Will BetterBNC work for our scholastic contest?

BetterBNC is delighted to have a growing list of customers that sanction scholastic journalism and media contests. The platform  works well for these contests — particularly since students expect contest entries, like most everything else they do, to be easy and online.

With such growing interest in BetterBNC, we’re now exploring the idea of creating a platform just for scholastic contests. We invite organizations with student awards programs to contact us with feedback and suggestions. If you’d like to participate, email karen@smalltownpapers.com for details.

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Trust-but-verify: Receipts for Judges and Tools for Audit

Your good name gives value to the awards you present, so trust, integrity and ethical behavior cannot be taken for granted. BetterBNC for years has incorporated robust security capabilities and is now adding key new “trust-but-verify” features.
In our upcoming release, contest admins can allow judges to print out their own receipt of their winner selections along with public comments, and private notes and scoring data. The receipt will show the date the receipt was run.
New audit tools will give contest admins a way to quickly and definitively view not only the progress of judging, but also details including when and if any judgments have been changed.
These important contest management tools help assure all participants — your organizational leadership, judges and contestants — that your contest results are accurate and fair.
BetterBNC is the online contest platform leader across north America for a reason. We have earned the trust of publishing association executives along with publisher board members by valuing our customer relationships, respecting sanctioning authority, and protecting contestant entries and judges’ decisions.
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An easier way to run your media contest.

Your journalism and media awards have a significant impact in your industry, so it’s critical to select the right company to ensure your success. Only trust the process to an organization with a proven method to accomplish your goals with the security, ethics and efficacy required in today’s best juried competitions.

BetterBNC innovates with exclusive features not available anywhere else. Contestant Manager® gives individual media organizations control to manage their entries from multiple departments and employees, and Open Call® allows you to open your contest to freelance journalists around the world.

BetterBNC exclusively serves journalistic sanctioning organizations in print and broadcast news, advertising, book publishing and creative trades. If you would like to experience a better way of producing your peer-reviewed contest process and give your contestants and judges the best features and benefits, please contact us for an in-depth demonstration of how BetterBNC can transform your contest this season. Simply call (360) 427-6300 or email karen@smalltownpapers.com.

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A look at what’s new at BetterBNC.

BetterBNC works to continuously improve the user experience for everyone involved in your contest, including:

  • A redesigned entry form which is even more user friendly
  • PayPal Advanced major software update with the latest version integrated into BetterBNC
  • Backend upgrades including the migration to the latest generation cloud servers to ensure stability, reliability and speed.

We’re not stopping there. We’re already hard at work on platform enhancements that will be in place for the upcoming contest season beginning in September.

  • Customized homepage featuring new templates and an improved web editor interface to allow more freedom in design and ease of use of the homepage editor.
  • Open Call® will see upgraded tools and features and a simplified administrator process.
  • New reporting options with many reports having the option to display as tables (and/or download as xls); more reporting choices will also be available.
  • Look for numerous changes to buttons, messaging, graphical design and intuitive features.

To learn more about BetterBNC, schedule a complimentary platform demo or for other information, please contact karen@smalltownpapers.com.

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Moving your contest to BetterBNC.

Whether you’re exhausted from running a time-consuming manual contest or would like to move from a different online platform, switching to BetterBNC is fast and easy.  Your first step is scheduling a complimentary demo so you can see the platform and learn how it works for your contest admin, contestants and judges.

BetterBNC has been designed specifically for journalism and creative media awards programs and all of your training and support for the year is built into the base system – there’s never an additional charge for support.  Today, there are hundreds of organizations using BetterBNC’s powerful platform for their contests including a growing number of scholastic/collegiate awards programs. Contact us today to learn more about how BetterBNC can improve your contest experience.  Email karen@smalltownpapers.com.

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Get the contest functionality you want.

Working with an online contest platform, you will inevitably discover different things you want and need as contest seasons go by. Perhaps after a year or two, you realize that having integration with PayPal would be great or your organization may change the contest’s judging structure. With BetterBNC, you’re able to make changes – just let us know what new functionality you need and we’ll work with you to make it happen.

If you have questions about what is involved in implementing changes, simply call us or complete a trouble ticket and we’ll follow up with you. Remember, there is no additional charge for your support or training. We want to ensure your contest experience is the best it can be.

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BetterBNC Spring Platform Updates

We work hard to continuously improve the BetterBNC contest platform now being used by hundreds of organizations across North America. Now, we’re pleased to share details on two important updates.

Captcha: Thanks to user feedback, we’ve made two significant changes to the contestant entry form.

  1. The entry form has been redesigned and simplified.
  2. We have replaced the “Google Captcha” with a more widely known system which saves time by asking fewer and easier questions.

Why do we need Captcha? The “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” program helps ensure your contestant entries are legitimately made by a real person — computers cannot successfully read the distorted text, which greatly reduces the chances of a “hacker bot” gaining access to your contest.

PayPal Integration: For users of the Revenue Manager module — a software update from PayPal we deployed closes a rare occurrence related to timely reporting of payments to your PayPal Advanced account from certain bank cards. Note that some cards, such as American Express, may require additional setup within your PayPal Advanced account (contact PayPal for information).

Have a question? Just complete a trouble ticket and we’ll get back to you.

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BetterBNC’s support for contest judges and contestants

BetterBNC provides timely and thorough support for everyone involved in your contest. Questions about rules, eligibility and payments should be directed to the contest admin but you can send your judges and contestants to BetterBNC for any other needed support. They just complete a trouble ticket and we’ll take it from there. All support is included — there is no additional charge. We’re here to ensure your contest is a success.

What happens when the Contestant Manager account belonged to a former employee? Typically, this situation is revealed when the new employee uses the “lost password” feature, only to discover the link is being sent to a dead email address. When contacted, we will use predetermined security screening steps to verify their authority to become the new Contestant Manager. If we are unable to make a determination, we refer the new employee back to the contest admin who can then update the Contestant Manager information.

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File Size Matters

For very large PDF file entries (such as for PR/ad campaigns or General Excellence categories), some contestants choose to first e-publish these entries on their Issu, VuDu, or RealView platform. These are third party vendors with their own offerings and plans, so contestants should be mindful of what their plan offers. When addressing the file size issue with your contestants, remember:

  • BetterBNC recommends individual files be under 5 mb but the platform will allow up to 20 mb per entry attachment.
  • Judges’ time is important, so file size is critical to ensuring their total time commitment to your contest does not become burdensome waiting for unnecessarily large files to download.
  • Encourage contestants to use Acrobat or other available programs to reduce the size of the PDF file before uploading. Select the resolution for “web viewing” – 72-99 dpi is sufficient.

Contestants who might be struggling with extra large file sizes are encouraged to seek our assistance by submitting a trouble ticket — we can help.

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BetterBNC Provides Top-Tier Admin Training

BetterBNC leads the way in comprehensive and unlimited training and support for all client contest administrators. Running an awards competition can be challenging but you can count on us to provide guidance every step of the way. If you need help, let us know.

Please remember that BetterBNC requires that all contest administrators receive training from us directly. That includes any helper admins you may have working on your contest within our platform. Each admin must also have their own login credentials — do not share your credentials with anyone. Please contact us to establish additional admin accounts. These accounts will remain active until you tell us to cancel, so it’s important to manage these carefully.

As a contest admin, you can always complete a trouble ticket if you have questions and a member of our tech team will get right back to you.

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The leading contest platform for organizations sanctioning awards competitions and contests for print and broadcast journalists and other creatives in the media industry. Contact us at 360.427.6300.