With 40 classes across six categories, the awards give you the opportunity to show off your work in strategy, creativity, innovation, skills and more.
We honour the individuals and teams who are delivering excellence and contributing to successful organisational performance and better working lives. These are the Categories and Classes for the 2023 Awards, they may be subject to change in 2024.
We want to see campaigns designed to achieve or support defined corporate or organisational goals. We want to know about the campaign planning, to see the audience profile, a description of any known issues and constraints and the rationale for the creative approach and tools that were used. Critically we want to know how you evaluated the success of your work; this might include qualitative or quantitative measures. Be sure to tell us about your strategic working with other areas of the organisation to ensure the success of the work. Where appropriate we want to hear about what you learned and how this is influencing future work.
Best Change/Transformation Communication
This is for campaigns that have supported a specific change initiative. This may be organisational or cultural change, or a reaction to specific event or crisis, You should be able to demonstrate how you have worked with other parts of the organisation to be successful.
Best Employee Experience Programme
This class is for a campaign that shows how internal communication has supported the organisation in creating a great employee experience. Show us how you have collaborated with key partners such as HR to deliver IC programmes and channels to create and embed an Employer Value Proposition (EVP). How does internal communication support them throughout the employee lifecycle – from onboarding, to reward and recognition, creating connection and enabling learning and development? We’ll also be looking for entries that have succeeded with this in a hybrid world, how did you create an EVP when employees are in different places, working in different ways, potentially at different times?
Best Engagement Programme
Here you should be able to demonstrate not only how you have communicated the subject to colleagues, but how you have engaged them through a variety of means. Measurement of changes seen as a result of the programme are critical in this category.
Best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Campaign
More than ever employees need to believe in the company they work for and will align themselves with a company that shares their values. For this class we are looking for examples of where internal communications have helped the organisation to link purpose and values and how that had a tangible effect on employees. We are not looking for a one-time fix but examples of how ESG has become embedded in the message and the way the organisation operates.
Best Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Campaign
This class is for campaigns with equality, diversity and inclusion at their heart. We are looking for examples of great internal communication which has played a role in creating a more diverse and inclusive organisation and is able to demonstrate its impact in shaping and driving Equality, Diversity & Inclusion through conversation, behaviour change, alignment to organisational goals and company values.
Best Leadership Communication Programme
Our leaders are crucial when it comes to delivering effective messages, and this class is looking for a campaign that focuses purely on how you have supported the development of great leadership communication - increasing leadership visibility, supporting the development of messages and using channels to bring leaders and the employees closer together to create a more human centred-organisation. We are looking for details how you have delivered initiatives, supported leaders and what difference it has made to leaders, employees and the organisation as a whole.
Best Ongoing Campaign
This class is primarily for entries which don’t have an ‘end’ date and may reflect business-as-usual activity. It may be more difficult to measure the success of an on-going campaign, but you must demonstrate as clearly as possible the effort you are making to measure effectiveness.
Best Single Campaign
This class is primarily for entries which had an ‘end’ date within the awards year. You should be able to demonstrate what you were aiming to achieve with the campaign and show measurement of the results.
Best Wellbeing Programme
This is for programmes that have enhanced employee wellbeing. We aren’t looking for a one-time solution but a planned campaign that’s made a real difference. What was the problem, how did you solved it with great internal communication and what has really changed within the organisation and for its people as a result?
Best Employee Voice Programme
To create an engaged workforce, we must involve and listen to employees, giving them a true voice. This class is looking for programmes where involving employees has led to a better outcome for the organisation. It could be an employee forum, perhaps the co-creation of values or any other innovative idea, or an ongoing listening programme with feedback loops. Examples of how and why you involved employees is crucial here, along with the measured outcome of what changes were seen. Whilst the programme could have been as a result of a one-off need (such as the creation/embedding of a new strategy), we will want to see plans to continue to involve employees in future organisational decisions.
