Canadian Online Publishing Awards
Masthead Online
PRESENTED BY:
GOLD SPONSOR:
Readers Digest
SUPPORTERS:
Inovva
Digital Reno
CCAB
CNW
Digital Reno
Newspapers Canada
Universities Canada
Competition Rules
Canadian Online Publishing Awards 2017

The COPA awards program is open to any company or organization that produces content for the digital medium. These companies may include media publishers, associations, corporations, government and advertising agencies. The content to be judged can be for any market and is not restricted to Canadian readers to reflect the global nature of the industry. The awards are open to—but not restricted to, writers, editors, graphic designers art directors, creative directors, web developers, photographers, videographers and digital producers. To qualify a member of team must be Canadian and contributed significantly to the entry.

All winners receive a COPA Awards logo that can be used for marketing and branding purposes. The team members are recognized for their outstanding contribution to online publishing at the COPA Awards Party this November 14, 2017 at the Double Tree Hilton in Toronto.

WHO CAN ENTER
  1. Media Publishers
    Open to English, French and other language online publications and websites, that have offices in Canada. Must have 50% original editorial content and written and/or edited by Canadians living in Canada. Non-Canadian publishers are eligible if the editorial has at least one Canadian on the team that resides in Canada.
  2. Corporations/Non-Profit Organizations, Associations, Schools
    Corporations, non-profit organizations, schools and associations are eligible to enter the awards program. The site or work must meet the 50% original content requirement and be written and/or created by Canadians living in Canada. All advertising related entries must be produced by a company with offices in Canada.
  3. Advertising Agencies/PR Firms
    Ad agencies, PR firms and social media firms can submit entries on behalf of their clients if the ads and content submitted are created and submitted by the Canadian office. The entry must have at least one Canadian on the team to be eligible.
  4. Independent Publishers (Less than 20 Full-time staff)
    For the awards evaluation for the Best of Canada Awards “Independent Publisher of the Year” award, an independent publisher will be defined as an organization that produces publications, websites and/ or other digital properties that has less than 20 employees/staff in a full time capacity (does not include part-time freelancers). Publishers that have multi-titles are also eligible if they meet the # of employee’s criteria. Entries can be submitted in any division or category to be eligible and will be considered for the individual awards entered in also.

The work will be reviewed by independent judging panels of highly regarded industry professionals and experts. Some categories have their own specific qualities noted below, but generally, your entry will be judged based on content, design and level of engagement at the time of judging (over an approx. 2 month period during summer 2017).

Any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada can submit one student project for no cost in the Students/Schools Division. Additional entries can be submitted for $95 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

DIVISIONS

Students/School Projects
This is open to any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada. Each school can submit one student project for no cost.

Business-to-Business Media
This is to open to entries that cater to a special B2B niche that includes trade and association magazines, B2B companies and B2B ad campaigns.

Consumer Magazine Media
This is to open to entries that cater to consumer niches in a magazine format for content packaging that includes consumer magazines, radio/ TV stations, digital only brands and B2C ad campaigns.

24/7 News Media – News, Business, Sports, and Entertainment content
This division caters to media outlets for news, current affairs, business, sports and entertainment. This division includes community newspapers, news/sports, business magazines, TV, radio stations and digital.

CATEGORIES

There are 21 categories below. Your work will be judged against other entries in the same category and same division. The divisions each have 17 categories with some unique to the division, except the Students/Schools that has 5. You can choose to enter your entry into more than one category as appropriate. (Please note due to the number of entries the categories can be deleted or merged through the minimum entry quorum fair competition rule.)

All entries must have been published between July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 to be eligible for the 2017 awards.

1. Best Brand Packaging
This award is for the digital media property that best exhibits its brand character through its graphic branding, editorial strategy, mix of stories and digital channels. Based on five samples of work that can provide a full rounded view of the editorial flavor and graphic branding. Entries (links, screenshots and PDFs) can include articles, video, infographics, interactive articles, web pages, native apps, social media and email newsletters and examples. A rationale on what brand benefits are created must accompany the entry.
(This award is available in all four (4) divisions)

2. Best Canada 150 Birthday Feature
Awarded to the online publication that is best deemed by the judging panel to capture the essence of the Canada 150 birthday celebration moment in our nation’s history. Any story format is available to enter - article, videos, game apps and TV shows. Please submit examples of the article/show (links, screenshots and PDFs) in all applicable channels - print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

3. Best Blog Column/Video
Awarded to the blog/column including video deemed to best serve its intended audience through digital formats like a traditional word/ pictures column and/or video blog that is new this year. (Radio DJ blogs can be entered in the 24/7 News division). Single and multi-contributor blogs are eligible. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reporting, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples (links, screenshots and PDFs) of 3 sample articles in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

