This year, our Employee Communications Awards and Intranet Awards have joined forces to create the premiere awards program for internal communicators.

Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards shines a light on the pivotal but often unrecognized internal communicators, teams, programs and campaigns that excelled in engaging and informing employees, boosting collaboration and fostering innovative and accepting workplace cultures.

Was your intranet instrumental in keeping employees connected and up to date with the latest organization news? Did you create a killer campaign that excited and engaged your workforce? Was a video the perfect vehicle for delivering information to employees? We want to hear it all.

This year’s program offers more than 50 categories covering digital and print publications, videos, intranets, employee communications and more. Enter more than one category to increase your chances of winning—and save on multiple submissions of the same campaign or project.

Check out last year’s winners to see what award-worthy work looks like.

See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.

Contact Brendan Gannon to find the perfect category for your campaign or project. You can reach him at 312-960-4407 or brendang@ragan.com.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan. 1, 2018, and Oct. 4, 2019, inclusive.

Recognition

Each category winner will receive:

  • A featured write-up in a Special Edition of Ragan.com
  • An elegant trophy   
  • Fifteen percent off registration to as many conferences as you’d like within one year of the winner announcement

PLUS: Grand Prize winners receive all of the above, as well as a complimentary one-year membership to Ragan Training, our premier portal featuring hundreds of high-quality streaming videos that can be browsed by topic area, keywords or speakers

CATEGORIES

CONTENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Benefits Communication

How did you make delivering benefits information fun, entertaining and informative to employees? Do you use infographics? Video? Interactive news and updates? Tell us your goals and how you achieved them. Please include employee feedback.

*NEW!* Change Communication

Let’s face it—change can be scary, especially within an organization. When employees are kept in the dark, they fear that any change could be detrimental. Your communications kept employees in the know and at ease during these turbulent times. Share how communication played a key role in making a smooth transition during periods of change.

Digital Signage

Digital signage can be an effective tool for sharing information. What pain point did the addition of digital signage address for your organization? How did you implement signage throughout your workplace, and what information did you include? How did employees react?

Executive Communication

Executives are often viewed as mysterious, intimidating and out of reach. What did you do to make your executive town halls, podcasts, blog posts and more feel relatable and human? Reveal your creative ideas and share employee and management feedback.

*NEW!* Hot-Button Communication

Consumers want the organizations they support and the executives that lead them to speak up about societal or political issues—but this can quickly and easily land you in hot water if you take the wrong approach. Tell us how your leaders nimbly toed the line between taking a stand and going too far. What issue were they speaking about? What went into delivering the message appropriately? We want to hear it all.

Mobile App

A mobile app was the perfect solution to keeping everyone in your organization—no matter where they live and work—connected. Walk us through the pain point your organization was experiencing and how an app provided just what you needed. What kinds of content make the app informative and enjoyable? Share all of the details with us and include screenshots and creative assets unique to your app.

Podcast

You have a lot of information to share with employees, and a podcast was the perfect medium for your message. How did your podcast improve the effectiveness of your internal communications strategy? How did you get people excited about it? Share your plan, audio files and the metrics that prove its success.

Rebranding Campaign

Your organization is evolving, and you have to put together a campaign to reflect the changing tide. How have you updated your image with a new mission, culture and aesthetic? How did you announce it to your team? How did you engage frontline employees in this difficult job? What was the feedback? We want to see the solutions this effort brought to the forefront and the impact it has had.

Recruitment Campaign

Finding the best and brightest candidates for open positions at your organization is hard work. We want to know how you put together a campaign to attract prospective employees. Tell us about the content of your campaign, who you were looking to attract, the channels you distributed it on and why it was effective.

*NEW!* Reputation Management

Many organizations have crumbled in the wake of a reputation-ruining issue. Share how you prepped employees or teams to be ready to respond if—and when—a crisis struck. How did you navigate the murky waters of a reputational issue? What was your plan? We want to hear how everyone within your organization was prepared to quell the backlash.

Use of Social Media

Creating connections within offices or among global workforces is a huge task. Thankfully, social media can make it easier to build connections and break down walls in your organization. How did you motivate employees to share more than what was required of them? Tell us how using social media improved productivity and creativity. We want links, screenshots and feedback.

Speechwriting

We want to award communicators with impressive speechwriting abilities. Tell us why a speech was the right medium for delivering your leader’s message. Share video or a written version of the speech. Don’t forget to include feedback and the impact the speech had on executive visibility, organizational transparency or employer branding.

