge site.

3. Be Creative and open in the selection of a launch venue.

Be open to different ideas when choosing a venue to make your launch announcement. Confer with collaborators and partners early in the planning stages about spaces that are available within your challenge timeline.

You may choose a national or regional meeting or conference, or there may be other events or announcements that you want to tie into. Think outside the box.

Think about what posters, banners and other visuals you would use inside a venue to promote the challenge. If you're launching virtually, consider using a blog or a website not on your agency's domain to reach a broader audience.

4. Don't forget to maximize your communications.

Social media allows you to send your key messages around the world in an instant. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn and others are great ways to get the word out about a new challenge.

You'll also want to have your agency issue a traditional press release. Gather quotes from agency and thought leaders that reiterate your key messages for the press release and other communications materials.

Also, your partners and collaborators may have email lists that you can use to get the announcement out to an even larger audience. If you have judges from outside your agency, ask them to retweet your announcement and share it with their social networks through other means.

In short, take advantage of all the modes of communications you identified in your communications plan.

Still have questions?

Contact the Team

Case Studies