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Newspaper Publisher Launches Nationwide Social Media Competition

American City Business Journals (ACBJ), parent company of the Los Angeles Business Journal, has announced an ambitious and rather cool competition called “Social Madness.”

Through May 15, companies in 43 cities served by ACBJ can enter their firm into the appropriate employee-size category. Local winners will be selected by July 17, while national champs are to be crowned September 11 and garner the privilege of donating $7,500 to a charity of their choice. From today’s announcement:

Social Madness participants will be ranked based on a scoring algorithm that measures social influence. The algorithm will track votes on bizjournals.com, LinkedIn connections, Facebook activity and Twitter followers during the challenge period…

“Social media has become a critical tool for competing in the marketplace,” said Emory Thomas, ACBJ’s chief content officer. “Ignoring it just isn’t an option anymore. We think this challenge will shine a light on innovative best practices.”

It’s also a very clever way for ACBJ to engage its core customers. Social Madness, may we refer to you instead as stealth marketing brilliance?

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