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

*NEW* Amazing Workplaces

Send us up to 10 photos that best showcase your amazing office space—your lobby, kitchen, meeting rooms—any public spaces where your employees can work, play and create. We're looking for the workspaces that enliven your brand, help retain talent and represent your company culture. Include a brief (150-word max) description, but keep in mind that one photo will be worth 1,000 words.

Brand Ambassador Program

When employees feel supported and valued, they can be your greatest brand ambassadors. How did you inspire your employees to advocate on behalf of your organization? Tell us how you encouraged employees to share their experience on social media or via other means. How did this effect perceptions of trust, reach and influence as an organization?

Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Socially responsible workplaces are held in high regard, especially among millennials. Tell us the strengths of your CSR program and how it’s succeeded in the last year. What was your CSR campaign? What were its goals? We want to know how you communicated your goals to employees and got them excited about participating. Share the details.

*NEW!* Diversity and Inclusion

You’ve created a workplace that cultivates creative thinkers and champions its diverse employees. Tell us how communications played a pivotal role in fostering this atmosphere of acceptance. What new ideas have been introduced thanks to diverse points of view? How has this led to outstanding success for your organization? Share your success.

Employee Education Program

A commitment to continuous learning is at the core of your organization. Did you offer employees extra training, employee development, higher education or certifications? What incentives did you create to encourage them to participate? How has this affected organizational culture and employee retention? We want to know how you were able to keep employees’ minds sharp.

Employee Engagement

You want your culture to generate excitement. How did you get your staff to participate in functions, volunteering opportunities or fundraising drives? Tell us about your organization’s efforts to engage your employees. What was your goal? Your strategy? Your success? Show us your engagement results—before and after your campaign.

Internal Event Strategy

Town halls and organizationwide meetings don’t have to be boring. Tell us how you made meetings exciting and engaging for your employees. Did you add something special so your remote employees feel included? Tell us about the unique events you put together for employees, their purpose and how they’ve improved life at your organization.

Wellness Program

The health and wellness of your employees is important to you. What was your strategy to promote healthier choices in the office? How did you make living a healthy lifestyle easier for your employees? What was the response? We want to see how you motivated employees to make important lifestyle changes.

PUBLICATIONS (ELECTRONIC AND PRINT)

Annual Report

How do you reveal the heart and soul of your organization while you impart information to stakeholders? How did you take your annual report beyond the numbers to tell a real story? Our judges will look for the personal, human touch, even in sections dealing with IT, legal and finance departments. Send us your digital or print versions. We’ll consider both.

Article Series

You wanted to delve deep into an untold issue, so you put together a compelling series to tell the full story. What made your story so significant it merited several installments? What did employees think about your series? How many people read every installment? We want to know how you were able to bring people back to read more of your story time and time again.

Blog

You share news using many formats, but your blog is the most popular. What topics are most successful? How has the team responsible for your blog grown its readership? Do you feature executives or celebrate staff accomplishments? We’re also interested in active comment sections if you have them. Show us your results and how you measure the blog’s popularity.

*NEW!* Data-Based Storytelling

Diving into metrics can shape a successful employee communications program or campaign. How did tracking and monitoring employees’ engagement drive your internal communications? Did this help you craft captivating content that received tons of engagement? Share the metrics, details, strategy and content that captured the attention of your workforce.

*NEW!* Internal Email Campaign

Internal emails are typically met with yawns, eyerolls, a quick skim and a delete—but not in your case. Tell us how you delivered essential information in a way that engaged employees. Share metrics, screenshots, outcomes and any feedback that proves your success.

Feature Article (print) (digital)

What story were you hoping to tell with this feature article? We want to see an impressive combination of a compelling headline, a magnificent lead, in-depth reporting and a creative vision. How did employees respond to the story? Share both metrics and comments.

Interview or Profile

You conducted an interview that gave an inside look at the personal or career journey of one of your employees. Why were they selected for the interview and how did the story impress your readers? 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.

Magazine (print) (digital)

Does your internal publication rival those on newsstands? We want to see magazines that combine visually arresting photography with fantastic storytelling. 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 (print) (digital)

Did you give your publication a facelift? What was your strategy and goal for the new design? Did you make it more visually appealing with striking photography? Did you rebrand it with a new typeface, color scheme and layout? Show us what you changed, why you changed it and what feedback you received.