4 Best Industry Feature (NEW)
Awarded to the B2B online publication deemed to best serve its audience through an industry feature article. These stories can include, but not restricted to, case studies, industry report/trends/news and roundtable articles. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reporting, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article (links, screenshots and PDFs) in all applicable channels - print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available 1 category Business-to-Business Media)

5. Best Company Feature (NEW)
Awarded to the B2B online publication deemed to best serve its audience through a company/product feature article. These stories can include, but not restricted to, profiles, Interview/Q&A and product reviews. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reporting, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available 1 category Business-to-Business Media)

6. Best Service Article or Series (NEW)
Awarded to the B2C online publication deemed to best serve its audience through a service/educational feature article that can include, but not restricted to how-to, reviews and round-up story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in 1 category - Consumer Magazine Media)

7. Best Lifestyle Article or Series (NEW)
Awarded to the B2C online publication deemed to best serve its audience through a lifestyle feature article that can include, but not restricted to, recipes, profiles, fashion, trends and travel story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in 1 category - Consumer Magazine Media)

8. Best Breaking News (NEW)
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through timely and original breaking news reporting. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in 1 category - 24/7 News Media)

9. Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story
This award goes to the news coverage of a continuing story that may happen over a period time. Multiple articles are to be submitted as part of the coverage. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in 1 category - 24/7 News Media)

10. Best 100 - 200 word click bait
This award goes to the writer or online publication that creates poetry in words for great teaser copy in 100-200 words to make a person click on it. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling and the use video/photos. The entry must include the landing page the click bait is linked to for judging. Any type of click bait is eligible both media or advertising content. Please submit examples of the click bait in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

11. Best Sports News and Features (NEW)
Awarded to the online publication that includes radio/TV station websites, deemed to best serve its audience through sports news, commentary and feature articles/video that can include, but not restricted to, player/team profiles, fantasy sports and sports news story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, timely reporting, use of video/photos, entertainment value and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in 1 category - 24/7 News Media)

12. Best Investigative Article or Series (NEW)
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through an investigative feature article. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, social impact, use of video/photos and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

13. Best Interactive/Infographic Content
Awarded to the best use of storytelling, design and technology together for journalistic purposes creating an interactive reader experience. The content format can include, but not restricted to, long-form story, interactive maps, infographics and game apps. Judges will evaluate how well the authors have communicated and presented the relevant information, including ease of use, design, originality and reader engagement. Both content and production value will factor into the judging.
(This award is available in all four (4) divisions)

14. Best Photo Journalism (NEW)
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through the use of photo journalism. The entry will be judged on quality of photo storytelling and multiplatform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, digital magazine and website for judging with pdfs and any links.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in all four (4) divisions)

15. Best Video Content

This award goes to the video content that best exemplifies the use of video for journalistic and entertainment purposes. It can be informative and/or entertaining and the video must not be longer than 30 minutes, but can be as short as 30 seconds. The entry can be, but not restricted to, news clips, features, how-to, interviews, sports highlights, celebrity profiles and documentary depending on the division. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, cinematography, music and sound. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels)
(This award is available in all four (4) divisions)

16. Best Podcast
This award is for the best use of the audio format in the form of a podcast that meets journalistic or entertainment standards for their intended audience, The podcast entry can be in a variety of formats that includes, but is not restricted to, episodes, radio shows and news broadcasts. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, music and sound.
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

17. Best Branded Content

This award is for companies that have created digital branded content for advertisers via any digital means such as website, native app and social media. Entries must be submitted in a case study format and will be evaluated on graphic branding, design and content strategy. Social media content campaigns are eligible in this category. Please submit examples of the content in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging (Note: the entry does not need to have all channels) and provide PDF file/samples for evaluation including any links.
(This award is available in 2 categories – Business-to-Business Media, and Consumer Magazine Media)

18. Best Social Media
Content
This award is for the publisher or organization that makes the best use of social media storytelling to meet the audience needs. Entries must be submitted in a case study format and will be evaluated on graphic branding, content strategy, conversations generated (comments, tweets, shared links) and audience engagement (page/ video views and brand activations). Entry can be submitted on a single or multiple social channels and can include sponsored campaigns.
(This award is available in 3 categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

19. Best Email Newsletter
Awarded to the best e-mail newsletter produced by a publisher or organization. Elements that will be considered are content, layout, editorial strategy and multiplatform design. Engagement metrics can be provided as part of the submission that will include list size and open rates. Please include PDF sample/with subject header for mobile, tablet and desktop versions of the newsletter in addition to any links
(This award is available in 2 categories – Business-to-Business Media, and Consumer Magazine Media)

20. Best Online Campaign
This goes to the online campaign that uses more than one tactic that may include email, web display ads, video, social media, search, sponsored and print/traditional media. It must be at least 50% digital to be eligible. These campaigns can be publisher audience acquisition programs, client ad campaigns, sponsored content and lead generation programs. Judges will be looking at the creative strategy, copywriting, design, media strategy and campaign results. Reader engagement metrics such as click though rates, social media activity, customers sign-up, or purchases generated must be provided. Other campaign metrics not mentioned above are welcomed.
(This award is available in 2 categories – Business-to-Business Media, and Consumer Magazine Media)

21. Best Media Website (8 awards available)
This is awarded to the media website that best serves its target audience through compelling content, multiplatform design and technical performance. Judges will be looking at the mobile, tablet and desktop versions of your web presence. These versions/channels can include, but not restricted to, email newsletter, website, digital editions, native apps, social media and mobile web. The judges will be looking at the content, graphic branding, multiplatform design and technical criteria (navigation, click fatigue, download speeds and user friendliness) for each entry. Please include PDF sample for mobile, tablet and desktop versions in addition to any links and passwords, when applicable.

