Two local media entities have teamed up in an effort to rally the public to decide the best in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 115 categories of goods, services, and talents.
Karen Ferdinand of Rebel Media told the media launch of the “Best in SVG” campaign in Kingstown on Monday that Searchlight newspaper is one of the main sponsors of the campaign, which would be delivered mainly through that publication.
Members of the public can vote via Searchlight for what they think is the best of SVG, Ferdinand said, noting that the categories range from the best gym to best beach.
She pointed out that the campaign is not industry-voted on and gives the opportunity for everyday Vincentians to have their say about what is the best in the country.
“It’s a proper people’s choice award,” Ferdinand told reporters.
She said that the ballot paper for the campaign will be printed in Searchlight every Tuesday and Friday from this Friday until March 3.
Respondents must fill in at least one of the 25 categories on the ballot paper, but those who fill in at least categories will be placed in a draw for a chance to win EC$1,000 at the end of the campaign.
Therefore, respondents are required to use their real name, so that they can claim any prize they may win.
The campaign sets no criteria for an entity or per persons to qualify as the “best”. This is based solely on the judgment of the respondents and the winner will be based on a simple majority.
There is no multiple choice and respondents have to actually enter the name of the place or service that they think is the best.
Organizers are encouraging respondents to use the official names of their nominees.
Completed ballots can be placed in receptacles at various locations across the country and the winners will be announced in March.
“This just makes St. Vincent better. This gives us the opportunity as a Vincentian public to highlight how great we are,” Ferdinand said.
Clare Keizer, chief executive officer of Interactive Media Ltd., owners of Searchlight, said the winners of the competition will have bragging rights to say that they have been voted by the Vincentian public as the best in SVG.
The winners, she said, could help new members of the community to make a choice about certain goods, services and talents.
Keizer noted that the campaign is intended to capture only those goods or services that are offered for sale, and used the “Best Pelau” category to illustrate.
“We know that your mother, grandmother or aunty probably makes the best pelau in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But we are referring here to businesses — people who did it commercially,” Keizer said, adding that the product or service does not have to be offered in a fancy location, but must be for sale to the public.
Therefore, a man cannot vote for his wife as the person who gives the best massage, if she does not do so commercially, Keizer said, as another illustration.
Accounting firm, BDO Eastern Caribbean, will audit the campaign. The firm’s representative, Floyd Patterson, said his company will ensure that the integrity of the information is above board and that the score is tabulated to reflect fairly who are the winners.
Patterson said that he thinks that the initiative can only do good for SVG and improve the goods and services provided in the country.
Meanwhile, Tony Regisford, head of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said that the business organisation endorses the campaign.
Regisford said he believes that standards will be lifted as a result of the competition.
Rodney Small, Hance John, and Shaunelle McKenzie would be ambassadors for the competition, who Ferdinand said “fully demonstrate what it is to be the best in their field”.
Update: This article was updated to reflect the minimum number of categories respondents must fill in to be entered into the draw for EC$1,000.