Newsletter (print) (digital)

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? Links, screenshots and feedback are essential.

Visual Communication (print) (digital)

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, did they lead to significant increases in engagement? How did you achieve your goals? Show us how your message was beefed up by your photography or graphics.

VIDEO

Humorous Video

We’re looking for all types of videos that incorporate humor: regular installments, video news with a light touch, organization-wide lip dubs or your something even more unique. Tell us what the sober, no-nonsense goal of your video was, along with your strategy and success.

Informational 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? We want to see your clever ideas not solely in words, but in motion and action. Send us your goal, strategy and proof of success (and, of course, your video).

*NEW!* Leadership Video

Executives can no longer sit in their ivory towers, never seen or heard from (except when addressing a dicey situation). Employees want a connected, two-way channel of communication. Video has the wonderful power to convey a leader’s human side. How did a video help executives connect with employees? We want the details.

Training or Orientation Video

Did you create a video to welcome new employees and share your organization’s history? Did your video train existing employees on a new process? Why was video the right medium for your message? We want to see more than talking heads and corporate jargon. Share your video with us and include metrics or feedback.

Recruitment Video

If you aim to expand your talent pool, video is a must. Share with us the video storytelling that touched the hearts and minds of a demanding audience of potential new hires. A new generation in the workforce expects an ultra-intelligent but lighthearted and passionate picture of your organization and its doings. How did you achieve this?

INTRANET CONTENT

Instructional or Educational Content

Does your intranet provide important benefits information, a detailed organizational history, interactive videos or a fun and personable employee directory? Share content that teaches employees about important processes, even if it’s specific to their department. Don’t forget to include metrics and employee feedback.

Interactive Content

In the quest for more engagement, you added interactive elements to your intranet. Why were these successful and engaging for your employees? We want to see polls, surveys, discussion forums, quizzes and more. Why did these work to create a sense of community and connection on your intranet?

Video

How did you use intranet videos to enhance your employee communications? Was it an emotional ad, a 30-second clip, a media reel or a video testimonial? Give us the story behind the video. Tell us about its conception, growth, message and how it succeeded.

Visual Storytelling

Tell us how you make use of visual elements for internal storytelling. Did you create a photo series to show off your new international office? Maybe a series of infographics illustrated a new internal process change for employees. Tell us how you told internal stories on your intranet with the help of visuals like photos, infographics, GIFs and more.

INTRANET COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION

Employee Engagement

Embracing a digital workspace turned your dispersed or uninterested workforce into an inspired and engaged crew. Your intranet booms with ideas, discussion and collaboration. We want to see how your intranet made a BIG difference in your workplace—in productivity, collaboration and employee satisfaction.

Employee Recognition

How did you use your intranet as a space to celebrate your employees’ accomplishments? Do managers make off-the-cuff announcements to spotlight a team member’s great work? Can employees nominate their peers? What rewards or accolades do they receive? Share how this has increased engagement on your organization’s intranet.

Gamification

The elements of gamification can motivate employees to engage with your content—and with each other—on your intranet. Tell us what gamified features were most successful on your platform. We want to know your strategy and how employees responded to it.

Internal Social Network

Did you use a social intranet to communicate with your employees—both in-house and remote—to discuss internal projects and initiatives, connect workers and boost engagement? How has it created a happier and more involved, productive workplace? What was your goal? How did you achieve it? We welcome links, screenshots and feedback.

Launch or Relaunch

Why did you decide to launch your intranet? Maybe your current intranet wasn’t meeting the goals you originally set for it, and a relaunch was in order. What was the feedback? If this is a relaunch, please include documentation (numerous screenshots) of the previous site, and show us before-and-after images. If you have the figures, what impact did your new intranet or relaunch have on employee engagement?

Mobile Integration

How did you ensure that your intranet was accessible and usable for your dispersed workforce? We want to see how mobile integration increased engagement and intranet use. Share how you made your intranet accessible for multiple devices. Put your modern intranet transformation on display.

Use for Human Resources

How do you easily and creatively share information on benefits enrollment, wellness programs, policies, procedures and employee celebrations (accolades, birthdays, promotions)? Do you use gamification to interact with employees to make benefits enrollment painless? What improvements have the HR department seen because of your efforts? Share the results.

Value to Employees

Intranets should add value to your staff’s day-to-day activities. What features make your intranet a priceless tool for your teams? 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. Be sure to include measurement results.

