SJ Best Restaurant, Vote Now, Vote Often


Update 03/24/09
If you haven't voted yet for the best restaurants on the Statesman Journal web page vote now. If you've already voted, vote again. Yes, I wrote that correctly, the SJ poll allows readers top vote once a day until April 10th. After you vote, they're allowing you to see the current standings in each category. I was at Kwan's last night and noticed a pile of flyers advertising the poll and telling their customers to vote. As much as I'd like to think the "Eat Salem Restaurant of the Year" is a big deal, winning this one would be a huge score for a local restaurant. If I were a restaurant owner and I wanted to win this, here's what I would do:
  • Get some flyers made of various sizes advertising the poll like Kwan's does. Have some at your front desk and a stack of smaller ones to put inside check folders. Any little reminder will help.
  • Email your customers with links to the poll. Anyone who is signed up on your mailing list is likely to vote for you. Make sure, in that email, that the link to the poll is one of the first things the recipient reads.
  • Update your webpage or blog with links to the poll. Make sure the link is toward the top of the page so people don't have to scroll down to find it.
  • Mention the poll in converstation with friends, facebook it, twitter, every vote will help.
  • It says one person can vote a day but what that means is one computer. Vote on all your computers, your work computer and your home computer. Find out who has computers and make sure they're voting everyday.
  • Pay attention to the results and see if your promotion is having effect.
It would be nice if there was a way to only allow people to have one vote but I know from doing polls in the past that it is difficult to do online. Think of it like running for political office. A huge amount of effort and advertising goes into making sure that people who are going to vote for you turn out on election day and convincing a small group of undecided voters to vote your way. There will be a huge amount of votes coming in unprovoked and uninfluenced by restaurants but every little bit of promotion will help. Good luck to all the restaurants in town who are on the poll. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

03/21/09
You may have thought you were done voting for the best restaurant in town when the "Eat Salem Restaurant of the Year 2008" poll was up but another media outlet in town is doing their own "Best Of." If you haven't voted yet in the Statesman Journal's contest, click here and nominate your favorite restaurnts for Salem Oregon. Then come back here and tell us who you voted for.

8 comments:

tracylee said...

OK, I voted, but had to choose the best in each category for places I've actually been to, which wasn't a huge percentage of the listings. Didn't have anything to add to their current list.

I thought it was interesting that there were at least two restaurants listed that are no longer in business: Izzy's and Heidi's. There were probably others, but those stood out.

Anonymous said...

S-J sucks. They don't have any real food content and they run these best ofs as an easy way to provide filler for actual stories they don't have.

Angela said...

I don't like the format this year. You have to pick from the restaurants they choose for you, a lot of which have gone out of business. I also tried voting on the Entertainment category for local band: 1/4 of those bands no longer exist in Salem (The Widgets haven't been active in what, 4 years?) and most of the best and most popular bands weren't listed as an option. Just another example of why we shouldn't support the SJ.

markm said...

One thing that's not real obvious to the reader about these "best of" contests is that the contestants usually pay to be part of the nomination list; these "best-of" contests are run by the advertising department, not the news side of the business.

Looks like the SJ couldn't sell enough "nominations", and recycled some of their previous entrants.

Salem Man said...

markm, I just had a conversation with a SJ reporter who told me that he believed the poll was not influenced by the sales dept.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the S-J had a nomination period just prior to the start of voting, and I can verify that a couple of my more obscure suggestions were indeed included.

However, I would like to voice a few other complaints about the process:
1. I strongly disagree with the "stuff the ballot box" approach. While I understand that several of the local restaurants go out of their way to ask customers to vote early and often, this seems to skew the results dramatically and does not provide an accurate outcome of popular opinion.

2. As a result of the above-mentioned issue, some of the higher end places like J. James, Morton's, DaVinci's and Old Europe Inn (which do not pressure their patrons) often get left off the list of finalists.

3. I particularly disagree with the idea that people can vote every day until April 10. My own sense of fairness would dictate one vote and no more if we wish to view the results as an honest sampling.

4. Lastly, I am appalled at the number of errors I have seen reflected---not just spelling errors (although those are annoying), but duplications such as listing Bon Appetit and Goudy Commons as separate Willamette U venues (which will split the vote) or major errors of "placement" which includes something like a nominee for "best auto repair shop" in the vote-for-best-law-firm category or some such with no recourse.

Sorry for the diatribe, but I appreciate a place to vent.

lavachickie said...

I agree with a lot of the criticism of the piece here; it's poor quality shows it was not crafted by a group who are really into and connected to their local community. If so, they'd not list places that are gone and for goodness sake, get an editor that can catch typos!

If you don't support the SJ, please do support Salem Monthly which also does a best of at a different time of the year.

Vegan's Nightmare said...

I liked the fact that Applebee's was listed in virtually every category. That way they have that many more opportunities to lose.

Was that mean?