Tag Archives: media contest

What’s new in BetterBNC’s fall release?

NEW Administrator Tools Streamline Processes

Creating your competitions just got a lot easier! When creating competitions, you can now choose whether to combine circ groups or keep them separate for each category — all with a single click! And, managing competitions has been streamlined with new features designed to improve workflow.

New at-a-glance tickers help you track your contest progress! The admin dashboard and competitions page now provide quick views of your numbers — a real time saver and a great way to monitor the activity of your contestants and judges.

If you accept Open Call® entries you will appreciate the new way entries can now be automatically assigned to a circulation group, and Open Call entries are now included in a new at-a-glance ticker. Contact us if you have any questions about using the new administrator tools.

New BetterBNC features coming soon!

Thank you to our BetterBNC customers who offer great feedback and suggestions. Those are instrumental in helping us design new features to add to BetterBNC each year. We’re pleased to announce a new round of updates coming this fall including:

  • Customized homepage featuring new templates and an improved web editor interface to allow more freedom in design and ease of use of the homepage editor
  • Open Call® will see upgraded tools and features and a simplified administrator process
  • New reporting options with many reports having the option to display as tables (and/or download as xls); more reporting choices will also be available
  • Judges can print out a receipt of all their winner selections, public comments, and their private notes and scoring
  • Contest admins receive expansive new audit tools
  • Look for numerous changes to buttons, messaging, graphical design and intuitive features

if you are ready to renew your contest, please contact the office at 360.427.6300. If you are interested in BetterBNC for your contest, you can email Karen@smalltownpapers.com to schedule a complimentary demo.

BetterBNC & Large File Entries

It’s common that for General Excellence categories or for complete PR campaigns, contestants may have very large PDF files to enter into a contest. Some contestants use their own accounts on third-party e-publishing vendors such as Issu, VuDu or RealView — all provide page-by-page streaming of documents. A published document on a third-party site can then be entered into BetterBNC by way of a web URL. Contestants making entries in this manner should be reminded that it is their responsibility to maintain their third-party accounts until after judging.

Most very large PDF files can be easily reduced in size using Adobe Acrobat or other programs to reduce the PDF file size before uploading. Select the file compression options and a lower resolution for “web viewing” — 72-99 dpi is sufficient.

If you have any questions about your large file entries, simply contact us or you can complete a Trouble Ticket and we’ll get back to you.

Need a platform for your organization and its chapters?

Perhaps you have several chapter contests under your national organization’s umbrella.  You might have a large nationwide media contest then several regional competitions.  Want to create a consistent contest experience for all of the chapters or regions? BetterBNC can help you do that.

Several organizations using BetterBNC do just that – one sanctioning organization with contests under their umbrella.  We can show you how easy it is to set that up with BetterBNC.  Simply contact us by emailing karen@smalltownpapers.com.  You can schedule a complimentary demo for your team today or learn more about the platform and how it is working for organizations which have multiple contests.


A Better Way to Judge Your Media Contest

It’s one of the most important facets of the contest experience – the judging structure.  For a smaller contest, it may be fairly simple and straightforward.  But, particularly for larger media contests, reviewing and rating entries can involve a number of judges, more than one judge evaluating each entry, multiple rounds of judging, a wide range of criteria being evaluated and feedback being provided to contestants. It can be quite complex.

BetterBNC can accomodate all of the above.  The base platform is perfect for a straightforward judging process and the platform has modules available for more sophisticated judging structures including:

Entry Asset Manager – Download all attachments, website URLs, and judges’ comments from all contest winning entries at one time. All winning entry content items are organized into folders and uploaded to a secure FTP website for admins to download all at once, saving time and effort.

Detailed Scoring Module – Add multiple criteria to each category’s judging form, each with its own scoring slider and comments field. Reports allow you to retrieve all scores/comments for every entry (winners and non-winners), including up to 5 places for winners. Allows for an enhanced judging feedback approach, allowing admins to retrieve all judge feedback for all entries (winners and non-winners).

Advanced Judging Module – Multiple judges may be assigned per category (automated/manual options), with multiple rounds of judging, and admin reports help you retrieve all winners’ information.Allows for multiple rounds of judging and multiple judges per entry, with all admin reports to help track results at each state.

Multi-round Judging Module – Two or more rounds of judging can be applied to your contest. Once your first round judging is complete, we create a duplicate contest database, allowing each finalist entry to be moved to any new categories/judging set by admin.

BetterBNC can also provide customization for contests with unique judging processes that modules do not address.  Contact us to schedule a complimentary demo at your convenience or to get started with BetterBNC.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com for details.

