And the winner is…

Awards season is in full flow. If you’re in internal comms and had big plans for submitting award entries this year and simply ran out of time, don’t worry. The year’s not over yet. There’s still time to enter some awards and tons more opportunities in 2020.

Here’s a list to get you started.

Ragan’s Top Women in Communications Awards – late deadline: 15 November 2019

Eligibility requirements for this inaugural global award from Ragan is about highlighting the leading women communicators who are changing the narrative. The nominee must work in a comms role, you can nominate up to 10 women from your organisation and you can self-nominate. What are you waiting for? Go recognize all the those fab women you know who are making a difference in comms.

Ragan’s and PR Daily’s Communicator the Year  awards and Rising Star Awards – deadline: 6 December 2019

Choose from a long list of individual awards, including Internal Communicator of the Year, Intranet Expert of the Year or how about the fab *NEW* award for Measurement Professional of the Year. An equally long list of team awards, for in-house or agency, cover everything from New Communications Team of the Year to Social Media and Video Teams of the Year. There really is a category for everyone, whatever your role in comms. External awards are also available.

The Internal Communications and Engagement Awards from Communicate Magazine are open for entries. Early deadline: – 10 January 2020, late deadline: – 28 February 2020.

Any organisation can enter, providing the strategy or execution was developed, launched or carried out between August 2017 and February 2020.  Categories cover Best Internal Comms Campaign, Best Use of Mobile or Apps and Best Use of Data. CIPR inside sponsor and judge three categories for CIPR Inside Internal Communicator of the Year, CIPR Inside Internal Comms Team of the Year and CIPR Inside Business Leader of the Year.

The Gartner Communications Awards have been showcasing great communication since 2011, supporting the great work of communicators who have achieved real, measurable business outcomes in their organisations. They have a category for every initiative, covering all aspects of the role of internal and external communication in business. Deadline for entries: 31 January 2020.

The 2020 Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communications (IABC) are open for entries. With four divisions – Communication Management, Communication Research, Communication Training and Education and Communication Skills – and 25 categories, there are plenty of opportunities to show your best work. Save 10% on 2020 IABC Gold Quill Awards entries through 15 December. Late deadline: 23 January 2020

The PR Week Global Awards honour transformative work that demonstrates the highest standards across regions and territories, as best teams, individuals and activations in the distinct markets of Asia-Pacific, LATAM, the Middle East and Europe. Download the entry kit here. Late entry deadline – 30 January 2020. 

Over 380 internal communication professionals gathered in London recently to recognise and celebrate 38 winners in the National IoIC Awards 2019. As part of their 70th anniversary, the new #WeMatterAtWork Award was introduced to recognise internal communicators who exemplify the IoIC’s purpose (congratulations to winner Tim Rutter from Tata Steel!).

IoIC Chief Executive, Jennifer Sproul says their judging panel look across key criteria to include; clarity of purpose, execution and skills, impact and measurement.  To deliver an award-winning entry the judges will be looking for:

  • 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 – whether we like it or not, the entry form is part of the assessment of the quality of work so make sure the form is well written

The IoIC aims to help IC professionals and is proud to provide all entrants with an expert critique and constructive feedback on what was good and could be improved upon. This alone is reason enough for entering. Their 2020 award dates are yet to be announced, so there’s plenty of time to perfect your submission.

Think outside the box

Remember to consider opportunities to showcase your work by entering awards outside of the communication profession.

HR Excellence has just opened their 2020 awards. As well as Best Internal Communications Strategy, there are various categories that internal communications plays a big part in – Best Transformation Strategy, Best Employee Engagement Strategy and HR Team of the Year (which could include you!). Earlybird entry deadline: 13 January 2020

No budget, no problem

If like me, you’re self-employed, you may not have the biggest pot to pay for the sometimes big entry fees that go with entering an award. Or indeed the time it takes to put the award entry together. The fabulous (voluntary!) team at CIPR Inside relaunched their Inside Story Awards earlier this year to help people like us.

These awards are their way of saying ‘thank you’ to those working in internal comms and employee engagement roles for outstanding work. They’re really easy to enter and run continuously throughout the year. And they’re FREE!  Visit the CIPR Inside website for some great case studies and key dates. The next winners will be announced on 30 November.

Committee member Martin Flegg says, “entrants often fall into the trap of just including descriptions of internal communication tactics and outputs, and don’t link these to their objectives or outcomes. A winning entry will clearly show where internal communications has contributed toward organisational outcomes, such as improving employee wellbeing or reduced hospital bed occupancy, for example.” Follow this link for some award-winning case studies.

Three key elements to grab attention

  • A clear description of what the internal communicator was trying to achieve and some well-defined objectives. These could be communication objectives, business objectives, or both.
  • What was actually done to achieve the objectives. This could be a description of the communications campaign, the strategy that was developed and the tactics that supported this.
  • What impact the activity had on the people in the organisation, or the organisation itself, and if this achieved the objectives.

Next entry deadline is 31 January 2020, providing the perfect opportunity to submit an entry during the Christmas break.

Learn from winners

Attending awards ceremonies is a great way to get an insight into what makes an award-winner and help with ideas for crafting your own entry or nomination. 

Comms2Point0 will be hosting their annual Unawards ceremony in Birmingham, UK , on 6 December 2019.  The awards recognise genuine creativity, innovation and solid results and judged through a mix of a panel and community voting, meaning they’re fair, and awarded without bias or agenda. This event always sells out and no wonder. Tickets (max 2 per organisation) are only £20, include access to the awards ceremony, eats, movie and sweets.

Winning puts a great big smile on your face…

… and helps to build your profile out in the big wide world of internal comms.

Good luck!

p.s. If you need a hand with your awards strategy, and preparing and submitting entries, I can help. Just call +44(0)1733 702768 or email me at 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *