Ragan’s 2016 Employee Communications Awards 2016
Ragan’s 2016 Employee Communication Awards wants to see how you have led the way in internal communications. Enlighten us: How did you engage your employees in efficient, interactive, innovative ways? One of our most popular award programs,
the Employee Communication Awards draws the finest internal communicators in the world.
Show everyone why your internal communication skills are over the top. Attract the newest generation of the work force: Show them—and us—in everything you do that your organization is one of the best places to enhance their careers.
Share with the world how your employee communications better interact with an growing, changing workforce. You know you made a difference. Now we want to know how you made yourself the best in the industry. Show the world your daring plan, your
bold execution, your astounding success.
This year’s program offers over 30 categories covering digital and print publications, videos, intranet, employee communications and more. Enter more than one category and increase your chances of winning.
Scroll down to read more about this year’s program and categories. Want to know how your ideas and execution stack up? See last year’s winners here.
See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.
These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work or the work of your organization, or submit entries on behalf of your client.
Companies around the world are welcome to enter, but all entries must be submitted in English.
This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan. 1, 2015, and Sept 28, 2016, inclusive.
Early Bird Deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 (Save $50 per entry!)
Final Deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016
Final Extended Deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016
The entry fee for this program is $295 per entry.
A late fee of $100 per entry will be added to all entries after midnight CT, Sept. 28.
Early bird submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 7 to be considered for the $50 discount.
Please note: Entry fees are non-refundable.
W-9 Form / Tax ID Number Request
Each category winner will receive:
- A featured write-up in a Special Edition of PRDaily.com
- An elegant trophy
- One complimentary registration to any Ragan event, webcast, or conference within 12 months of winning
The winners of the Grand Prize categories also will receive a one-year membership to Ragan Training—a premium online training library featuring hundreds of hours of the very best content from Ragan events. Find out more about the site here:
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Communicating benefits packages and insurance coverage isn’t always exciting. In fact, communicating your organization’s benefits can be complicated. How do you do this in an understandable, lively way? Do you use infographics? Video?
Interactive news and updates? If you use humor in your video, we’re looking for the light touch with plenty of facts. Tell us your goals and how you achieved them. Please include employee feedback.
Does your CEO, frontline employee, or communications team write an excellent blog? What do you talk about that brings people back again and again? How is it shared? How did employees respond to it? How do you open up the conversation
to a broader audience? Show us your results and how you measure the blog’s popularity.
Corporate Social Responsibility Program
A strong CSR program is a must-have in employee recruitment and retention. Everyone wants to be associated with an organization whose public service they can be proud of. How do you show employees and stakeholders that you work for
the betterment of the community? What was your CSR campaign? How did you present it to employees and stakeholders? What was their response?
Health and Fitness Program
Healthy employees are most often happier and more productive. What was your strategy to promote healthful choices or fitness at your office? Did you have a fitness challenge, incorporate Fitbit technology or perhaps offer healthy
snacks in common areas? How did you creatively engage employees? What was the response? We want to see how employees made important lifestyle changes.
Employee engagement, trust, and an authentic passion for your company are all important when you ask employees to become your organization’s biggest advocates. We want to see how you launched your employee advocacy program to move
employee engagement and social sharing to a high level. Winning submissions will include details about the program’s goals, level of integration within the enterprise and key analytics or results that show the effect of your program.
But it’s not just about the numbers. Tell us the unique ways employees exemplified and expanded your brand story.
New! Employee Education Program
You believe that the power behind your workforce is the training and expertise you give them. How did you encourage employees to get extra training, higher education or certifications? Do you provide incentives, monetary or not?
Does your organization provide in-house training that allows employees to learn skills or learn something that lets them explore a new, different career path? We want to know how you were able to keep employees’ minds sharp.
So easy to talk about, so difficult to do. This is perhaps the hardest job in employee communications. From company functions, to volunteering opportunities, to fundraising drives, tell us about your company's efforts to engage your
employees. What was your goal? Your strategy? Your success? Show us your engagement results—before and after your campaign.
How did you persuade senior executives to communicate with employees—and vice versa? What is your channel for that communication: town halls, videos or podcasts, or something else? What have been your successes? Reveal your creative
ideas and employee and management feedback.
Your organization is risking a change in its image, culture or mission. An organization’s image comes from the inside, and altering your brand's image is no easy task, yet somehow you were able to convince the world that your re-branding
is who you now are. What was the driving force behind re-branding? How did you overcome the chaos? What did you discover about your organization when you re-branded? How did you engage frontline employees in this difficult job?
What was the feedback? How was it successful?
Use of Social Media
Who isn’t on social media? You harnessed social media to communicate with your employees—both in-house and remote workers. You induced employees to discuss internal projects and initiatives. You connected global workers, boosted
engagement, and much more. What else did you do to use social media in the workplace? How did your use of social media foster engagement and productivity? We want links, screenshots and feedback, if possible.
A beautifully designed, easy-to-navigate site makes searching for and getting information a breeze. How has your intranet design made these tasks easy for employees? Send us employee endorsements of your new design. Let us see screenshots
and social media support for your intranet design. If you've redesigned your intranet, be sure to include before-and-after shots. Don’t forget to send employee feedback and statistics!
Interview or Profile
How did you tell an employee’s story in a way that touched your organization? How did you decide on the interviewee? What did you include in the interview? How did you pull the story together in a way that shared insight on someone’s
life and enriched your organization’s culture?
How did you turn internal social media into a new workplace tool on your intranet? What was your strategy for attracting more employee social interaction? How did your employees respond? Did your employees share personal comments,
pictures and feedback on the web or was your internal social network used exclusively to talk business? We want to know why your company moved to a social platform for your employees.
Value to Employees
Intranets must be functional. Your employees must want, need, and like to use them. We want to know how you persuaded employees to use your intranet to communicate, submit content, suggestions or feedback, or to get access to information
about your organization. Show us the usability and practicality of your intranet—why it's a valuable, attractive tool for your employees. Be sure to include measurement results.
PUBLICATIONS (electronic and print)
Each of the following categories will have electronic and print formats—e.g., Annual Report (electronic) and Annual Report (print). Each format will be judged independently unless a small number of entries are received. In this case,
the categories will be combined—e.g., Annual Report (electronic or print).
How do you reveal the heart and soul of your organization while you impart information to stakeholders? How has your annual report gone beyond numbers? How did you tell your organization's story? Does your yearly report actually
get read? Our judges will look for the personal, human touch, even in sections dealing with IT, legal, and finance departments.
The story you wanted to tell couldn’t be told in just one article. No, you wrote a series of articles telling the full story, the news-behind-the-news, all the critical details of the information you wanted to share. What made your
story so significant it merited several installments? What did employees think about the length of your series? How many people read every installment? We want to know how you were able to bring people back to read more about your
story time and time again.
Show us how your great headline, attention-grabbing subhead, and magnificent lead compelled the reader to plunge into the story. How did you follow that up with storytelling that built and sustained interest until the very end? How
did you supplement your text with photos, infographics, and pull quotes? We're looking for articles of fewer than 1,000 words. Don’t forget to include feedback from employees.
Interview or Profile
How did you interview an employee in a way that moved your readers? What did you include in the interview? Did it home in on their journey, professional achievements or personal strengths? How did you pull the story together to throw
light on someone’s life and enrich your organization’s culture? We want to know how you highlighted one of your employees to better connect with your entire organization.
Long Feature Article
We are looking for the same elements as in the feature article category. Sum up how your whole article package succeeded. Your article must be more than 1,000 words long.
How does your magazine dispense detailed, wide-ranging, in-depth news and information to your employees? What story formats have you found work best? How do you decide which information is most useful for your employees? We want
to know what successes you’ve achieved with your magazine. How do you measure your success?
Most Improved Design
Did you give your regularly running publication a facelift? What was your strategy and goal for the new design? Did you make it more visual appealing with striking photography? Did you organize your text in an easier-to-read format?
Don’t forget to show us your old design too! Show us what you changed, why you changed it and feedback on the changes.
How does your newsletter engage employees and deliver important information about your organization at the same time? What in your design makes employees want to read more? What information do you include? How do you communicate
the most important information? Remember, links, screenshots and feedback are critical!
