Entry guidance

The who, why, where, what and how of entering

Who can enter?

Entries are open to all in-house, agency and freelance communicators across the World – you don’t have to be an IoIC member but there's a discounted entry fee if you are.

What can be entered?

We’re the Institute of Internal Communication so work that’s primarily meant for an internal audience is what we’re looking for. What’s important is that it’s not marketing or external communication – not ‘selling’ an idea.

Work must have been produced between 1 January and 31 December 2023 (unless otherwise stated).

All our judges sign an NDA. With the exception of the executive summary and picture, no information is shared publicly about the entry. We do ask if you would be happy to be featured as a case study, but no information would be published without our Content team speaking to you first

When do I enter?

Early Bird entries must be submitted by 11.59pm on Friday 15 March 2024.
The final deadline for standard entry is 11.59pm on Friday 10 May 2024.

How do I enter?

There are four components to an IoIC National Award entry submission. These are the purchase, the entry statement and executive summary, the supporting materials and the entry application form. See the How to enter section on the website for more information, including word count and what the entry form will ask for.

Top Tips

What helps an entry succeed?
  • The most successful entries tell a story with  a start, a middle and an end:
    • Include what you set out to achieve, how you did it and what the outcomes were, relating the outcomes back to the original objectives
  • Allow your entry to have both emotion and clarity, explain what happened but also show how it made the audience feel
  • Entries need to be accessible and easy to read
  • Think carefully about your executive summary (new for 2024) – this will give the Judges an instant feel for the entry and what you achieved
  • Include some visuals (these can be in the supporting material or within the entry statement)
  • Judges rely on the quality of your submission:
    • Please think carefully about the information you offer - if you don’t tell judges enough, they may mark you down, but say too much and the message could get lost
  • On the entry form we have suggested maximum word counts; if you exceed them a little no one will worry, but if you exceed them by a lot then you’re unlikely to impress the judges
  • Read the entry criteria carefully and decide where your work fits best: you’re welcome to enter the same piece of work into more than one category
  • If you’re not sure which category your work fits into then please contact us and we’ll be happy to advise
  • Read the guidance in ‘How to enter’ under each category heading carefully as it will guide you to include the information that judges will be looking for
  • If you are entering a Team Award please do include the team structure
What are the judges looking for?

The judges are seasoned professionals in the world of internal comms. The key things they will be looking for are:

  • A crystal-clear articulation of the objectives of the entry and demonstration of how the entrant knows that has been achieved
  • An understanding of how the entry contributes to the strategy or overall aims of the organisation
  • Measures of success - wherever possible these should go beyond generic, qualitative measures (those where the measurement consists of people saying they ’liked' the entry tend not to win)
  • Brevity and a quality entry - the entry form and executive summary are part of the assessment of the quality of work so make sure the form is well written
  • The IoIC National Awards recognise the best in Internal Communication; the work that demonstrates not only excellent delivery, but also passion and the will to succeed


Hear from the IoIC National Awards' Judges

Watch the recording where we were joined by some of our National Awards Judges to hear from them about what they are looking for when they judge an entry.

Watch now


Summary of rules

  • All entries must have been produced between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023
  • Each entry purchased entitles you to enter one class, if you would like to enter multiple classes (even for the same piece of work) you will need to purchase an entry for each submission.
  • Entries will be accepted at the discretion of the IoIC and may be switched to another class (without reference to the entrant) if the Awards Chair and or Judging Panel feels the criteria are more suitable and the entry will fare better in that class
  • The IoIC reserves the right to not refund if the entrant decides not to enter as many entries as purchased
  • Once entered, no refunds will be given if entrants decide to withdraw from the Awards
  • All entries must be paid for within 30 days
  • The IoIC reserves the right to not include entries on the shortlist if that entry has not been paid for
  • Under no circumstances will refunds be issued after Judging has taken place
  • No liability for undelivered or lost entries will be accepted by the Awards organisers
  • Judging will be completed in June 2024
  • Entrants will be told of the shortlist in July 2024
  • Queries or appeals must be directed to the Chairman of the Awards Committee Panel by 15 August 2024
  • Rights of final arbitration rest with the Institute’s Chief Executive. Entry fees will not be refunded for any disqualified entry
  • Class and Award of Excellence winners will be presented with their trophies at the IoIC Awards dinner on the evening of 26 September at The Natural History Museum in London
  • Entries are non-returnable and become the property of the IoIC unless otherwise agreed with a written acknowledgement from IoIC