Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Creates Buzz On Facebook

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is running a Facebook contest wherein visitors to the scenic Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad are invited to share pictures of their visit with best ones winning prizes.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in association with DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror is running a Facebook contest wherein visitors to the scenic Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad are invited to share pictures of their visit with best ones winning prizes.

The enterprising city of Ahmedabad has undergone a sea change in the last few years, both commercially and infrastructure-wise. The beautiful Sabarmati Riverfront is just one example of that. The AMC formed the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd. (SRFDCL) in 1997 with the aim “to transform Ahmedabad’s historic yet neglected river into a vibrant and vital focus for the city.”

However, its construction could only begin in 2004 and a 10.5 km completed stretch of it was inaugurated on August 15, 2012. To celebrate the occasion AMC, with associate partners DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror, is running a photography contest on the Facebook page by the name Sabarmati Riverfront Photography Competition.

To start with, the contest is a fairly simple one. Visitors to the Sabarmati Riverfront are invited to share pictures of the riverfront on the timeline with the jury, consisting of editors of partner newspapers, a professor of the prestigious design institute, National Institute of Design (NID) among others choosing the winners.

Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad Facebook

The outline of the contest

1. The organizers of the contest clearly state the eligibility criteria. The contest is open only to amateur photographers with a separate competition for the professional photographers, the definition of which is also given.

2. The format in which the pictures need to be uploaded on the page is also clearly given with rules regarding uploading and selection of pictures for the weekly, monthly and even the yearly competition being specified.

3. The parameters for judging the pictures is given in a detailed manner with editing limits specified as well.

4. The weekly winner and two runners-up amongst the amateur photographers’ category get cash awards while monthly and end-of-the-year winners get a ‘tour package’ and a car respectively. The winners from the professional photographers’ category get cash awards.

It’s  good but…

While the AMC and the associate partners should be lauded for coming up with such a well-thought out contest and committing to carry it on for a long time, there are some things that should have been incorporated and adhered to:

1. First and foremost, the contest runs on the timeline which is an outright violation of the promotional guidelines of Facebook. According to clause E (i) of Facebook Page Terms, “promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.” Now anybody who is following this industry would very well be aware of cases where brand pages vanished overnight because they did not adhere to Facebook’s promotional guidelines. So let’s hope for the best in this case.

2. Though the page is buzzing with uploads and accompanying likes & comments, there is no involvement from the page owners. There are comments on page owner’s posts which require a response from them but there isn’t any. Fans’ queries are going unattended.

3. The monthly winner and two runners-up in the amateur category would get a ‘tour package’ as prize. However, there is no clarity about what kind of package that it would be – regional, national or international.

4. The page could be done up better. The only tabs present are the generic ones. Apart from running the contest in a tab/app, an additional tab giving detailed information about the project would have been ideal.

5. Also, this being a photography contest Pinterest could be used. For example, creating a separate board for all weekly and monthly winners of each category. This would help in exposing those pictures to a global audience which would not only help the winners but also other stakeholders.

So if you are at the Sabarmati Riverfront, do give it a shot! And let me know what do you think about this Facebook initiative by a municipal corporation?