Let’s face it: A cool font and great images make your work more interesting. How did you enhance narratives, illustrate ideas, or make themes clearer through photos, graphics or other visually alluring content? Show us how you made
pictures tell the story on your website, on social media or in print. If you used digital graphics, how did they lead to significant increases in shares, comments, and likes? How did you achieve your goals? Show us exactly how
your message was beefed up by your photography or graphics!
NEW! Announcement Video
How did your team work an arresting, attention-getting visual angle for breaking company news? Include all the details that turned your video into a great news piece: subject, shots, b-roll, writing and sound bites. We want the whole
package: Short and sweet, dramatic and surprising; the witty and humorous used sparingly and intelligently are not out of place here, either.
They laughed, they cried, they had no idea your CEO actually had a personality … that is until your silly (but serious) video aired. Explain how you used video to create a lighter mood in the board (bored?) room. We're looking for
all types of videos that incorporate humor: regular installments, video news with a light touch, company-wide lip dubs or your best Vine. Tell us what the sober, no-nonsense goal of your video was, your strategy and success!
Informational or Educational Video
Have you produced a video to train new employees, explain a new procedure, lay out a new vision, or update the members of your organization? But remember—we want to see your clever ideas not solely in words, but in motion, in action.
Send us your goal, strategy and proof of success (oh, and of course, your video).
Did you perform the miracle of bringing an employee’s passion or story to life in five minutes or less? What did you hope to achieve? How did your video prompt a change in employees’ actions or behaviors? We want to see how you brought
your employees into the hot seat and created a hot video to suit.
Aren’t all videos marketing videos? Sure, but there’s a big difference between a good sales video and a PR-marketing video that brought new life and tremendous new energy to your brand. How did your three-minute video tell your product
or brand’s story? What story did you tell in a few minutes? What made it successful? We want it short and sweet: no longer than 3-5 minutes. Extra points for telling a powerful content marketing video story to add extra punch to
the appeal of your product or service.
Finding good talent that will fit your company’s culture is difficult. If you aim to hire Gen Y or millennials, you’re bound to have reached out to them with video. Share with us your company video’s storytelling that touched the
hearts and minds of a demanding young audience of potential new hires. A new generation in the workforce expects an ultra-intelligent, but lighthearted and passionate picture of your company and its doings. How did you achieve
“Safety first!” is the phrase of the day, the month, the year! Safety is a serious subject but it doesn’t have to be boring. Tell us how you combined soberness and sincerity with humor, innovation and cleverness or matched the serious
tone of the subject with powerful visuals. Show us how you used video to invigorate a safety campaign either in your workplace or in public.
Employee Communication Campaign of the Year
How did you stretch your project budget across the many audiences of your entire company? How did it exhaust the possibilities of re-energizing, engaging, and informing your employees? This category is for big, daring, edgy, risky
ideas and campaigns. Our judges will look at everything—your mission and goals, your strategy and tactics—and, of course, results!
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How To Enter
On the entry form, be sure to include a thorough synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. We ask that the synopsis be at least 1,000 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
- Strategy and tactics
- Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions as the judges will look for those items when they pick the winners.
Supporting documents that can't be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
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Are the awards open to organizations outside of the United States?
Yes. Entries may be submitted by organizations from around the world. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English.
May an organization or nominator enter more than one entry?
Yes. Enter as many categories as you like. One entry may also be entered in multiple categories if it meets the criteria. Each entry will require a separate entry fee.
Will you return my entry materials?
Who judges the entries?
Our judges include the editorial staff of Ragan.com, PR Daily.com, and HR Communicator and Health Care Communications News.
When and where will the winners be announced?
We try to announce a list of finalists about 6 to 8 weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners is usually about 3 or 4 weeks after the announcement of finalists.
Each category winner will be celebrated in a headlined news story on our website, in our daily email newsletter, and on our social media platforms. Emails will be sent to all the entrants to notify them of these announcements.
Will there be an award luncheon or live ceremony?
We are not planning on holding a live event for this contest.
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If you have any questions about program or issues submitting your entry please call Mary McMahon at 312-960-4304 or email her at email@example.com.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Kristin Farmer at 312-960-4405 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Early Bird Deadline:
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
(Save $50 per entry!)
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Final Extended Deadline:
Wednesday, November 30, 2016