Why does your contest need Integrated Judging?

IntegratedWell, it made Thompson Writing’s list of overused business buzzwords – Integrated. You know it’s an important concept but when it comes to an online contest platform, what does it really mean? It depends on who you ask.

One of the BetterBNC features that administrators most appreciate is the platform’s Integrated Judging. For BetterBNC, integration means that the elements of the platform are linked and coordinated. For example, our contest administrators are always able to see real-time judging updates and judging reports are easily generated and exported on demand.

As administrator, you manage the judging assignments and monitor progress from your dashboard. Want to see how judging is progressing? Simply pull up a table that displays judging progress in real-time.

When judging has been completed, easily view comprehensive results in tables or export judging reports in various styles and formats.

Integrated judging is earning high marks from BetterBNC contest administrators and judges alike.

Mary Worland with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters appreciates how easy it is for all involved saying, “It’s so user-friendly, just drag and drop, and it’s also so much easier to download and export reports for ourselves and the auditors.”  

Jack Dvorak from the Bloomington Press Club used BetterBNC to judge a contest and told us, “I have used the program as a judge and find it easy to use, efficient and effective.”

Want a better look at the platform and its Integrated Judging? Schedule a complimentary demo today to learn about our latest features.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com or call our office in Washington state at 360.427.6300.

Transform Your Media Contest Experience

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.

BetterBNC Earns High Customer Marks for Tech Support

At BetterBNC our mission is to help all of our users enjoy a successful contest experience. A lot goes into that – intuitive design, great features, and robust capability.  But there’s one particular feature that often goes unnoticed which turns out to be one of the strongest components of the BetterBNC®  journalism contest awards platform.

It’s rarely asked about up front but is critical to a contest’s success and ultimate customer satisfaction – it is our Tech Support.  At BetterBNC, Tech Support is not an add-on; it is not an additional charge; and it is not available for just a couple of hours in the day.

Our Tech Support team is available to help contest administrators, contestants and judges if and when they need it. I asked Cody, a member of the Tech team, what issue he is asked about most frequently.  No surprise to many, he said it is users forgetting their passwords.  As Tech Support goes, it’s a good problem to have and an easy one to solve.

TroubleTicket_redThe team is eager to help contest users with their experience.  It’s easy to contact them – the platform user simply submits a Trouble Ticket which is automatically forwarded to Tech Support. Tech team members monitor user inquiries seven days a week, early until late. Additionally, questions submitted are reviewed by BetterBNC to determine whether platform changes are needed to address the issue for all users.

Click here to access helpful user guides or you can initiate a trouble ticket.

BetterBNC Provides Media Contests with a Range of Payment Options

Whether your entering a media contest or managing the contest, handling entry payments can be challenging.  People want to submit payment in different ways and it’s critical that the process be secure  as well as easy to track and document.

Leading media contest platform BetterBNC is constantly improving the payment process for its participating contests.  The platform allows a contest to collect credit card payments directly from the contest webpage, accept payments through PayPal, track payments made via mailed check or the organization can use its own payment cart.  Flexibility is important to our customers and we are committed to  making it easy and secure for everyone involved.

Want to know more about the platform being used by more than 160 organizations today?  Contact BetterBNC at 360.427.6300 to learn how it can help improve your print journalism, broadcasting, creative, public relations and other media related contests.  Call and schedule a free demo today.

BetterBNC – Built for All Types of Contests

InlandPressAssocBannerThe Inland Press Association is a week away from the entry deadline for its 2014 New Business Development Contest which recognizes “original ideas and initiatives that grow revenue from new or legacy sources.”  It is an opportunity to recognize newspaper staffs for the creative ways they’re generating revenue from new sources and increasing revenue from existing sources.

The Inland Press Association, with 1200 member newspapers from across North America, is hosting this contest using the BetterBNC platform and we’re excited that it’s among a growing number of instances where media organizations are finding that the robust platform works well for more than professional print journalism competitions.  Of the 160 contests using BetterBNC today, more than 25% are now for broadcaster contests, 6% are for student contests and we are delighted to now have expanded to PR and advertising competitions.

BetterBNC was created specifically for the media industry and is based on journalism contest best practices.  BetterBNC is committed to continuous improvement much of which is born from the invaluable feedback we receive from everyone using the platform – administrators, contestants and judges.  BetterBNC is proud to also have an Admin Advisory Group which reviews and recommends enhancements.

For the Inland Press Association’s New Business Development Contest, the entry deadline is July 21st with winners recognized at Inland’s New Business Development Conference in Chicago on August 7-8.  Good look to all of the contestants in this year’s competition.