Best citywide ballots of 2017

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At this year's Second Street Awards, we recognized the best citywide ballots of 2017.

This year brought the biggest citywide ballot successes we've ever seen. Media companies are using their ballots to drive massive revenue windfalls, create huge engagement campaigns, and drive incredible amounts of email opt-ins for their database.

This truly was "the year of the ballot." Check out these eight award-winning ballots to learn more.

Best of the Best: Chattanooga – Chattanooga Times Free Press

*Winner of Best Citywide Ballot*

This was the paper's 10-year anniversary of its ballot and clearly the best one yet. The staff has already cultivated a high level of prestige and honor for local businesses to be nominated – most of which proudly display their honors in storefronts and windows. Through various ad sales and a massive winners event with hundreds of guests, the Chattanooga Free Press was able to secure over $630,000 in revenue – its biggest revenue hit to date.

Vote 4 the Best WDIV-TV

This year, WDIV-TV in Detroit found big success from its first ever citywide ballot. The ballot received more than 475,000 votes, participation from over 63,000 people, grew its email list by 34,000, and drove over $180,000 in revenue for the station. The success didn't end with the citywide ballot. Seeing it was such a big hit, WDIV created two spin-off ballots – a Halloween Edition and D-licious Desserts.

Best of the Four States Zimmer Radio Group

Zimmer Radio Group found inspiration to run a ballot at the Second Street Summit. Following all the best practices for citywide ballots, the group set itself up for big success for the small radio station group that touches the corners of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The staff brought in 18,000 votes and generated over $20,000 in revenue.

2017 Charleston's Choice The Post and Courier

For its second annual Charleston's Choice, The Post and Courier keeps doing an outstanding job. This year's ballot drove $215,000 in revenue, brought in 215,000 votes, and brought in over 14,000 participants. Plus, this winners' event has become a can't-miss for local businesses.

 

Best of Bisbee and Best of Sierra Vista & Tombstone Herald/Review Media

The team at Herald/Review Media found a lot of success with the local Best of Sierra Vista & Tombstone and Best of Bisbee ballots. Running simultaneously, this year's ballots drove a 54 percent increase in revenue over last year. Advertisers were thrilled to accept their awards at an upscale "red carpet" style event that truly set the award apart.

Best of the Teche Daily Iberian

While the Daily Iberian had run this ballot before, this year the staff stepped up its game with the first-ever winners event. Not only did the paper sell 600+ tickets to the event, but the ballot also garnered nearly 70,000 votes and more than 3,000 email opt-ins. With sponsorship revenue upwards of $80,000, this was a big win for the Daily Iberian.

Best of Texoma Sherman-Herald Democrat

Bringing in $280,000 – a 65 percent YOY growth – for the Sherman-Herald Democrat, the Best of Texoma citywide ballot is doing something right. The multiphase ballot allows the paper to maximize tons of revenue opportunities for the local businesses in the community and truly make the winners feel they're a part of something special.

Best of Lenawee The Daily Telegram

Making the move from a voting-only ballot to a three-phase ballot, was a huge win for this small, 10,000 circulation paper. Not only did the paper incorporate a gala event for 250 people, but it was able to drive in $70,000 in revenue. That's 337 percent YOY revenue growth – incredible.

Citywide ballots are proving time and time again they can be the single biggest revenue driver of your entire year. Make sure you're not missing out on this huge opportunity.

Matt Coen is the president and co-founder of Second Street, a leading provider of private-label online promotions platforms and partner success services for media companies based in St. Louis, Mo. He can be reached at (314) 880-4902 or matt@secondstreet.com.

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