1. Celebrate- of course! Let all of your friends and family know of the good news via social media, email, text, calls, etc. Let them also know that you are now available to do appearances and volunteer opportunities as a pageant titleholder. The more people who know you have a pageant title- the more opportunities to volunteer, spread your message, bring publicity to your pageant system, etc. You may even consider throwing a celebratory party/get-together in honor of this new achievement!
2. Social Media. Depending on your age and your pageant's specific guidelines/allowing of social media- social media can be a huge help in bringing awareness and publicity to your new title. I suggest starting a Facebook fan page to keep people informed of your upcoming events, etc. You may also consider starting an Instagram account, website, or blog to chronicle your year as a titleholder. If you have a platform or charity you support- this is a great way to get attention to your cause as well. It also gives people a way to contact you for appearances, questions, etc.
3. Meet with your Director. If you can, it is helpful to meet with your pageant director/coordinator to discuss plans for your year, expectations, guidelines to follow, etc. It helps to be on the same page and know what is expected of you- ie. a certain amount of appearances per month, blog entries, volunteer hours, etc. Be in touch with your director and always ask them if you are uncertain about something. Side note- if you have sister queens- meet with your sister queens too! These girls should be your new best friends :) Plan events together, encourage each other, and work hard together!
4. Meet the Mayor. Or any important public figure! Send a letter and call your mayor, legislatures, etc and let them know of your new title. Ask to meet with them for a short "meet and greet". Connections and networking are everything!
5. Press Releases. Send a press release to your local newspapers, news stations, online new sites, etc alerting them to your new title. You may just land an awesome interview!
6. Read the Rules. Be sure to read carefully all of the rules, guidelines, contracts, etc that you are given. It is best to be a great student/titleholder!
7. Appearances. Start planning appearances! Whether it is a parade, charity event, race, rodeo, community festival, another pageant, etc- anything can be an appearance! Getting yourself out there in the community is important for a titleholder. Yes, it's cool to win a crown, but what are you going to do with it? Promote your pageant system by appearing in parades, give of yourself to others by volunteering at a local fundraiser, help your sponsors out by assisting at an event of theirs, etc. Sometimes appearances are given to you- but often, you have to search on your own. When I was Miss Minnesota International, I would go on city/county websites to look for upcoming events- then I would email whoever was in charge and ask if I could help out/participate in any way. I also contacted various charity organizations and offered my assistance. Reaching out goes a long way. As mentioned above- by notifying friends and family and people via social media- you can be "recruited" for many events! Another great appearance I suggest is attending other city/state pageants in your same system. Ie. If you win a NAM title in Minnesota- try to go to the NAM pageants in other states. You will learn a lot and have fun with your sister queens. Or if you win a Miss America local- go to the other Miss America locals in your state.
8. Find a Purpose. Many girls will already have a platform/charity/cause/purpose when they win their crown. If you do- continue to further this purpose! Use your crown as a microphone to amplify your passion and bring attention to what you care about. If you don't have a platform yet- I encourage you to find one- find something that excites you or that you have a personal connection to. Use this new public role to make a difference!
9. Autograph Cards. Get yourself some beautiful autograph cards with your picture on it, your title, any social media pages/websites, contact info, etc. These are fun to carry with you to appearances and hand out to anyone you come across- whether it's a little girl who looks up to you as a princess- or a potential sponsor!
10. Prepare for Nationals. If you have a national/international pageant you will be moving on to- it is important to get to work right away. Whether you need to find new wardrobe items, rework your interview or intro speech, prepare for new optionals, etc- time is of the essence! Nationals will come quickly- I recommend meeting with your coach/director asap to make a plan of action! At nationals, you will be competing against the best of the best- be prepared for that- don't regret not pushing yourself to the best competitive level. Most girls only have one opportunity to go to nationals- make the most of it and put your absolute best self forward.
11. Pictures. Take A TON of pictures! This is a year you never want to forget :) And remember to post them on your social media sites!
12. Promote Your Pageant System. Personally, I feel that an important part of a titleholder's job is to promote their pageant system. You have been given the honor of this position- now use it to show other girls how awesome your pageant system is. Help recruit girls to sign-up for next year!
13. Say Yes. Say yes to all of the opportunities that come your way! You get one year- and it will go by fast- make the most of it.
14. Be a Role-Model. As mentioned before- always follow the rules and guidelines given by your director/pageant system. You have become an instant role-model. Take that position seriously and always be conscious of your actions while in crown and banner- and when you are not. Have proper etiquette, manners, and be the charming young lady you are! :)
15. Be a Legacy. How do you want to be remembered as a titleholder? Do you want to be remembered as a hard-working, go-getter who did 50 appearances with a smile on her face at every single one? I hope so! Think of how you want to be remembered in years to come- and be that girl!