Local Media Digital Innovation Awards


LMA is excited to announce the 2017 Digital Innovation Awards. This contest recognizes the best digital innovation in the industry. Newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites can compete for top honors, making this the only contest of its kind.

The contest features 14 categories (broken into three classes based on the number of monthly unique visitors) including: Best Local Website, Best Digital Agency, Best Social Media Strategy, Best Native Advertising Strategy, Digital Innovator of the Year and Best R&D Partner.

NEW for 2017: Best Digital News Project, Best Redesign/Relaunch and Best Use of Data

Winners will be announced in February and the awards will be presented at LMA’s Digital Revenue Summit May 1-2 in Chicago.

Best Local Website*

This award recognizes the best all-around local media websites. We’re looking for the total package here. Judges will consider all aspects including: design, content (local and relevant), use of photos and videos, user interaction/load speed, presentation of advertising, mobile adaptability and more. Entries should include a link to the website along with a letter that makes the case for best local website. Judges will be looking for robust websites that are beautifully designed with strong local content. Entry should also address audience growth over the past year and other key metrics.

Best Social Media Strategy*
Sponsored by Social News Desk

We are looking for the most successful and creative plans when it comes to leveraging social media to extend your audience and engagement. Entry should clearly state the strategy and provide examples of your work. Tell us how this positively impacted your social media efforts and how it aligned with your goals.

Best Strategy to Grow Digital Audience*
Sponsored by LEAP Media Solutions

This award recognizes sites that are developing high-quality content and user experiences that are increasing their overall audience. Explain your content strategies on numerous platforms and the KPIs you are using to help evolve and drive those strategies.

Best Use of Video*

This category will reward local media sites that have made video a top priority in areas such as storytelling, breaking news, sports, advertising, sponsored content and more. Entry should include a link to the website along with information on the overall strategy and examples of exceptional work. It should also include metrics and monetization strategies (current or future plans). This is not a best single use of video award but rather one that recognizes a fantastic overall strategy. Judges will be looking for sites that offer a wide variety of video options across all content areas.

Best Digital Agency
Sponsored by Camilyo

We are looking to recognize the best digital agencies owned by local media companies. This entry should address structure, revenue growth, products offered, profitability and anything else that makes your agency stand out from the many others. The entry should also include some examples of your best work for a top client or two. (Award will be broken down into three size categories: agencies with revenue under $1 million; agencies with revenue between $1 million – $5 million; agencies with revenue over $5 million.)

Best Native/Sponsored Content Campaign*
Sponsored by UpScribed

We are looking for the very best native advertising/sponsored content campaigns. Entry should include links to the campaign along with results (in terms of revenue and ROI for the client.) Limited to two entries per site.

Best New Digital Initiative*
Sponsored by CitySpark

Did you launch a new initiative such as OTT, podcasting, virtual reality, insight selling or something else that is new and emerging? Tell us about it. We want details on strategy, revenue, results and plans to grow it.

Best Digital News Project*
Sponsored by TownNews

Did you take an investigative story, a big project or an ongoing topic and tell the story like no one else could? Did you build a digital experience that was enjoyable to read and interactive? This category looks to recognize journalism that is deep but also designed beautifully. This can be a single story or an ongoing topic.

Best Redesign/Relaunch

Did you redesign or relaunch your website or a digital product this year? This award recognizes the most forward-thinking product relaunches and remakes. Be specific about what you changed, why and the results it’s driven for your company.

Best Use of Data
Sponsored by CXENSE

Show how you have used data to drive additional revenue, develop consumer marketing strategies or inform your coverage. The organizations that are most innovative and aggressive in their approaches will be recognized. Explain the strategy behind the use of the data, how you accomplished the goal and the results. Discuss cultural and technological advancements you made as part of your approach.

Best Contest and/or Promotion*

We are looking for a contest or promotion that you knocked out of the park! The entry should include a link to the promotion and detailed information on results (revenue as well as ROI for the advertiser). Be sure to include anything else that makes this stand out – did you attach an event to it for example? Did the experience open the door to other opportunities?  The more detail the better. Judges will be looking for creativity and fantastic results.

Best R&D Partner

Media companies, this is your chance to tell us about an R&D company/industry provider that absolutely helped you drive new digital revenue and results for your company. The more detail, the better. Judges will be looking to reward partners that have been vital in helping local media companies drive new digital revenue or create efficiencies in their operations. The entry should also address how the R&D partner went above and beyond in areas such as training, installation, troubleshooting and more. The entry should specifically explain how tools an R&D partner provided helped you achieve a goal.

Local Media Digital Innovator of the Year
Sponsored By AdMall, Powered by SalesFuel

We are looking for a digital media rock star that is pioneering new concepts, experimenting in new and creative ways and delivering fantastic results for their company. This award is focused on digital revenue growth. A letter from the CEO or a senior-level executive should make the case for why this person is the most deserving digital media executive in North America.

Local Media Digital News Innovator of the Year

This digital media rock star will be focused on the content side of the business. They should be a leader in audience development and have the results to back it up. A letter from the top news executive in the company or CEO should include examples of their work and results.


NOTE: Categories marked with an asterisk will be based on size of website: 250,000 monthly unique visitors and less; 250,001 – 750,000 and over 750,000. This should be calculated as follows: average monthly unique visitors over the previous 12-month period (November 2016 – October 2017) using Google Analytics.

Interested in sponsoring a category? Contact Lindsey Estes today at lindsey.estes@localmedia.org.