We have several “people” categories this year in simply the best including Best Hairdresser/Barber, Best Dentist, Best Family Law Attorney, etc. You can tell it is a people category because it will have “(Name & Business)” or something similar in the category title.
For the past four years, these categories have not had a dropdown that allows you to pick the name. This year, the company hired to manage the ballot (Second Street) changed that. Now if a name has two nominations, it will show up as a dropdown option. This helps speed up the process for you. However, it does come with a few issues that we’d like you to be aware of.
Names won’t show up until they are merged or have identical nominations.
People seem to be very creative when they are nominating. And we see all sorts of name variations submitted. Here are a few examples taken from this year’s ballot, but the name/business has been changed. These are all the possible variations we could see for Robert Smith at Bright Teeth Dental:
- Dr Bob Smith, Bright Teeths
- Robert Smith – Bright Teeth
- Bob, Bright Teeth
- Dr Smith (Bright Teeth Dental)
- Smith Bright Teeth Dental
- Dr Bob Smith
- Robert Smith
- Bob Smith, DMD
- Bright Teeth Dental
Now here’s the problem: Names can only be merged if we are 100% sure they are the same. So #1 and #2 are easy to merge. For #3, #4 and #5, we would need to confirm that there are no other Bobs or Smiths at Bright Teeth Dental before merging. For #6, #7 and #8, we would need to confirm that there are no other dentists by that name before merging (sometimes this is easy, other times it is not). We have had people with the same name in a field before.
Usually, confirmation is done by either checking their website or waiting to see what other nominations are submitted. But this takes time, which means merging doesn’t happen as quickly as other ones. Which is why it’s important that you include the full name and business name of the person you are nominating. You don’t need to include things like “Dr” because we will just take it off.
Nominations that are unclear are eliminated.
What about #9 and #10? These will be eliminated because it is unclear who they are nominating. If there is any doubt, the nomination is tossed out and not counted. We HATE doing that, but we have no choice. We do not have the resources to try and contact people for clarification. So please, make sure you include the person’s full name and the business name in your nomination.
What if I don’t know their full name?
We know that in some cases, you won’t know the person’s full name. After all, their name tag only includes their first name. There’s a couple of things you can do. First, check the company’s website. Most have their employee’s names listed. If they don’t, call the company and ask for the person’s last name. If you’re embarrassed to ask, you could always try the “how do you spell their last name?” trick and hope the don’t respond with “J-O-N-E-S.” (I just respond with “So that’s Jones with an E? Good to know.”)
Otherwise, you have to hope that we can translate your incomplete nomination and match it to one that is complete. If there isn’t a clear match, we will have to eliminate it.
And for the record, that also applies if you are nominating a company with multiple locations and you don’t indicate the location. If there are 3 Bright Teeth Dental locations, and you submit “Bright Teeth Dental” without selecting a location or indicating which one, it will not be able to be counted. If you must d write in the name, write “Bright Teeth Harrisburg” or “Bright Teeth Main Street” and then contact the company and tell them to get into Google Business so their name shows up.