After the first week, response has been strong and it looks to get even stronger judging from the number of phone calls and walk-in visits by readers who want to participate, according to Colleen Baird, retail advertising manager for the Banner who brainstormed this year’s inaugural contest with the newspaper’s advertising and management team.
“Readers have responded in a great way to let us know who they prefer in our Reader’s Choice contest,” Baird said. “Whether it’s the best place to buy shoes, get their teeth whitened or have a hot dog, readers are voting for their favorite spots.”
Not only will the winners in each category be recognized in a special section in mid-June, but all participants who complete the entry form and return it to the Banner with the full-page ballot will have their names entered in a drawing for a dining gift card that will feed two. It’s just the newspaper’s way of saying “thanks for participating,” Baird said.
Those wishing to participate are reminded entry deadline is Friday, May 18, at 5 p.m.
“We will publish the names of the winners and runners-up in a special section scheduled for the middle of June,” Baird explained.
The full-page ballot will be published twice more prior to Friday’s deadline. It will appear in the Tuesday and Thursday editions. Those filling out the ballot and entry form are reminded to use only the ballot page from the newspaper. Photocopies will not be accepted.
“We have had a great variety of responses and most of those that have completed the ballot have filled out the coupon to be considered for the free dinner for two,” she stressed.
Another important reminder is that as much information as possible, such as full names and work locations, should be included in the ballot responses.
“As an example, in the Best Nurse category, we ask that respondents please list the office in which he or she works,” Baird explained. “This will help a lot when identifying the winners.”
The same is true in most of the categories, especially those involving individuals or perhaps businesses that have multiple locations in the Cleveland and Bradley County area community.
A few additional tips and reminders about Reader’s Choice 2012 include:
n Readers may vote more than one time.
n If voting for a business with multiple locations, indicate which site or store on the ballot.
n Balloters should also remember to mark a choice in the final category of “Best Overall Business in Bradley County.”
n Do not separate the dinner-for-two entry form from the full-page ballot. Keep them together.
n Completed ballots may be hand-delivered to the Banner office at 1505 25th St. or mailed to the following address: Cleveland Daily Banner, P.O. Box 3600, Cleveland, TN 37320.
The contest includes five general categories, but more than 170 subcategories. The general listings are People, Automotive, Services, Shopping and Restaurants.
Just a few of the subcategories include favorite community leader, volunteer, school, attorney, dentist, physician, pastor or priest, boss, veterinarian, electrician, plumber, home builder, gas station, funeral home, hair salon, car wash, law firm, insurance agency, banker, teller and many others.
In Shopping, voters can choose from convenience stores, men’s clothes, women’s clothes, shoes, gifts, paint centers, cosmetics, pharmacies, home improvement, pet store, supermarket, florist, furniture and a long list of additional choices.
The Restaurant category includes breakfast, bakery, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, seafood, hamburgers, pizza, buffet, salad bar, business lunch, delicatessen, brunch, hot dogs, fine dining, sports bar and a full menu of options.
The ballot has already been published four times in the Sunday editions of May 6 and May 13, on Tuesday, May 8, and on Thursday, May 10.
“Readers have responded in a great way to let us know who they prefer in our Reader’s Choice contest. Whether it’s the best place to buy shoes, get their teeth whitened or have a hot dog, readers are voting for their favorite spots.” — Colleen Baird