Each year, Emerald Coast Magazine celebrates over a hundred businesses throughout our community that have been singled out by our readers as the best of the best. We have always been transparent about this yearly survey and how it works, but for those who may be new to the process, here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about “Best of.”
How are Emerald Coast Magazine’s “Best of” winners selected?
The readers of Emerald Coast Magazine choose the winners. A ballot is printed in the magazine (June/July issue), and readers are asked to fill it out and mail it in by a certain deadline. Each ballot must have votes marked in at least 20 categories to be counted. Votes arriving after the deadline are not counted. Refer to rules listed above. We also have four exclusive online categories that anyone can vote for by visiting EmeraldCoastMagazine.com from June 1-30.
Who counts the votes and decides the winner?
Emerald Coast Magazine contracts with a third party to count the votes and determine the winner and runner-up. The counting will be done by Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC.
Do you have to buy an ad in the magazine to win?
Absolutely not. Our winners include advertisers as well as non-advertisers.
Can someone “stuff” the ballot box?
No. Only ballots printed on original Emerald Coast Magazine pages are accepted. Copies or facsimiles of the ballot are automatically rejected.
Who is eligible?
The readers decide whom they want to honor. Locally owned and operated companies are defined as such: the owner or managing partner living in Bay County through Escambia County or within a 30 mile radius of the Emerald Coast area.
How are categories decided?
The categories are revisited each year, and we welcome reader suggestions.
What do Best of winners get?
Winners earn the prestige of being selected by a majority of our readers. They also get a listing in the magazine, usage of the “Best of” logo for a year, discounted advertising rates, an award to showcase in their establishment, invitation to the exclusive winners party and two complimentary tickets to the “Best of” celebration.