INTRANET DESIGN

Design

Without functional and attractive design, your intranet will be a desolate digital wasteland. How was your design a hit with employees? What makes your layout so effective and popular? How have you simplified your intranet design to get more click-thrus and increase the average time spent there? How does your design engage employees?

Intranet Usability

How did you create a truly efficient and usable intranet for employees? What tools, layout and design make it easy and enjoyable to use every day? Share your goals for intranet usability and tell us how you executed them. We want to see screenshots and evidence of how your intranet vastly improved employee efficiency.

Personalized Experience

Rather than asking employees to log on to the same boring and identical site, you created a personalized intranet experience that’s right for each employee’s preferences and day-to-day tasks. Share your one-of-a-kind intranet features with us. Tell us how this led to higher levels of engagement, intranet use and productivity. Before-and-after shots of your intranet will help to seal the deal.

GRAND PRIZE

Employee Communication Campaign of the Year

Did you capture the attention of your entire organization? What channels did you use to share your message and create a comprehensive internal campaign? What was the story you were trying to tell? Our judges will look at everything—your mission and goals, your strategy and tactics—and, of course, your results.

*NEW!* Employee Communications Team of the Year

Sometimes it takes a team of dedicated internal communicators to engage an organization of busy employees. Tell us how your team delivered important information to your workforce in a way that caught their eye and kept them from instantly deleting any internal material. What worked best? What was your team’s strategy, and what tactics did you use to achieve success? We want to hear it all. Share your wins and results.

Best Overall Intranet

Creativity. Collaboration. Connection. What was your strategy when you pulled it all together? How does your intranet set the tone for your organization, empower and engage employees, reduce email and influence your organization’s culture? Tell us how and why it makes your staff more productive, collaborative, confident and cheerful. Share screenshots, testimonials and results. Tell us how your intranet made your organization better.

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):

  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI

Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions, as the judges will look for those elements when they select the winners.

You will be able to upload up to five additional documents to your submission. We encourage you to include press releases, design concepts, videos, analytics, testimonials and anything else you feel will give us a better sense of your project. Proprietary or internal information can also be attached and will not be shared with the public.

Supporting documents that can’t be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:

Brendan Gannon
Ragan Communications 
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400 
Chicago, IL 60601

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you apply?
Our award programs help you measure the success of your work and prove the value of your contributions to your organization. You can set yourself apart in the industry as an expert, which will open doors throughout your career. As a winner, you’ll earn publicity for your brand across our websites and social media audiences, free training at a Ragan conference of your choice, a custom write-up about your campaign and a trophy.
Who can enter?
Entries may be submitted by organizations worldwide. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English. Most programs are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Our Nonprofit PR Awards are reserved for nonprofit organizations.
What does it take to be a winner?
Although each award program is unique, we look for top-quality work that shows clear, bold and creative ideas that benefit your business or client. Please provide metrics or media coverage that back up your claims, and share creative collateral such as videos, visual design or websites that were a part of your project. Please look at our past award winners to see what gets recognized and rewarded. We encourage you to submit the same campaign to multiple categories, if you feel they are relevant. Doing so increases your chances of winning.
What are the entry requirements?
The entry form requires that you submit a synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. The synopsis—1,000 to 1,250 words, please—should include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Campaigns must have been executed within 18 months prior to the date we begin accepting submissions for a given program.
Why are some deadlines extended?
We extend deadlines based on applicant needs and upcoming promotional opportunities.
Who are the judges?
We currently work exclusively with an external judging partner. We are not looking for new judges for our programs at this time.
When will I find out results?
We try to announce a list of finalists six to eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about three to four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each announcement will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter and on our social media platforms. Emails notify entrants in advance of these announcements. As deadlines are extended, so are expected announcement dates.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Brendan Gannon at 312-960-4407 or email him at brendang@ragan.com.

About Our Sponsor

To measure and improve internal Outlook email broadcasts to employees, corporate communicators send PoliteMail. The PoliteMail platform adds email analytics, responsive HTML design, and list management tools to the enterprise email program you already know how to use, Microsoft Outlook and Exchange.  PoliteMail makes it easy to create impressive, highly readable corporate communications, with advanced analytics to enable you to discover the email employees actually read, with key metrics to help you improve results over time.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Kristin Farmer at 312-960-4405 or email her at kristinf@ragan.com.