Best Global Communications Campaign
This class is for those campaigns that cross borders, literally. We’re looking for examples of fantastic internal communication with one message across an international or global reach. The campaign needs to have been executed well, taking into account the cultural differences of different workforces, potential issues with time zones, and language barriers. We are keen to see the collaboration across countries, this could be with internal communications counterparts (if you have them) or leadership, to show the success of the campaign across all countries.
Best Internal and External Communication Alignment
An organisation’s reputation is delivered and enhanced by partners across the business. Internal Communication, working with departments such as external comms and marketing, is critical in ensuring that employees see the organisation’s brand values in all of the comms they see. This class looks at campaigns focusing on alignment between communications wherever it originates from – it could be a planned campaign or the response to a crisis/media issue. We’re looking for tangible examples how internal communications partnered with other areas such as corporate affairs or PR, how did the internal communications demonstrate authenticity and promote trust? What were the measurable outcomes for the organisation and employees?
In this category we are looking for examples of work which highlights excellence in the key areas which are the foundation of great internal communication. It is a category that recognises the designers, writers and image makers who are demonstrating exemplary skills.
We define good design as the combination of imagination with fit-for-purpose, so it’s important that you tell us about that purpose and show how the design was developed to deliver it. We appreciate that few organisations are likely to have evaluated the specific impact of design in the success of a channel, but we would like to see any anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of the design as well as evidence that the overall channel has been successful.
A specific image, photographic or illustrative, which is striking and encapsulates what is being communicated – this class includes covers and internal imagery. You can enter either a single image or a small portfolio of images.
Best One-Off Feature
This can be a feature in print or digital format but must be inspirational and creative as a standalone piece of work without the context of other content alongside it.
This class is for the demonstration of where great stories have contributed to the overall effectiveness of the communication.
We define good writing as the combination of imagination with fit-for-purpose, so it’s important that you tell us about that purpose and show how the writing delivered it. We appreciate that few organisations are likely to have evaluated the specific impact of writing in the success of a channel, but we would like to see any anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of the writing as well as evidence that the overall channel has been successful.
We have an increasing array of channels at our disposal – both traditional and new and emerging. This category is an opportunity to show us how you are using channels to deliver the aims and objectives of your organisation. This year we also want to see examples of how these channels have considered accessibility, ensuring they meet the needs of every audience.
Best Channel for Members/Stakeholders/Volunteers
This class is defined by audience rather than format or frequency. We’re looking for the best use of reaching out to non-traditional IC groups. But this is not about a commercial publication so please note that publications with high levels of paid for advertising or with the purpose of solely increasing member numbers are unlikely to be accepted or successful.
Best Channel for a Remote Audience
How and where people work is changing so in this category, we’re interested in any communication designed to connect audiences that are not typically ‘at’ work. We’ll want to know why you chose the tool and how you measured its effectiveness. This class is specifically for a remote audience, those for a hybrid audience should be entered into Best Use of Hybrid Communications.
Best Event (virtual or in person)
We want to hear about the overall objective and how the event was planned to meet it. Tell us also about the audience, whether that is an employee audience or for members/stakeholders, what you did, how well it worked and the impact it had.
Tell us what’s special about your intranet. You’ll need to show us how it has helped enhance organisational performance, or solved a problem in your organisation, or perhaps enabled new ways of working. You will need to provide some imagery of what your intranet looks like. If you want to show the interactive elements of the intranet please ensure you include a video (could be on a mobile phone, it doesn’t have to be professionally produced) so the judges can see the intranet in action.
We define a magazine as any regular publication where most of the content is taken up by feature material (of course it may also contain some news stories). Its cover is likely to be image rather than text led. It can be any medium – print or digital. You should demonstrate how you have used this channel to further organisational objectives.
Best New or Relaunched Channel
This class is for an internal or stakeholder channel that was launched or underwent a relaunch during 2022. Give an idea of the thought process which led to the idea of a relaunch and how you went about deciding on the process It can be any medium – print or digital. (With relaunched publications please remember to include an example of the publication before the relaunch).
