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Who knew a doodle of the state could inspire a social media campaign? Especially one that not only shows potential but has proven successful in just a short amount of time.
That’s been the case with Draw West Virginia.
It began as I was designing an interactive map for our election night coverage (more on that soon):
I'm designing something for @wvpublicnews' election night coverage and needed a visual. Sorry, Eastern Panhandle. pic.twitter.com/um70roobue
— Dave Mistich (@davemistich) October 1, 2014
So, when I posted my poor artistic skills on Facebook and Twitter, I realized it didn’t take long for my friends and followers to comment on it. That’s when I got the idea to wander around the station and elsewhere in downtown Charleston to ask others to attempt to draw West Virginia from memory. I told news director Beth Vorhees and assistant news director/statehouse reporter Ashton Marra it would be a surefire hit on social media.
By the time production supervisor Chuck Frostick and I got back to the station to edit what we had shot for our “kickoff” video, others had already tried their hand at it.
But it was this tweet that was retweeted by the Mothership (@nprnews) and their digital strategist Melody Kramer when things really took off.
We want to see your attempts to #drawWV from memory. Tweet or instagram a photo and we'll feature it on a new blog. pic.twitter.com/ppBTii5dDU
— WVPB News (@wvpublicnews) October 2, 2014
Many on Twitter took issue with the tracing of the “middle finger” to represent the state’s geographic boundaries.
:Shaking my head: @wvpublicnews @nprnews were duped by a 12yo boy with questionable tracing skills.
— Stacey Graham (@staceyigraham) October 2, 2014
@wvpublicnews @nprnews Wow. Nice. Give me the finger. Much appreciated.
— Dovid EZ Stern (@DovidEZStern) October 2, 2014
But anyone from West Virginia knows there’s a long-standing tradition of using “middle finger” as a makeshift map of the state. Regardless, the controversy gave us tons of exposure on Twitter and submissions began to fly in across social media.
By now, you’re wondering how to participate, right? Well, that’s simple.
Just grab a pen or pencil and draw the outline of West Virginia from memory. Snap a photo and upload it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and use the hashtag #drawWV. Once we get it, we’ll publish it right along with the other submissions on our new tumblr.
If you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can upload the photo straight to our blog here: