8th Annual Second Street Awards: The Year of Engagement

by Liz Huff Second Street

Below are four lessons learned from our award-winners:

No Advertiser is Beyond Your Reach

By leveraging custom solutions, you can consider every advertiser in your market a potential new revenue stream. Our finalists and winners illustrated how engagement campaigns can work beyond your traditional advertisers like grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants to even unique, niche advertisers like foot pain stores, local attractions, and asphalt companies.

KRON-TV's "Back to School Photo Contest"

When KRON-TV was approached by UrbanSitter, a babysitting company, looking to target local families, they came up with the idea for a Back to School photo contest. Not only would this draw in the right audience, but by also providing all entrants and voters a $75 credit for the company, it generated business for them right away.

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Database

The most successful media companies are placing a ton of value on growing their database. Time and time again, email proves to be the most effective driver of engagement outpacing all of your other tools. But the true value of your database should mean much more than just an email address. The more you can learn about your consumers, the more effective your database will be.

WKJG - Uses Sweeps to Grow Database

WKJG-AM in Indiana turned a pair of tickets to the World Series into a huge database growth opportunity. In just two days, not only did their sweepstakes drive in over 20,000 opt-ins, but they collected a huge amount of data for targeting upcoming campaigns for themselves and future advertisers.

Choose the Right Campaigns to Produce the Right Results

Different campaigns can achieve drastically different results. While it’s easy to keep going back to the same tactics that have worked in the past, the top programs are leveraging a variety of engagement campaign types to produce the specific outcomes they’re wanting to achieve.

Citrus County Chronicle's "Backyard Makeover Contest"

Looking to increase event attendance for their Home & Outdoor Living Show, the Citrus County Chronicle had many different possibilities to achieve a similar result. While a sweepstakes may have brought in a slew of entries and a quiz could have given them a lot of data, their photo contest had the added benefit of being shared by the entrants seeking out votes. This single contest added over 7,000 emails to their database to contact about the show.

Make Engagement Your Top Priority

Whether you want to drive more annual sales revenue, increase attendance to your upcoming events, or boost the ad impressions and pageviews on your site, this all falls back on engagement.

GateHouse Media - Put Engagement First

GateHouse Media, winner of this year’s Groupwide Strategy Award, made a companywide decision to prioritize audience engagement. They built a dedicated team, created a promotions division, and their initiative had top-down support from the CEO to the regional directors and publishers. In just one year, their “all-in” approach to engagement lead to over nine million dollars in revenue across their group of sites.


Looking for more inspiration? Check out the full list of all our winners and finalists.


Our Twitter feed was incredibly active during the big event. See some of our favorite tweets from all your favorite celebrities.

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