Sarah Hudleston

2015 was a landmark year for The MOST Awards, the media industry’s unique online survey which ranks and rates media owner companies and media agencies. Because of the increasing expansion by South African media agencies and owners into the African media market, in 2015 Wag the Dog Publishers, originators of the MOST Awards, introduced the MOST Africa Media Owner and Media Agency Awards.
The scope is limited exclusively to South African based companies, operating in South Africa, that have been doing business in Africa – offering specialised media buying and selling services for Africa.

How it works
Respondents are asked to select only those companies with which they had had sufficient contact to be able to score fairly and accurately.
“As a result and since the Africa category was highly specialised, in 2015, the first year we introduced this category, the number of votes cast was modest. So the minimum threshold to qualify for these awards was 15 votes, instead of the usual 30,” said Brad Aigner of Freshly Ground Insights the company commissioned to design the survey using efficient research methodology.
In the MOST Africa Media Agency Award, that recognises and ranks South African based media agencies that buy and plan media in Africa, respondents are instructed: “From the list below please select companies to rate specifically on their capability with respect to media planning and buying in Africa. If you are not involved in media outside of South Africa, then select ‘none of these’.” Naturally if there is a company that has been left off the list but who qualifies to be considered for the award, it can be added to the list of nominees.
Likewise, for the MOST Africa Media Owners Award, in order to recognise and rate South African based media owners that sell media in Africa, respondents are asked to select from a list provided companies to rate specifically on their capability with respect to their sales teams for Africa. If a respondent is not involved in media outside South Africa, ‘none of these’ must be selected.
In the MOST Africa Media Agency survey, respondents are asked to rate the designated agencies’ capabilities with respect to media planning and buying in Africa. The criteria specified are: knowledge of the media landscape, knowledge of client brands, communication, professionalism, authorisation, and involvement.
The MOST Africa Media Owner questionnaire differs slightly in that respondents are asked to rate media owners on their knowledge of own brands and the media landscape, specifically knowledge of client brands and the market landscape, service delivery, innovation, authorisation and involvement.
Scoring system is useful
Another useful feature of the Africa Awards survey, in common with MOST methodology in other categories, is that the rating questions asked in the survey, which are rated out of 10, are totalled and averaged out, give the nominee a score which can usefully serve as a rating bench mark that can be used to encourage better performance in future.
Additionally apart from respondents in each category being asked to select a nominee that they deem to be the ‘Best in Africa’ and what separates this nominee from the rest, they are also asked which they think is the worst company in the media owner or media agency category and what they think is the company’s biggest downfall. These results and comments are later released in a publication research document.
“Again, this provides a benchmark for a company’s service delivery to its clients so it can improve”, Aigner said.