I remember all too well back in the day when entering a news media contest meant the time consuming task of going through stories I’d written, pulling tearsheets and filling out forms to place in the mail. It was arduous process and generally happened with a postmark deadline looming. Even tougher were television and radio stations which spent days pulling and editing down videos and audio tapes creating entries to mail in. Times have certainly changed.
I had a refresher demo of the BetterBNC contest platform recently and what it does for today’s contests is impressive. The demo showed the flexibility of the platform for contest administrators, the ease with which contestants are able to upload entries in a variety of formats, and the clean and intuitive online experience for judges. All of this is really no surprise given that BetterBNC was created specifically for media contests by SmallTownPapers, Inc., a well-known and active participant in the journalism trades.
Because it was designed for media contests, its platform updates include enhancements which are the direct result of feedback from the user community. When newsroom managers suggested they be able to more easily manage who can enter a contest on behalf of their news organization, the Contestant Manager™ feature was added to provide them with the ability to set up employee accounts which they can monitor and then approve entries before they are submitted.
Administrators suggested that they be able to invite freelance writers to enter their contests so the Open Call™ feature was added. And contestants suggested that there should be a way for them to store pieces that they may want to enter into a future contest so BetterBNC added a Scrapbook feature allowing them save their work in their own BetterBNC account so it is ready to submit when the call for entries is made.
The participation of those using the platform has made BetterBNC the number one media contest platform used by more than 160 contests across North America today. The platform was built when Washington’s state press association asked us if we could “help digitize” their BNC. That was back in 2007 but we have retained the philosophy that our users will ultimately have the best ideas. BetterBNC recently established an Admin Advisory Group comprised of contest administrators which will guide future improvements and enhancements.
BetterBNC recognizes that the industry is rapidly changing as is the BetterBNC user base. The platform may have launched years ago for newspaper associations but today is designed for all media organizations and is hosting a growing number of broadcaster, public relations, advertising and other creative awards programs. The platform is agile and able to respond to the inevitable changes in the way media contests are managed today and in the future.
If you’re a contest administrator, see what BetterBNC can do for your contest experience. Sign up for a complementary platform demo today – call us at 360.427.6300.