Canadian Online Publishing Awards
Masthead Online
Competition Rules

The COPA awards program is open to any company that produces content for the online medium in Canada. These companies may include media publishers, corporations and advertising agencies. The content must be intended for a Canadian reader and must have least one person on the team that resides in Canada that produced the content that can include, but not restricted to, writers, editors, graphic designers art directors, creative directors, web developers, photographers, videographers and digital producers.

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 in November.

WHO CAN ENTER

  1. Media Publishers
    Open to English, French and other language online publications and websites that serve a Canadian audience 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
    Corporations are eligible to enter the awards program if the site or digital property is for a Canadian audience. The site 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
    Ad Agencies and design firms can submit entries on behalf of their clients if the ads submitted are created and submitted by the Canadian office. Ads and websites must have one Canadian on the team to be eligible.
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 2014).

DIVISIONS

RED
This is to open to entries that cater to a consumer niche that includes consumer magazines, consumer goods companies and B2C ad campaigns.

BLUE
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.

GREEN
This division caters to media outlets for news, current affairs, business and sports. This division includes newspapers, news/business magazines, tv, radio stations and digital. For corporate and advertising entries the green division is restricted to retailers website and ad campaigns.

CATEGORIES

There are 15 categories below. Your work will be judged against other entries in the same category and same division.  Red, Blue, and Green Divisions offer the same 15 categories. You can choose to enter your entry into more than one category as appropriate. All entries must have been published between June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014 to be eligible for the 2014 awards.

1. Best Media Web site
This is awarded to the media web site that best serves it target audience through content, design, navigation and overall reader experience on any device that includes desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This is open to media brands that are created by an independent 3rd party. Please provide site traffic figures, % traffic that is from Canada, time spent and pages read per visit as part of your entry.

2. Best Corporate Website
This new category is for companies that have created their own corporate website, media brand or online store depending on the division. This is awarded to the website that best serves its target audience through content, design, navigation and overall reader experience on any device. Please provide site traffic figures, % traffic that is from Canada, time spent and pages read per visit.

3, Best Website Design
This award goes to the website that combines great graphic design on any device that includes desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Technical design elements will also be evaluated that  include, but not restricted to, ease of navigation, click fatigue, download speeds and user friendliness.

4, Best news coverage
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through timely, original news reporting. Based on three news articles selected by the publication’s editor(s) that demonstrate the quality of the site’s reporting and writing.

5. Best Blog or Column
Awarded to the blog or column deemed to best serve its intended audience through commentary, opinion, reportage, photography, illustration, video and interactive features. Single- and multi-contributor blogs are eligible. Blog must be active at time of judging and three posts, selected by the publication’s editor(s) that demonstrate the quality of the blog’s content.

6. Best Article or Series
Awarded to the article or series of articles deemed to be the best written and best reported among the entries. Features and service pieces are acceptable. Excerpts from books as a story format are eligible.

7. Best Infographic
Awarded to the best use of data visualization technology and design for journalistic purposes (e.g. interactive maps, animated infographics). Judges will evaluate how well the authors have communicated and presented the relevant information, including ease of use, design, originality and reader engagement (please provide the # reads figures)

8. Best Interactive Story
This award  is for the story that best combines words, video, sound, photography, images and interactive features that best serves its intended audience. Based on a feature posted selected by the publication’s editor(s), that demonstrate the educational and/or entertainment value of the interactive feature. Both content and production values will factor into the judging.

9. Best Use of Social Media
Awarded to the best use of social media—such as social networks, forums, message boards, user-generated content initiatives, etc.—deemed to best serve its intended audience by bringing together a community or communities of people. Entry can be based on a social network/feature hosted on the publisher’s site and/or appearing on a third-party service such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Based on  reading and viewing the relevant social media at the time of judging. The editor(s) may include quantifiable statistics (such as number of users, posts, and/or growth rates) in their written statement.

10. Best Email newsletter design and engagement
Awarded to the best e-mail newsletter. Design, content, editorial strategy and use of the e-mail medium will be considered in judging. Please include sample subject headers used in the email as part of the entry. Engagement metrics must be provided that will include list size and growth, open rates and click through rates.

11. Best Digital Publication for Desktop and Tablets
This award goes to the digital magazine or publication that provides the best “print style” reading experience on a desktop and tablet that goes beyond the digital replica. The use of interactive features such as videos, slide shows to enhance reader engagement will be features the judges will be looking for. The digital property can be in the form of browser based digital edition, native app or web solution. Response responses statistics as open rates, time spent and numbers of subscribers to help validate  reader engagement must be provided.

12. Best Mobile Solution
This goes to the mobile solution for smartphones that provides the best reading experience either through a native app or mobile optimized website. Design, content, editorial strategy and functionality will be considered in judging. The use of interactive features such as videos, slide shows to enhance reader engagement will be features  judges will be looking for. Response statistics such as open rates, time spent and numbers of subscribers to help validate reader engagement must be provided.

13. Best Display Ad Design
This award goes to the best web display ad design. The judges will be looking at the creative strategy, copywriting, design and interactive features for the best designed ad.

14. Best Video Ad
This award goes to the best video ad.  Judges will be looking at the creative strategy, copywriting, art direction, production values and reader entertainment value. The ad must be capable of delivering an emotional  response with the judges.

15. 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 and sponsored.  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.

Best of Canada Categories
The Best in Canada winners will be from all the entries with the highest scores in the following categories.
Best Digital Solution of the year ( Category 1,2,3,11,12)
Best Content of the Year ( Category 4,5,6,7.8.9.10)
Best Online Ad of the Year (Category 13,14,15)

HOWTO ENTER

Entry fee: $115 for single entry based on one entry per category. This fee does not include HST. New this year is a 300 word media/company profile on the Mastheadonline.com website for media buyers and planners at no extra charges for publishers. Ad Agencies can list their firm in the marketplace as well. Please add this info in your entry plus your logo and links to media kits. One listing per media brand/company is provided in case of multiple entries from one brand.
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 on June 30 July 7, 2014.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to some of your most asked questions. If your questions aren’t answered here, please contact us.

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. Do blogs count?

Yes, as long as your blog contains original content, and meets all the other criteria listed above.

3. 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. 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 2014.

4. When is the deadline to submit entries?

All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight on June 30 July 7, 2014 PST.

5. 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.

6. What is the entry free?

The entry fee is $115 for a single entry, based on one entry per category. This fee does not include HST.

7. 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 entries. 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.

8. 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 2014.

9. 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.

10. How will the media profile be promoted to the advertising community and when will it be published?

The media profile will be published in the Marketplace section of the Masthead website during the summer of 2014 after the entry process had been completed and will be live in September. The site will be promoted to the Masthead database and there is a plan to launch a Media Buyers email newsletter to promote deals that publishers may have.

Important Dates
April 1, 2014
— Call for Judges
May 1, 2014
— Call for Entries
June 9, 2014
— Earlybird deadline
June 30, 2014
— Entry deadline
July 7, 2014
— Extended deadline
Sept 15, 2014
— Finalist Announcement
Nov 20, 2014
— Awards Event
Nov 22-24, 2014
— Publishing World
Venue:
phoenix concert theatre
 
Contact Us
The Canadian Online Publishing Awards
are produced by Masthead
8-1606 Sedlescomb Drive
Mississauga, ON, L4X 1M6
www.mastheadonline.com
905-625-7070
 
Earth & Sky
Toshiba
2014
Judges
Jason Miller
Angela Pacienza
Marcos Terenzio
Renée Dykeman
Simon Cohen