Motor Trend has been around since 1949, and during that time it has handed out a fair share of awards to various automakers and vehicle models. More recently, the print publication has gone online by way of its web site, Youtube page and various social media networks. One network in particular has stuck a chord with the buff book and it's choosing to leverage the power of Facebook to announce the winner of its 2011 Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year award.

M/T has been steadily rolling out its top 15 contenders, with the announcement of the winner to be made on October 19th, 2010 at 12:01 a.m EST. Why Facebook?
"We want to foster a two-way dialogue with our audience," said Angus MacKenzie, Editor In-Chief of Motor Trend, "and Facebook was the next logical step to engage our community even further."
The currently revealed contenders are:
Past winners of this title include the Subaru Forester and the Mazda CX-9. Hop the jump to read M/T's press release.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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Social Networking Site Marks New Medium for Magazine to Reveal Coveted Award

El Segundo, Calif. (October 6, 2010) – Motor Trend, the world's automotive authority on cars, trucks and SUVs, announced today, that for the first time ever, the annual Sport/Utility of the Year Award® will be revealed exclusively via Facebook October 19. Publicizing the winner of Motor Trend's 2011 Sport/Utility of the Year Award via Facebook is the latest step in the storied brand's multi-media strategy and represents an innovative approach for an industry traditionally focused on mainstream media for breaking news.

Beginning October 6, and for two weeks leading up to the live unveiling at 12:01 a.m. (EST), October 19, Motor Trend will roll out the 15 contenders for this year's award on Facebook. Readers are encouraged to visit the Motor Trend Facebook fan page at and "like" the page in order to access exclusive content, regular updates regarding the award and ultimately, the 2011 Sport/Utility of the Year winner.

"We are now using non-traditional methods to distribute our news because of the proven importance of social networking," said Angus MacKenzie Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. "I don't just run a magazine anymore; with our interactive web presence, radio show and live events, I run an automotive media brand that reaches a large and diverse audience. Motor Trend is now also its own news distribution channel."

"We want to foster a two-way dialogue with our audience," said MacKenzie, "and Facebook was the next logical step to engage our community even further."

The print edition of Motor Trend reaches an audience of 8 million readers, while its website attracts 4 million unique visitors a month. Motor Trend's YouTube channel now has more than 40,000 subscribers, and those who want Motor Trend to go, are served with iPhone and iPod Touch apps.

Every year, the editorial staff of Motor Trend meets to determine the field of contenders for the Sport/Utility of the Year Award. The contenders are then evaluated against six criteria – advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function. Ultimately, the editors award the honor to the vehicle that performs best against these criteria.

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