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March, 2013 Issue

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From the Publisher - 2013 Reader's Choice Awards Indicate Market Growth

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2013 READER'S CHOICE AWARDS
INDICATE MARKET GROWTH

In the first two days the awards were open, we tracked more than 500 votes for this year's awards. This shows an accelerated activity level over past awards during the last two decades.

This year, we were blessed with having a completely diverse range of artists filling each category which gave national exposure to a wider number of acts. Because the nomination process was so wide-reaching, for the first year too, no artist was in more than one category, something that hadn't happened since the initiation of the Reader's Choice Awards.

This year the awards process opened later and will close later. It took more time to validate the wide range of nominations, so the official ballot will be online through 11:59 pm on March 16, 2013. Since all votes are tabulated online, we will know instantly who the winners are. They will be notified immediately to get an interview planned for the Annual Awards Issue which will hit the streets around the second week of April in the print version and the online version will go up as soon as the printed copies hit the mail.

If early predictions hold true, we can estimate at least a 12% increase in activity for the awards over last year because of the ease in voting online.

Last year was a year of transition in that we accepted online votes, mailed ballots, faxed ballots and email ballots. Because everything except the online version had to be tabulated by hand, the administration costs were higher and it took longer to verify unreadable ballots and verify fraudulent ones. There was a possibility of human error. This year's awards has eliminated that possibility.

The system for voting has been greatly simplified and for the first time this year, nominees could submit videos on the ballot for students and directors to see prior to making their choices. Students found this particularly helpful if they were undecided among several contenders for the award. It also assists in showing particular strengths an act may have.

We encourage all students and directors to vote as early as possible to avoid jamming the system in the late hours before the deadline. You should vote from a .edu address and only one vote is allowed per IP address. Agencies can vote from any address associated with their agency. Please note that ONLY schools may vote for Agency of the Year and ONLY agencies may vote for Campus Program of the Year.