Judge - Peter Read, Pomona Qld.

Very little separated the best of the entries in the Best Supplement 2017 awards and the judging was difficult with the small and large papers in the one section.

Most of the entries very effectively fulfilled the basic aim of supplements - selling linked advertising with advertorial effectively masquerading as editorial. Readers will keep reading a supplement if they feel they are getting useful new information rather than advertising propaganda. Finding this balance is not easy but most entries did this very well.

Advertising percentages in some entries was lower than I would like to see and I encourage all GMs to ensure that a full P&L is produced for each individual publication they produce, including supplements.

Supplements promoting an event or occasion should include information that encourages readers to attend or "take the hook". And all three placegetters achieved this .

A special mention to the Border Watch, Mt Gambier, for their informative and well-presented Breast Cancer Awareness Month feature.

Third place goes to The Bunyip, Gawler, for their impressive On the Ball Winter Sports Preview.

This very comprehensive 64-page, quarterfold presentation was both eye-catching and informative. It was packed with information of value to sports fans, with a good balance of editorial and advertising content. Interviews with the coaches and predictions about the year ahead made this a good read. Most country papers publish a lot of this information as editorial in sports pages anyway, so packaging it into the one publication gave the advertising department a rare opportunity to target linked sports page advertising.

In second place, only marginally behind the winner, is the full gloss and beautifully presented York Peninsula Field Days entry from the Yorke Peninsula Country Times.

As this was not the official field days program, they did very well to get enough support to produce 64 informative pages. I was impressed by the detailed program and site map and found it difficult to choose between this entry and the winner. A bit less advertorial and some more gutsy agricultural news and features stories would have made the judging decision more difficult. Most local farmers have probably attended these field days many times before and the feature will work best if, after reading it􀀖 they feel they might might miss something new and exciting if they do not attend. But an outstanding effort and very well printed.

The winner is The Barossa Mag published quarterly by Leader Newspapers, Angaston.

The concept is not new but this magazine was done very professionally and was on par with efforts by much bigger publishers elsewhere. Great layouts and pies and interesting editorial and I was impressed to see that it also had a purpose built website. But I suggest that this could be better promoted within the printed version, driving traffic to the webpage and producing new digital advertising opportunities. A top effort by a small and enthusiastic team. Their passion, community spirit and commitment to the Barossa Valley are very apparent.


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Trevor McAuliffe
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Email: countrypsa@bigpond.com

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