Contests finally pick up steam

No wonder I have little hair. Contests do that to some KPA staff members. And it’s a prime example of what KPA also stands for — Kentucky Procrastinators Association.

Information about both the News and the Ad contests have been in newspaper email inboxes and mentioned in On Second Thought since August 10. There have been reminders, counting down the weeks or days to Thursday, October 19 and reminding newspapers the bewitching hour was approaching.

We don’t fret at first because we know newspapers need time to gather all those entries and get them ready to upload to the contest website. And registrations come in with some regularity. But when the deadline approaches and we’re behind in entries and income, well that’s when we worry if there will be enough entries to even have a contest.

We even had four newspapers that waited until just a couple of hours before deadline to register for the contests. You have to assume they had all their entries together and were ready to upload and decided to just do everything at one time.

The heyday for KPA contests was 11 years ago when the News Contest had 5,126 entries ($26,755) and the Ad Contest had 2,480 entries ($13,375). That was $40,130 total income.

Contests totals mirror the economy starting the following year (2007), hitting its low point that year. It didn’t start to rebound until 2014 when we had $17,815 in the News Contest; $6,980 in the Ad Contest. Last year showed marked improvement in entries and income — News, 3,335 and $23,485; Ad, 1,222 and $6,554.

This year’s totals weren’t even close to those numbers as of Thursday morning. In fact, thinking we would hit a total of $20,000 from both was almost a stretch. But it’s obvious many newspapers spent the day uploading and making payment.

By the end of the day, we had 988 Ad Contest entries for $6,916 in income and 2,839 News entries for $19,873. That’s $26,789 total. Both contests are down slightly from 2016 but above 2014 when the rebound began.

Now it’s on to the judging process and in a couple of weeks, your colleagues from the Mississippi Press Association will start judging all entries. We’ll give them two or three weeks to complete the online judging and hope to have all results in by Thanksgiving. But don’t start calling for results then. It will take time to process the judging results and comments. We’ll notify the newspaper publishers and editors by email of their awards by staff member names only. We won’t announce places or winning categories and any other specifics until the Winter Convention.

Thursday, January 25, we’ll present the 2017 KPA Ad Contest winners and the following night, we’ll announce the 2017 KPA News Contest winners. Both events take place at the Lexington Hilton Downtown, site of the 2018 KPA Winter Convention. Both events begin with a reception at 6 p.m./Eastern following by the Awards Banquet at 7 p.m.



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