ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has announced a call for entries in its first annual "Best Contractors on the Web" Internet Marketing Awards.

"The Internet is no longer an option for contractors, but a necessity, no matter what their size or market niche," said Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA. "It's now expected behavior for consumers to check out a contractor's Web site before using its services. Our own contractor locator is searched by thousands and thousands of consumers each month, and online marketing is now part of the overall sales and advertising program of most successful contractors."

According to the association, the "Best Contractors on the Web" awards program will recognize contractors who have successfully used their Web sites to promote their company's products or services. Winners and finalists will be featured by ACCA on its Web site and print publications. Prizes will be given in three categories: Commercial Contracting, Residential Contracting, and a special Small Contractor category for businesses with less than $500,000 a year in revenues.

"The judging panel will be comprised of contractors, media representatives, and marketing experts," said Kevin W. Holland, ACCA’s vice president for Communications & Membership Services. "Among the things they're looking for will be: ease of use; intuitive navigation; encouragement of quick response; interesting content; professional appearance; and of course, 'that certain something' that makes a site unique and appealing to a contractor's potential customers."

Holland noted that sites don't need to be "flashy." "The most successful contracting Web sites keep it simple," he said. "If you have a high-tech gee-whiz web design, that's great, and please submit it for consideration. But if you have a fairly simple Web site that reaches its marketplace, generates business, and promotes your brand, then be sure to submit that one, too. This is an award about marketing, not design or technology. We want to show off those contractors who've learned how to make the Web work for them."

Contractors can submit their Web sites for consideration by completing the "Best Contractors on the Web" application form at ACCA's Web site at The deadline for submission is May 1, 2003. Contractors must be ACCA members in good standing in order to be considered for the competition. All entrants will receive a brief evaluation of their Web site's strengths and, when appropriate, tips and suggestions for improved marketing.

For more information, call 703-824-8845 or e-mail

Publication date: 03/31/2003