ICMA Student Chapter Video Contest

Make a video, compete to win a trip to Charlotte for ICMA's 100th Annual Conference in September, 2014!

ARTICLE | Apr 17, 2014

As a generation of managers inspired to public service by President John F. Kennedy prepares to retire, and a deep recession delayed hiring and training for a new generation, a shortage of talent is expected to create a crisis for professionally managed communities. As our quality of life increasingly depends on effective local government, we have an urgent need to attract talented young people to the profession.

To address this challenge, ICMA launched a campaign called Life, Well Run. The campaign highlights local government successes and is directed at elected officials, business and civic leaders, and students. As part of the campaign, ICMA has created social media templates and a YouTube channel for Life, Well Run.


Our goal: Make public administration cool and interesting for future MPA students, undergraduates, and citizens by spotlighting people and processes that highlight professionally managed communities (and to support Life, Well Run).

Your challenge: Create a short video (no more than 2 minutes) highlighting a local government person, process, or organization that identifies how professional local government management changes the process, impacts the community, engages staff, or otherwise illustrates the difference professional local government management makes.

Your prize:

  • 1st prize = $1,200 travel stipend, free conference registration, free ICMA student chapter membership
  • 2nd prize = $500 travel stipend, free conference registration, free ICMA student chapter membership
  • 3rd prize = $300 travel stipend, free conference registration, free ICMA student chapter membership

The top three videos will be shown at the ICMA Annual Conference in September 2014, this year in Charlotte, North Carolina (the 100th anniversary of ICMA).

Ready? Easy steps to create your video

  1. Get your team together for a brainstorming session. 
  2. Identify a person or process you’d like to tell a story about.
  3. Decide who will do what (write the script, contact the “actors”) by when.
  4. Check all the rules about music, images, and video (copyright, privacy).
  5. Shoot and edit your video. Pre-production and having a script are the most important steps. A storyboard can help too!
  6. Contact ICMA at nextgen@icma.org when your video is completed, and ICMA will work with you to upload your completed video to the ICMA YouTube page.
  7. Videos should incorporate the Life, Well Run key messages (please see the Messaging section of the LWR Resources page)

Rules and tips

  1. Entry is free, and multiple entries are welcome. The deadline is May 9, 2014.
  2. All content must be original, student content. There is no limit on team size. Use your school’s graphic design, journalism, communications, or other departments as you like. 
  3. For anyone identifiable in your video, you must have them sign a consent form and identify them in the video (if they are being interviewed) with name, title, and their city, town or county.
  4. Tell a story. Videos must fall into one of these categories:
    1. spotlight a professional local government administrator, deputy administrator, or other professional staff
    2. describe a process that makes the community better and how that process was launched (e.g., how public engagement launched a new innovation in recycling, or how a new recycling program bolstered community engagement efforts)
    3. highlight a well run local government (must be professionally managed)
    4. focus on how the relationship between a professional local government manager and an elected official or other community leader helps to promote efficient, effective, ethical local government (or any one of those components)
  5. All videos must have opening and closing credits. (Note: the winning videos will be fitted with the Life, Well Run closing slate.)
  6. Video duration should be no longer than two minutes (120 seconds) excluding the credits.
  7. No corporate logos in videos.
  8. Make sure that your video can be aired on television (winning videos will be promoted and used by ICMA in its Life, Well Run campaign, which may include being aired on television), and that the persons featured in the videos are aware of this possibility.
  9. Check out this example for quick editing tips.
  10. The entrant indemnifies the competition organizers from any loss, injury or damage that may occur in the production of his or her video.


Contact the UNC ICMA Student Chapter at uncmpaicma@gmail.com.


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