Press associations move to streamline annual contests
SmallTownPapers, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of its new online contest platform which allows press associations to move their Better Newspaper Contest (BNC) online. The integrated contest platform, dubbed the “Better BNC”, streamlines the entire BNC process: newspapers quickly and easily upload entries as PDFs, judges review and evaluate entries online, and the contest administrator manages the entire process from their desktop.
Traditionally BNC contests are run with physical tear sheets submitted as entries which are logged in, sorted and verified by staff. Eventually the entries are shipped to judges who then physically read each entry from the tear sheet. Judges then report their decisions back to the association staff.
“We’ve had a great experience with SmallTownPapers as BetterBNC has developed over the past few years,” said Mae Waldron, member services manager of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA). “We appreciate the ways the site saves us time and money. Our members, instead of scrambling to overnight piles of tearsheets to our office to meet the deadline, enter PDFs and URLs on the site. Being able to print a log of their contest entries is a perk for them. Judges have told us they prefer the online judging process over writing comments on paper forms and want their association to start using the site.”
While the idea of changing to an ‘all-digital’ contest might seem initially daunting, users quickly realize that having their own online account keeps things organized and makes entering, judging and administering their journalism contest easier than ever.
“Sometimes it takes a while for new methods to be adopted, but this product is rapidly revolutionizing a manual process that has been around for decades,” said Paul Jeffko, founder of SmallTownPapers, Inc. “Now contest managers are focused on moving their entire BNC process to the desktop quickly and reliably without having to build their own software. Better BNC fits the bill perfectly.”
“I was trying out the site to see how it would work. It was fun and fast. The forms printed great and look so much better than my terrible handwriting,” explained Mike Schiro with the Port Orchard Independent newspaper. “If I can use the site…anyone can.”
Nineteen news organizations are currently using the Better BNC online contest platform including Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) which first moved its contest online three years ago. Oregon, New York and Arizona are now on their second year of use. Other organizations selecting Better BNC include SPJ and Associated Press.
Other features of SmallTownPaper’s online BNC include customizable web pages reflecting the associations own brand, logo, rules and other materials. Entries can be made in various file formats such as PDF, JPEG, and text, or a URL web address for web entries. The centralized database holds all contest information, all of the entries and data are backed up daily and the contest archive remains available after the contest completion.
Working with press associations who wanted to streamline their antiquated process of running a manual “Better Newspaper Contest,” SmallTownPapers developed the first all-digital online contest application where newspapers enter their articles as document or image files and judges review online from their own desktop. The BNC contest administrator can now deploy and manage the entire process online from the BNC Administrative Console. Visit BetterBNC for more information.
SmallTownPapers is a leading solution provider for publishers of America”s 5000 small market newspapers. Working with publishers nationwide, the Seattle-based company digitally preserves current and archive editions and provides searchable online access to the newspapers. Additionally, SmallTownPapers provides millions of news consumers across the country with access to real-time news and information from small town America. Today, more than 350 newspapers from 46 states can be accessed and searched through SmallTownPapers. The archive, containing editions dating as far back as the 1800”s, continues to grow as publishers discover SmallTownPapers in their search for comprehensive digital archive solutions. www.smalltownpapers.com.
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