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How local newspaper awards work and how you should work them…

How local awards usually work: 

  1. You nominate yourself or you wait for someone to nominate you.

  2. Whoever is hosting the contest grabs your email (to use to sell to you in the future) 

  3. You get emailed that you were nominated

  4. They may offer discounted prices on advertising

  5. You are listed among the “nominated” pool of businesses in your industry.

  6. The voting begins. Bigger companies have an advantage here. 

  7. Businesses may encourage their employees to vote daily. 

  8. Chains may get votes simply from name recognition if other businesses are all unknown.

How you should work the nomination process:

  1. Be prepared to run a social media campaign. Hired a social media manager recently? Great. Set them onto this task next. 

  2. Use the offered discounted advertising to invite the community to try your product before nominations voting begins. Run a similar campaign on social media (grab email here).

  3. Try to capture their email when they come into the store or try your freebie (if using code from the “paper” campaign mailing list is key!) 

  4. When voting begins, let people know about it on social media. Get your employees or customers to share as well to reach more people. Share as often as you feel comfortable with, then a few extra times. This is where a good “fun” social media strategy that won’t annoy people is a good idea.

  5.  Be part of a group that is supportive and willing to vote for you daily like WE BCS (offsets the “large company bias”). 

  6. Email the people whose emails you now have to ask them to vote for you if they liked your product. Don’t do this more than once. (Idea: Offer a coupon if they make it to the top 3 to encourage them to vote)

If you get nominated to the top 3:

  1. Change your cover photo and profile pic to “Nominated For”

  2. Send out your email coupon. Let people on social media know they can get it too if they sign up for your mailing list.

  3. Try to run another fun social media campaign. (Social media bingo so you can support & tag other local businesses and offer a really nice prize for the winner).

  4. Send out another email campaign about email coupons if you win the contest.

  5. If you have a physical location, post signs to remind people to vote in your store. Share about the discount if you win if they sign up for the mailing list.

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