I hate to be Debbie Downer, but here it goes anyway: The purpose of the local newspaper’s “Reader Choice Awards” is to sell advertising to you.
That’s right. You win but you lose.
Soon after the award is announced there’s an advertising rep knocking at your door with a little window sticker that says “We’re the best!” Oh, yeah, and you'll want to buy an ad.
That’s the reason there are dozens of categories – the more winners, the more advertising targets.
Best self storage facility?
Best divorce lawyer?
Best tattoo parlor?
Best place for a cold beer?
And how do you pick the best pizza parlor? Doesn't it depend on your mood, whether there's a coupon, whether it's open and where it is? I mean I've never met a pizza I haven't liked.
If your business is not the best at something, then you must be doing something terribly wrong – probably a failure to tell your employees and customers to vote for you.
This is not sour grapes although there is the fact that yours truly failed to be nominated for the “best columnist” award yet again. Obviously that’s because I’m no longer attached to a media outlet. Has to be the reason. Doesn’t it? Besides, the paper probably figured that I couldn’t afford to buy an ad if I won.
Anyway, just be cognizant of the fact that the newspaper found a good money-maker a few years ago and has milked it ever since. Lord knows it needs the revenue.
Disclaimer: If by any chance I missed a category in which I was nominated for a best award, well then, never mind this post.