Best Of 2017 Rules and Regulations, including Winner Selections

These are the guidelines, rules and regulations for the 2017 Best Of contest:

  1. Winners are selected by receiving the highest number of votes. The company, person, or organization ("candidate") with the most votes in a particular category will receive the Gold award, the second highest number of votes will receive the Silver award, and the third highest number of votes will receive the Bronze award. Multiple candidates with an equal number of votes will all receive the higher award and the position(s) below that level will be eliminated. Awards are presented by city and/or designated contest areas. Votes are counted accordingly and cannot be transferred from one contest or category to another.
  2. Online ballots only list the candidates that have participated in either the special Ballot/Kickoff issue published for a particular city or district, or have run the equivalent in the corresponding city section.
  3. Votes are accumulated two ways: online voting and text message voting. Online totals are generated through voters choosing one of the candidates listed, or writing in their selections in the appropriate space under each category. If a voter writes in the name of a candidate already listed, that write-in vote is added to their overall total. Due to spelling errors, best efforts are made to standardize the write-in votes to match an existing business. Text voting is only available to those candidates that are participants in the Best Of Contest. The final total for each candidate is determined by the compiled total of all online and text votes. Vote totals will not be published.
  4. It is the intention of The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media to present all three awards in each category posted; however, a candidate (Best Of participant or write-in) must receive a minimum of ten (10) votes to receive any award. If no one receives that minimum, The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media reserve the right to eliminate the category and not announce any winners. The right to award only the Gold and/or Silver award(s) is also reserved depending on the minimum vote total received by the candidates.
  5. The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media will not present awards to companies that are not located within the city for which they won, unless that candidate is in one of the selected service categories that perform business primarily in customer’s homes or places of work. A list of these categories is available by request.
  6. The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media will not present awards to companies (Best Of participant or write-in) with a Better Business Bureau (BBB) letter grade of F. The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media will verify the BBB letter grades at the end of the Best Of voting period on
  7. Voting will run from March 5 through March 21, 2017. The online voting site will only be active during this time. Text voting that is submitted outside of this window will not be counted.
  8. The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media reserve the right to determine what categories will be included in the contest.
  9. The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media reserve the right to refuse votes for businesses, individuals or organizations that are deemed not appropriate for the category for which they were cast.
  10. The Best Of Contest is the sole property of The Virginian-Pilot and Pilot Media. The Pilot and Pilot Media reserve the right to, among other things, amend the process, judge entries and determine the validity of the votes submitted. In the case of suspected fraudulent votes, reserved rights and possible actions may include, without limitation: utilization of methods necessary to determine the validity of votes; the removal of the category from the contest; disqualifying the fraudulent votes; disqualifying the recipient of the fraudulent votes in that category or any other; disqualifying that company from future contests for any period of time; withdrawing previous Best Of awards; and possible litigation.
  11. Any amendments to the rules and regulations of these contests will be published on this site.