 

Trade Media /Associations (2) - Trade Media, Association
Consumer Magazine (2) - Niche, Service
24/7 News (4) - Sports (new), News, Radio, Community News

Inovva Best of Canada Categories

The Best in Canada winners will be from all the entries with the highest scores in the following categories.

Best Content of the Year
Best Website of the year
Independent Publisher of the Year
Best Canada 150 Feature
Best Student/School project
Regional Awards
– Four Regional winner/finalists will be announced for each Best Canada award – West (BC, AB, MN, SK, NWT), Ontario, Quebec, and Maritimes.

HOWTO ENTER

Entry fee: $115 for single entry based on one entry per category. An early bird discount available for all entries submitted by Friday, June 9, the entry is $95. This fee does not include HST.

Student Division Entries
Any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada can submit one student project for no cost in the Students/Schools Division. Additional entries can be submitted for $95 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

Special discount for Independent publishers and Non-Profits
Independent publishers (20 employees or less) and non-profit institutions are eligible to enter at the early bird discount rate of $95 at any time. They must be registered as an independent publisher/non-profit when they submit their entry. All publishers will be verified by COPA staff to meet the 20 employee requirements upon registration.

Fees are payable by credit card via the secured online credit card payment site. Receipts will be automatically sent to contact person’s email address. One payment is accepted per entry. Credit Card statements will show “North Island Publishing.”

Entries must be submitted using the online entry form.

DEADLINE

All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight PST on Friday, July 21, 2017. The Early Bird Deadline is Friday, June 9.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to some of your most asked questions. If your questions aren’t answered here, please contact contact Martin Seto COPA producer at 416-907-6562 copa@masthead.ca.

1. Is my website eligible for this competition?
The competition is open to English or French-language online publications based in Canada. The publication must carry some original editorial and a minimum average of 50% Canadian editorial content (written and/or edited by Canadians living in Canada).

2. How do I submit an entry?
You must complete the online entry form. The entry form will have a space provided for the direct URL of the web page, article, or online piece to be judged. Attached files should be no larger than 5 MB. Please contact to make alternative arrangements. Make sure that this URL is a static link and will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged during summer 2017.

3. When is the deadline to submit entries?
All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight on Friday, July 21, 2017, PST. The Early Bird Deadline is Friday, June 9.

4. How many entries may I submit?
You may submit as many entries as you'd like to any category in any division. You may submit your website in a multiple of categories, as long as it qualifies for that category. An entry fee is charged for each entry.

5. How does judging work?
The entry forms are e-mailed to the judging panel, made up of three industry experts. The judges are given several weeks to independently review the websites on their own time, giving a score to each entry. We will total up the scores from each judge at the end of August and release the list of finalists prior to the awards ceremony.

6. What if the links change or content is moved on our website?
You need to make sure that the URLs you provide are static links that will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged. Judges will view your website independently, and as judging takes place over a long period of time, you must ensure that your URL remains accurate during the entire judging period. Judging will take place anytime between August, and September 2017.

7. What if my content is behind a pay wall, how will the judges get access to my content?
Publishers are asked to provide the judges with a login and password for the content. In case of articles a PDF version is acceptable as a back-up provision for publishers, but direct access to the digital content is preferred. Please provide a contact person in case of trouble logging on. Entries that require payment to access their solution please budget 3 judges per entry and provide the funds the judges to be reimbursed by the COPA staff.

8. What happens when there are less than five entries in a category? Is this a true competition?
The COPAs has a Fair Competition rule where the categories can be deleted

or merged based on the number of entries through a minimum Entry Quorum fair competition rule. All entries will be notified if this should happen,

 

2017 COPA JUDGES

N. Tousignant

L. Bucher

G. Langevin

S. Gee

E. Scott
Gold Awards
Silver Awards
Finalist Awards
IMPORTANT DATES
Feb 1, 2017 >> Call for Judges
May 1, 2017 >> Call for Entries
June 9, 2017 >> Early Bird Deadline
July 14, 2017 >> Entry Deadline
July 21, 2017 >> Entry Extended Deadline
Sept 18, 2017 >> Finalist Announcement
Nov 14, 2017 >> Awards Event @ DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown