Local Media Digital Innovation Awards, powered by Second Street 

This contest recognizes the best in local digital media in 11 categories such as Best Local Website, Best Digital Agency, Best Branded Content Strategy and more. It is a highly competitive contest designed to recognize both large and small media companies for their outstanding and innovative work.

The winners will receive their awards during the Digital Summit program (May 11-12 in Chicago). 

All local media companies can submit entries into the contest for free.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Best Local Website* 

This award recognizes the best all-around local media websites. Judges will consider all aspects including: user and customer experience, site design and organization, content (is it local and relevant?), use of photos, graphics and video, opportunities for user engagement, presentation of advertising, mobile adaptability, and more. Entries should include a link to the website along with a letter that makes the case for best local website,addressing improvements in the last year, such as relaunch or redesign, audience growth, traffic referral shifts or technological achievements. Judges will be looking for creative, intuitive and robust websites that are beautifully designed with strong local content. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Social Media Strategy* SPONSORED BY Social News DeskSocial News Desk

This award recognizes the most successful and creative plans when it comes to leveraging social media to expand audience and heighten engagement. Judges will look for interesting and new approaches to using platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, including the Stories surface, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok and others, that inspire audiences to connect with media and their local community. Judges will also want to see how resources such as analytics tools, data and personnel were used to support the initiative. The entry can detail an overarching strategy or a specific initiative. Entry should clearly state the strategy and implementation, and provide examples of work with supporting metrics. Tell us how this positively impacted social media efforts and how it aligned with company goals. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Digital Audience and Engagement Strategy* SPONSORED BY ppi 

This award recognizes sites that are developing high-quality content, processes, and user experiences that have proven to increase overall audience. Judges will look for innovative and successful plans, such as new products, investments or tools, executed in the last year. The entry should explain how audience-growth strategies on numerous platforms are working, and the KPIs being used to help evolve and drive those strategies. Click here to submit an entry.

Best New Digital Initiative* SPONSORED BY iPublish Media iPublishmedia

Launching a new digital initiative takes time and resources, so this award showcases the best use of both that drove positive results. This broad category can encompass a digital initiative launched in the last year such as OTT, podcasting, virtual reality, insight selling, custom CMS, or something else that is new and emerging. Judges will look at how the initiative was planned, executed and whether company goals were met as a result of the initiative. The entry should include details on strategy, revenue, results and plans to grow or duplicate the initiative. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Digital News Project* SPONSORED BY TownNews 

The award for best digital news project will be given to entries that display captivating, innovative, and intentional storytelling. This can be a single piece, a collection, or an ongoing series. Did you take an investigative story, a big project or an ongoing topic and tell the story like no one else could? Did you build a digital experience that was enjoyable to read and interactive? Judges will look for cohesion and strong storytelling, as well as how the project helps meet company business goals. This category looks to recognize journalism that is deep but also designed thoughtfully. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Consumer Revenue Initiative** SPONSORED BY AdMall Logo for AdMall, Powered by SalesFuel

This award recognizes exceptional strategy and execution of a new consumer revenue initiative. This can include digital subscriptions, membership, e-commerce, targeted marketing, data mining, and other revenue opportunities for local media. Judges will look for how companies have used new tools, data or creative means to create new revenue. The organizations that are most innovative and aggressive in their approaches will be recognized. The entry should explain the strategy behind the initiative, how it was implemented and measured, as well as the goals and results. Discuss cultural and technological advancements you made as part of your approach. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Contest and/or Promotion* SPONSORED BY Second Street 

This award will recognize a contest or promotion that was above and beyond expectations. The entry should include a link to the promotion and detailed information on results, including revenue as well as ROI for the advertiser. Be sure to include anything else that makes this stand out – did you attach an event to it, for example? Did the experience open the door to other opportunities?  The more detail the better. Judges will be looking for creativity across media, engagement with the community, and fantastic results. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Digital Agency SPONSORED BY sO2 DIGITAL 

This award will recognize the best digital agencies owned by local media companies. The entry should address structure, revenue growth, products offered, profitability and anything else that makes the agency unique, productive and successful. The entry should also include some examples the best work produced for a top client or two. Click here to submit an entry.

Best Branded Content Strategy SPONSORED BY NINJACATImage result for ninjacat logo

This award showcases the very best in branded content initiatives. Judges will look for content creativity, revenue impact, and sustainability for your initiative. The entry should include links to examples from your strategy along with results in terms of revenue for your organization and client success stories. There is a limit of two entries per organization. Click here to submit an entry.

Best R&D Partner 

Media companies, this is your chance to share an R&D company/industry provider that absolutely helped drive new digital revenue and results for your company. The more detail, the better. Judges will be looking to reward partners that have been vital in helping local media companies drive new digital revenue or create efficiencies in their operations. The entry should also address how the R&D partner went above and beyond in areas such as training, installation, troubleshooting, and support. The entry should specifically explain how tools an R&D partner provided helped you achieve a goal. Click here to submit an entry.

Local Media Digital Innovator of the Year SPONSORED BY Modulist 

We are looking for a digital media rock star who is delivering fantastic results for their company by pioneering new concepts and experimenting in new and creative ways. This award is focused on digital revenue growth. A letter from the CEO or a senior-level executive should make the case for why this person is the most deserving digital media executive in North America. Click here to submit a nomination.

Local Media Digital News Innovator of the Year SPONSORED BY BlueVenn

This digital media industry leader will be focused on the content side of the business. They should be a high achiever in audience development and have the results to back it up. A letter from the top news executive in the company or CEO should include examples of their work and results. Click here to submit a nomination.


*Categories will be based on size of website: 250,000 monthly unique visitors and less; 250,001 – 750,000 and over 750,000. This should be calculated as follows: average monthly unique visitors over the previous 12-month period (November 2018 – October 2019) using Google Analytics or any other acceptable analytics platform.

**Categories will be based on company size: small-medium companies (15 or less media brands such as TV stations or newspapers) and large media companies (more than 15 media brands such as TV stations or newspapers).

Interested in sponsoring a category? More information available here.