Best News Channel – updated for 2023 to include newspapers and newsletters
This channel/publication will consist mainly of news material - shorter and very topical – though of course it may also contain some longer feature stories. It can be any medium – print or digital and may also be a newspaper or newsletter. You should demonstrate how you have used this channel to further organisational objectives.
This class is for any form of video communication, from one-off films to regular briefings. We’ll want to know why you chose the tool and how you measured its success.
Best Use of Hybrid Communications
In this class we are looking for excellent approaches to communication in a hybrid working organisation. How have you tackled the challenge of communicating and connecting colleagues who are dispersed and/or not with their colleagues on a daily basis? We’ll want to know what channels and approaches you used and why. How have you developed a communication framework to ensure everyone is informed, connected and purposeful, andhow did you measure effectiveness and levels of engagement?
We know that internal communicators are an innovative bunch. In this category we want to champion the fresh thinking in how different communication tools work together. We want to commend ideas that take internal communication into new areas, or show new possibilities. The judging is weighted towards fresh thinking, but we still want to see how your innovation has emerged from an organisational or corporate priority, and how it has supported that priority.
Entries should demonstrate a 'new' way of communicating - this may only be new to the organisation rather than the industry, but the entry should detail why it is innovative for the organisation. Show how it has changed the way your organisation communicates and engages its people.
Innovative Use of Media
Show us how you’ve responded to an organisational or corporate need with fresh thinking about the communication tools already available to you. We’ll be looking particularly for how the ways in which the solution has brought the communication idea alive for your audience and deepened its impact.
As part of the innovation category, we allow video submissions of no more than 3 minutes for these classes. A video on your phone is perfectly acceptable – what we really want is for you to bring the changes made to life.
Whether you are an in-house team or an agency, we're looking for the teams that demonstrate great IC practice. Take this chance to commend your colleagues or your team by telling us why they deserve an award. We recognise that the challenges are different for teams depending on the type of organisation they work in.
For the in-house and public sector team categories, submissions should be based on the number in the team: 1-5, 6-10 and 10+ Be sure enter the correct class and you will be asked to include a team structure.
Best In-House Team
This class is for internal comms teams working in house within an organisation. Show us how your great work has contributed to the success of the organisation. Give us an introduction to the team, how the team has worked in the past year, what has been done to deliver excellent results and how the achievement has been measured.
Best Public Sector or Not for Profit Team
This class is for internal comms teams working in the not for profit sector, where we recognise the challenges are different from those in corporate teams. Show us how your great work has contributed to the success of the organisation. Give us an introduction to the team, how the team has worked in the past year, what they have done to deliver excellent results and how the achievement has been measured.
In 2023 we are splitting this class based on size: Best Small Agency (1-10 people); Best Medium Agency (11-30 people); Best Large Agency (30+)
Agencies work closely with internal communications teams and are often an extension of that team. Show us how your great work has contributed to the success of those teams. Give us a short introduction to the agency, how the team has worked in the past year, what has been done to deliver excellent results and how the achievement has been measured.
The entry should include a brief outline of the individual’s career to date and share an outline of a project your best think represents their work and why it deserves to win. Remember these awards are about the people and you should make sure the judges know why that individual deserves to win.
You can commend a colleague – or enter yourself.
Best Internal Communications Newcomer - supported by FutureNet
This award is for anyone new to IC (less than 3 years) who is forging a great career in internal communications. The winner of this award will demonstrate their passion for Internal Comms and commitment to contribution to shaping the future of the profession.
We’ve changed the Internal Communicator of the Year class to take into account the differing levels and roles internal communications practitioners have.
Internal Communication Manager of the Year
This is someone who manages internal communications within an organisation (they don’t necessarily need to manage a team of people). They know how and what to do when it comes to ensuring successful internal communication throughout an organisation. Nominate someone who can demonstrate where their work has made a difference, putting internal communication at the top of the agenda.
Internal Communication Leader of the Year
This is someone who lives and breathes internal communication. They are a complete advocate, they embody the IoIC profession map and they are excellent at collaboration. They may be an exceptional leader, influencer or technical specialist but they must demonstrate how they have made a real impact and transformed the internal communication function.