Tag Archives: journalism contest

5 Reasons to Move Your Contest to BetterBNC

  1. top5Just for Media & PR:  BetterBNC has been designed specifically for journalism, media and public relations contests.  BetterBNC is NOT a generic platform that has to be customized for media and PR awards programs.
  2. Training & Support:  BetterBNC includes all training and support in its base price – you never get a bill at the end of the year for support.  Our tech team is responsive and works with customers to ensure contest success.
  3. Easy Judging:  Judges prefer BetterBNC for its ease of use and intuitive interface.  We receive inquiries every week which are the result of judges’ recommendations.
  4. Customized Homepage:  BetterBNC allows you to create a customized contest homepage hosted by BetterBNC at no additional charge.  You can use an easy page builder to create the page or build it from scratch.
  5. Marketing Manager:  BetterBNC has a feature allowing the contest administrator to email contestants and judges conveniently from the administrator dashboard.

After you’ve presented your awards, wrapped up your conference or convention, it’s a great time to give BetterBNC a call, schedule a complimentary demo and see if BetterBNC can improve your contest experience for the coming year.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com to schedule a demo and learn more about the platform.

When you sign on to BetterBNC, we build your contest and conduct a training for your team so you’re ready to go whenever your call for entries goes out.   Contact us today to get started.

Streamline and Simplify Your Contest

simpleIn working with the numerous organizations currently using the BetterBNC platform for their awards program, we’ve found that even those resistant at first have discovered great success after streamlining and simplifying their contest.

Many have come into BetterBNC with cumbersome judging structures or entry fee schedules and rates, among other things.  For some contests, particularly those large awards programs, the structure is absolutely necessary and works beautifully.  With others, we often hear it described as very simply,  “just the way we’ve always done it.”

As it may require customization to accommodate these structures, BetterBNC encourages organizations to take a fresh look and see if it’s possible to simplify things to make it easier and more efficient for everyone involved and save costs.

When it is possible, the big winners are the contest participants including the judges who have a simple, intuitive and straightforward approach to evaluating entries.  As well, contestants report that the time required to make entries has been reduced and the process is more clear.

Change can be difficult but it’s only for that first year.  We haven’t had a contest administrator yet tell us they prefer the more cumbersome approach.  What we hear frequently is that simplifying the process has resulted in more contestants and an easier time recruiting judges.   When an organization’s awards program is growing and thriving – everyone wins.

Your judges want an easier way to evaluate entries.

computerWe had a great call with an organization looking at BetterBNC this week.  They were referred to us by one of their contest judges who said they needed to find a better way to run their contest – especially for the judges.

The judge had used BetterBNC to judge another contest and gave the platform a strong endorsement saying it would alleviate so many of the issues that existed.  We hear this often.  BetterBNC has worked hard to ensure a smooth and efficient process for everyone involved – particularly judges who donate their time and expertise to the awards program.

The organization was surprised to learn that moving to BetterBNC was an easy and affordable process.  Step one is to set up a demo to learn how the platform can streamline the contest process. BetterBNC builds the contest for organizations so it’s ready to go when you’re ready to issue your call for entries.  The administrator can make any needed changes through the intuitive dashboard and all training and support for the year is included – no surprise charges for customer and tech support.

Take a look at BetterBNC – set up your complimentary demo today. Email karen@smalltownpapers.com for details.


Tips for Promoting Your Awards Program

Here are ten quick tips for promoting your journalism, creative or public relations contest.  Promotion builds excitement and increases participation.  Good luck!

