Tag Archives: press association

Judges Really do Prefer BetterBNC

We’ve been delighted to have welcomed several new contests in recent weeks and we have a new one signing on to BetterBNC this week.  We’ve seen a very strong trend with these new contests.

Many organizations are encouraged to switch to BetterBNC because either their contest judges recommended it or their members who have judged other contests using BetterBNC have suggested it.  Judges say BetterBNC has one of the easiest and most intuitive judging interfaces around.

We take that very seriously as we strive to make the contest easy and efficient for everyone involved including the judges who often volunteer their time to thoroughly review entries.  We incorporated an easy drag and drop mechanism to help them organize their favorites and we have features that ensure judges can review entries from their computer or device without having to worry about time consuming and cumbersome downloads.

Last year, we added a Marketing Manager features (which comes with the base price) that allows contest administrators to send reminders and other information to judges right from the contest dashboard.

We appreciate our customers who continue to recommend the platform to their peers involved with journalism, creative and PR contests across the country.  If your organization would like to see the platform, contact us to schedule a complimentary 45 minute demo.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com today.  We can help you make the switch before your next Call for Entries goes out.

Helping you improve your contest experience.

BetterBNC has won customer praise for our commitment to customer satisfaction.  The team encourages and, more importantly, listens to suggestions from our customers every day.  Many of those suggestions are now popular features in our base platform.

With our contest platform uniquely designed specifically for print and broadcast journalism, creative and public relations contests, it’s important that we maintain an open dialog with those using the platform. We learn from contest administrators, judges and contestants about the unique features needed for their specific contests.

Understanding how frustrated judges can get when they use a platform where they have to download dozens of large file entries helped us design our own program which uses links and third party sites such as RealView to house large entries and make them easy and fast for judges to review and evaluate.

Contest admins wanted a quick way to house all of their contest information and the idea for customized homepages was born. It is now a feature which comes with sign up or your renewal (at no additional charge) and is being used by most of our contest administrators.

And we heard prospective customers loud and clear when they told us that they don’t like getting a bill at the end of the month or year for their training and support.  At BetterBNC, all training and support is INCLUDED in your base price – you NEVER get an extra charge for training and support. We’re here around the clock to ensure your contest is a success!

Our door is open, our ears are listening – we encourage feedback so contact us and let us know about your contest. What are people saying?  What features would you like to see in the future?  Know of an organization which would benefit from moving their contest to BetterBNC?  Let us know and we’ll reach out to them.

The platform that can improve your awards program.

logo-300As we’re processing all of the renewals that are coming in and setting up the contests that have just signed on with BetterBNC, we find ourselves amazed at the growth in the platform over the past year alone.  At this time a year ago, we were excited to have expanded into more PR and broadcast contests and contest administrators were delighted to be using a new feature allowing them to create their own customized contest homepages.

Since then, we have welcomed dozens of new contests to BetterBNC and added new features like the Marketing Manager which allows contest administrators to email contestants and judges right from the dashboard.  It’s made it really easy to send out call for entries, reminders and thank yous.  We launched a BetterBNC website refresh which contest admins describe as clean, fresh, intuitive and easy to navigate and we are adding more creative contests such as advertising awards programs.

Some of the biggest fans of BetterBNC continue to be judges who say its far and away the easiest platform they’ve used to judge print and broadcast journalism, creative and public relations contests.  We appreciate all the feedback we receive from those using the platform and look forward to continued work with the best journalism, creative and PR awards programs out there.

Contact us anytime or email karen@smalltownpapers.com if you’d like to schedule a complimentary platform demo.

Features Helping You Host a Better Contest

BetterBNC is committed to the success of our customer’s contests. A suite of powerful features and modules, and the fact that it is designed specifically for journalism, creative and PR contests, distinguishes BetterBNC from other platforms on the market. Check out some of our customer’s favorite features below.

BetterBNC Features:

  • Marketing Manager – 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.  The 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.  
  • Contestant Scrapbooks – Contestants have indicated that they often find themselves scrambling before a contest deadline to locate a piece they’ve done which would be an appropriate entry. The new scrapbooking feature allows contestants to save their work in their own scrapbook account then simply upload it directly into an entry when the time is right.
  • Open Call™ – Contest administrators can use the Open Call feature to invite unaffiliated journalists to enter their contests. Freelancers and contestants who enter on their own behalf rather than through a media organization can create their own account with BetterBNC, then enter an Open Call contest. With the ability to expand a contest beyond a membership group or to different levels of participants, contest administrators can also create up to four independent entry fee structures for a single contest.
  • Contestant Manager™– With Contestant Manager, an organization’s senior managers and editors control who and what entries are made for a contest. They have the ability to manage entries themselves, assign someone else to manage the process or authorize employees to create entries for their respective departments.

BetterBNC Modules:

  • Revenue Manager Module – Accept and manage entry payments made by credit card or check.  An integrated shopping cart for entry fee payments by check or credit card, with the ability to see entry payment dates/amounts/methods. Admin reports also track entry payment dates/amounts/methods.
  • 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 provides training and 24/7 in-house support at no additional charge.  Contact us today to learn more or schedule a complimentary demo.

BEWARE this Halloween!

It’s that time of year when people dress themselves up and pretend to be someone they’re not.  It’s all part of the fun of Halloween.

There are other imposters lurking about that can also be a bit scary – companies pretending to be something they’re not.   There are a few of those in our business – contest platforms who are calling around saying “we’re just like BetterBNC but cheaper.”

Well, we’re flattered and thankful to our loyal customers who are telling us about the calls from those businesses but make sure you do know the difference between BetterBNC, which is currently the preferred contest platform for nearly 200 media and PR organizations in the US and Canada, and the other companies, most of which offer generic platforms that they will adapt for media contests.

BetterBNC was designed by media professionals specifically for news, creative and PR awards programs.  It is based on industry contest best practices and provides the security features and high-performance cloud server processor systems needed for today’s journalism and PR contests.

We know that if you shop around and ask the right questions, you’ll see the advantages of BetterBNC.   For example, make sure you can’t just log in and make an entry to a contest without an authorization feature.  If you can do it to another contest, someone could do it to yours.

We had two contests who went to another vendor who promised a cheaper experience but a year later they came back to BetterBNC.  One told us they now know why the other vendor was so inexpensive – they didn’t offer the needed features that are core to BetterBNC.  Another said the other base platform was inexpensive but after customizing it so it worked for a journalism contest they spent more than they had with BetterBNC.   Ask questions and make sure you know what you’re getting.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

160 Media Contests and Climbing!

BetterBNC® is pleased to be the preferred contest platform for more than 160 print, broadcast and creative contests across North America.  Our list of participating contests is climbing as organizations prepare for their fall entry and contest periods.

We’re excited to welcome a growing number of broadcast contests as well as two public relations and marketing contests.  Participating contests include AP and SPJ chapters,  broadcast associations, press clubs and associations, specialty organizations and more.   Click below to see who’s using the BetterBNC contest platform today.

Continue reading 160 Media Contests and Climbing!