By Gloria Lombardi

Almost 200 internal communicators gathered at the iconic Searcys The Gherkin in central London, which appeared to be the perfect location for celebrating talent, success, and recognising the power of effective internal communications.

The night saw an opening keynote from Chair of CIPR Inside James Harkness, who highlighted the benefits of the awards to the industry as well as the high standards of the entries this year:

“With ten categories dedicated to celebrating the best in internal communication the awards attracted entrants from a range of diverse organisations and businesses. We’ve had a fantastic response to these awards and that’s recognition that there is real growth in our profession and a drive to push internal communication and employee engagement further up on the leadership agenda. Getting recognition for your work is a great way to demonstrate the value internal communication can bring to an organisation.

“The quality of entries was high and they were critically judged by a panel of senior internal communication professionals.”

To host the celebration was Business Reporter at BBC Breakfast Steph McGovern. Full of energy, inventiveness and humour she entertained the audience perfectly well while the winners were announced.

Taking part in the event and presentation was also the CIPR Chief Executive Alastair McCapra, CIPR President Stephen Waddington, and CIPR President Elect Sarah Pinch. Their involvement and presence during the night was relevant, showing the support to the internal communications sector by the broader CIPR body.

So, who were the winners? As they were announced in order on the evening they were:

Best employee engagement programme: Crossrail. “An excellent example of an integrated approach to internal communication that clearly has an impact on employee engagement.”

Best change communication programme: DWP. “This ground breaking integrated campaign was delivered against a robust set of objectives and has been adopted as a blueprint for internal communications across Whitehall.”

Best international programme: SIP Group. “A compelling entry with significant challenges for the IC team to overcome. Delivered with no extra money or resource, the ezine is now central to the company’s communication approach while also driving employee involvement.”

Best use of intranet: Coca-Cola Enterprises. “This site continues to surprise, impress and delight but the key is that innovation does not get in the way of what the site is attempting to achieve.”

Best use of video: ASDA. “An employee engagement video doesn’t really get better than this. Fantastic video. It provides the viewer with so much. The brand translates throughout the production with clear evidence of all the company’s values and an excellent show case of the people behind the brand.”

Best agency: H&H. “An agency at the top of their game, brilliantly creative with outstanding results.”

Best in-house team: ASDA. “Terrific example of business-led IC, proving business value saving time and money and adding value. Outstanding entry.”

Best training programme: HSBC, HarknessKennett & Hinton & co. “This was an exceptionally well researched and structured programme, reflecting a clear understanding of the commercial imperative, the cultural and organisational challenges and the role of communications.”

Best use of research and measurement: Telefónica UK / HarknessKennett. “This is a robust, thorough and creative approach to research and measurement. It made effective use of a range of primary and secondary research processes to produce meaningful qualitative and quantitative data.”

Best individual contribution to internal communication: Rachel Miller. “A driving force behind many key industry initiatives, she helps the profession to help itself. What makes Rachel stand out in particular is her understanding and use of social media to highlight and drive best practice in internal communications. In this respect, she’s the best in the business.”

First highly commended and second highly commended were also recognised within each category. The full list is available on the CIPR Inside’s website. Their contributions to the profession were significantly high. Huge congratulations and praises were made to everyone of them for their efforts in bringing value to internal communications and employee engagement.

In fact, the most significant aspect of the whole evening was the recognition of the strength of the profession, together with its developments and benefits to the business world.

Perhaps, if there were one thing missing from the award ceremony, would relate to the fact that there were no entries for the internal social media category this year – and therefore, no celebrations for employee social networks enthusiasts. This is something internal communicators may want to think about. It might indicate the need for organisations to work more confidently and strategically toward their social business transformation journey. Many successful stories are coming up showing us the power of these tools inside large enterprises to open up their communications, build engagement and drive innovation. With that I feel positive there will be a variety of recognition in near future in this category too. And, surely internal communicators will have a big role to play in this #insidestory!


This article originally appeared on simply-communicate