  1. On your website.
    Add a contest or button banner with your entry deadline to your homepage – link it to your entry page.  If you have an awards program page on your site, include your “call for entries” and deadline dates linking to the “make entries” page.  Be sure to also add contest information to any relevant calendars on your site.
  2. On your BetterBNC branded contest page.
    BetterBNC allows you to create a branded contest webpage at no additional charge.  Drive contestants to this page for all of the contest information they need.
  3. On Twitter.
    Twitter is a great way to remind contestants about your contest and deadlines.  Use hashtags and ramp up tweets as the deadline approaches.
  4. On Facebook.
    Post a link to your contest webpage and encourage visitors to share it with their friends.  Add logo or trophy images to build interest.
  5. On LinkedIn.
    Post contest information to your LinkedIn Group or Company page.  Encourage members to promote the contest to their business contacts via LinkedIn.
  6. In your newsletters.
    Always include your contest information in newsletters and bulletins you send to members.  Create a banner or badge for the top of the newsletter with a link to the entry page.
  7. Via email.
    Send an email to your membership or general database and include a “forward to a friend” link.   BetterBNC allows you to email contestants from the current and previous years right from the platform’s administrator dashboard.  Encourage your organization’s leaders to add contest information to their email signature, as well.
  8. Via awards program sponsors.
    If your program has sponsors, provide them with logos and contest information so they can also share it on their site, newsletters, socials, etc.
  9. At organizational events.
    Promote your contest at any organizational events using flyers, postcards, table talkers and banners.  Weave in a mention during any available speaking opportunities.
  10. Promote your contest winners.
    Promote your winners in all channels and include a reminder of your next contest dates to encourage future participation.

BetterBNC’s Top 5

  1. Exceptional Training/Customer Support – Overwhelmingly, this is the top comment we receive from customers.  They tell us they appreciate BetterBNC’s quick response to their technical questions and the fact that there’s no additional charge for training and support.
  2. Marketing Manager – Launched in 2015, contest administrators say they love the convenience of emailing contestants and judges from the dashboard and like that they can also email contestants from the previous year.
  3. Contestant Scrapbooks – Contestants enjoy the ability to save potential entries throughout the year in a BetterBNC scrapbook then simply choose which to enter into a contest when the time is right.
  4. Customized Homepage – Organizations like the ability to create their own branded contest homepage complete with their logos, images, color palette and more.
  5. Judges Drag and Drop – The platform earns high marks from judges who are able to easily view entries and use a visual drag and drop method to select their top contenders.

Want to take a closer look at BetterBNC and learn how it can streamline and make your contest more efficient?  Schedule a complimentary demo today.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com to get started.

New Feature Makes it Easy to Communicate with Contestants & Judges

*Click here to access our latest newsletter (April 16, 2015) announcing our new Marketing Manager feature!

BetterBNC is delighted to announce a new feature which dramatically improves the way contest administrators communicate with those involved in their contest.

The platform’s new Marketing Manager feature allows contest administrators to easily communicate with users by sending email from the administrator dashboard to contest judges and contestants from both current and previous contest years.  

TCreate Campaignhe administrator can create and save email templates or create individual emails. You can target judges who have not yet finished assignments, or specific groups of contestants such as those who made entries last year, but haven’t done so yet in your current contest. You can launch campaigns to call for entries, or remind users of impending deadlines.  The feature is easy and intuitive to use and makes communicating with your judges and contestants more productive.  

The new Marketing Manager feature is part of BetterBNC’s 2015 platform upgrade and is available to contests at no additional cost. 

Want to know more about BetterBNC or schedule a personal demo, email karen@smalltownpapers.com today.

Schedule Your BetterBNC Demo Today

Calls are coming in.  Many contest administrators are looking to either move their journalism, PR or creative contest online or change the platform they’re currently using.   This the time of year to schedule your demo and see what BetterBNC can do to improve your contest experience in 2015.  The platform today is being used by nearly 200 organizations hosting contests of all shapes and sizes.  Some of our contests have just a handful of entries while others have hundreds.

MABLogoMany of our BetterBNC contests are reporting consistent growth in their contests each year – more organizations and more entries.  The Michigan Association of Broadcasters just had a record year for its Broadcast Excellence Awards.  They had 926 entries submitted by 89 stations across the state.  Congrats to contest administrator Mary Worland and her team! Winners of their contest will be announced March 11th.

Those using BetterBNC enjoy its features  and modules including:

  • Contestant Manager™ – Allows organizations to manage entries and monitor employee contest activity.
  • Open Call™ – Allows contest administrators to open the contest to non-members and freelancers.
  • Customized Homepages – Organizations can create their own branded contest homepage for no additional charge.
  • Revenue Manager – Cart system fully integrated with PayPal.
  • Integrated Judging – See real time judging updates and easily generate and export judging reports. (more details here)
  • Exceptional  Customer Service – The BetterBNC tech support team is responsive and thorough.

Join us in an upcoming demo to see the platform in action and learn more about what it can do for your contest.  You can easily schedule a demo for your and your team by contacting BetterBNC – email karen@smalltownpapers.com.

Planning for an easier contest in 2015.

How well is your contest platform performing for you?  Is it easy and intuitive with exceptional customer service?  Do judges and contestants rave about it? As we look to the start of 2015, we invite you to check out BetterBNC and what its powerful contest platform can do for your awards program.

BetterBNC is currently the preferred platform for nearly 200 news media, creative and PR organizations across North America.  Among them, the San Diego SPJ chapter which moved to BetterBNC in 2013. Its contest administrator Terry Williams, who had used BetterBNC for the San Diego Press Club since 2011, says BetterBNC has dramatically improved their SPJ contest, “I have had experience with one other platform and believe me, BetterBNC is far superior. Ease of entering, judging, reporting – all. But more than the system itself, the major advantage is expert and prompt customer service. My members with issues are either answered directly or referred to me so I keep in close touch with the process.”

*Click here to read what other customers are saying.

BetterBNC is an affordable and fully-integrated platform created specifically for journalism and media contests. Based on industry contest best practices, it has been designed to handle the complex security, rules and judging requirements unique to journalism , creative media and PR contests. It includes many exclusive features such as Contestant Manager which enables organizations to manage entries and monitor employee activity to ensure appropriate entries are made and Open Call which allows you to open your contest to non-members and freelancers. New this season is the ability, at no additional charge, to create a customized, branded homepage for your contest.

If you’re interested in a better contest experience in 2015, we can help.  You’re welcome to take a look at the platform in a complimentary demo scheduled at your convenience.  Simply contact us today.

Have you customized your contest homepage?

Of all of the great and robust features that make BetterBNC the leading contest platform for journalism, creative and PR awards programs, the customized homepage option is rapidly becoming a fan favorite.

Just launched, contest administrators have jumped to create their own branded contest homepages.  The Colorado Broadcasters Association was the first to complete their page and now, nearly a dozen are in progress including The Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence and the  Golden ARC Awards.

The new module is intuitive and easy to use.  You can load your own copy, images and logos and select the color palette and template you like.  As well, you can load your own HTML page if you want to design your own.

The feature is completely optional and is activated by simply selecting the feature on your set up page.  All contests, whether you have a customized homepage or not, are also available from the drop down menu on www.betterbnc.com.

Enjoy the new feature and let us know what you think – we love feedback!


Exclusive New BetterBNC Feature

It’s Now EASY to Customize Your Own Contest Homepage

Media and PR contests using BetterBNC can now easily customize their contest landing page to reflect the organization’s branding — including logos, photos, text and graphics. Customizing your contest homepage is quick and easy. Simply click a box on your Admin dashboard then begin designing your own contest homepage.

Several of our contests are already using the new feature including the North Dakota Newspaper Associationclick here to see their customized landing page.

CBAwebpage400One of the first organizations to create a branded homepage was the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Its president and CEO Justin Sasso said the new page gave their contest a unique feel and simplified the entry process.

“The customizable homepage allowed us to match our association’s color scheme and edit content so contestants could easily find answers to some of their most common questions,” Sasso told us. “I like that the BetterBNC no longer feels like a third party platform. The ability to link from our website directly to a landing page that can be customized to look and feel like an extension of the Colorado Broadcasters Association’s website, synchronizes the entire process and provides an end-user experience that all contestants should find easier to navigate.”

With pre-made templates, you can select the color scheme, fonts, sizes, logos and photos — even select your own URL address within the system. With the blank template, you can put your design and HTML experience to work using the built-in webpage creator software. There is no additional cost to use this optional feature. You can enable the feature at any time and your contest participants can always access your contest through www.betterbnc.com.