Local Commentary

Editorial: ‘Best of Falls Church’ Results Next Week

The deadline to vote passed earlier this week, and next week the mighty Falls Church News-Press will announce all the winners of its second annual “Best of Falls Church” competition. We know our loyal readers will be lurking by their doorsteps ready to pounce on their copies as soon as they show up a week from today, eager to discover how many of their favorite businesses in the Little City and environs will be crowned the best for 2011!

We are heartened by the enthusiasm our “Best of Falls Church” has generated during an otherwise lazy, meandering hot summer. One of its beauties is the fact that there are no losers. Flabbergasted by the high volume of votes, we hasten to note that all the businesses nominated enjoyed a considerable amount of free publicity by merely having their names printed on the ballots.

The competition has created a considerable buzz over the relative virtues or shortcomings of them all, significantly improving overall general awareness of what Falls Church’s businesses have to offer.

The winners, of course, will be the winners. But there are a lot of subjective factors involved, and people in Falls Church, being the City has the highest percentage of persons with college degrees in the entire U.S., are pretty savvy to such variables.

Some businesses will win, or do very well, because they’re more adept at marketing and public relations, which doesn’t necessarily mean their product or service is superior. Some may even resort to the old “stuffing the ballot box” tactic, since the very nature of the competition makes it impossible to prevent that if someone is really determined. But again, in an area of so many people with discerning tastes, if such efforts are not backed up by an actually high quality of product or service, then it matters little and can even backfire.

Yes, the entire competition amounts to some free advertising for its participants, insofar that increased name recognition can bring customers through the door, at least for the first time. Since these are not gravy days for our, or any newspaper, especially in the doldrums of summer, we perhaps should have our heads examined for so liberally doling out freebies to our advertising customer base.

But like many things those who’ve loved the News-Press over the last two decades have come to recognize about us, our primary motive for the “Best of Falls Church” is to provide our community with a good time. Granted, we also hope that the high level of high-energy participation by our readers in the competition will further persuade local businesses that an ongoing advertising relationship with us can be a real plus for them.

We’ve always been very proud of what we’ve been able to do to help local businesses succeed through advertising with us, knowing that their success leads to more jobs and better opportunities for more households in our community.