The Internal Communications ideas that win awards
6 mins read
Tue, Aug 13, '19
6 mins read
Tue, Aug 13, '19
Everybody loves an awards get-together: the excuse to get your posh on, wear a monkey suit, sit awkwardly with colleagues or clients through a whole three-course dinner and then, just as you’re either falling asleep or on the verge of pushing past pleasantly tipsy, the actual awards are announced in a flurry of activity by the “celebrity” host.
If you’re up for an Internal Communications award, this is either the best or the worst bit depending on whose name is announced for your category. If you’re not up for one, though…
Yeah, awards can be tedious if you’re not in the mix, but with the number of Internal Communications awards growing every year, we thought it was time to help our readers to get the best chance of standing on that podium. After all, you’ve got to be in it to win it, right? And at the very least, those lucky enough to be nominated are showing how they’ve harnessed Internal Communications best practices — something we can all learn from.
The proliferation of awards these days is a great way to steal ideas. Well, let’s be more politically correct there: they are a great way to be inspired by Internal Communications ideas, to see how others are making the most of their limited resources to deliver truly outstanding campaigns and Internal Communications methods that influence employee behavior in the best ways.
Let’s say your recent survey results have indicated a need for a staff magazine of some description, or maybe the Head of IT has bought into a new intranet platform and the Internal Communications team must now get people to use it. The options for both are endless, but to get money to enhance engagement you will need to build a business case to give to senior leaders, a way to convince them to give you support for the strategy, plan or campaign. The successes of others in similar areas can help to illustrate your business case with successful real-world examples to help persuade the money-holders to take a chance.
But of course, we all want that shiny trophy at the end of the day. Once you’ve launched and actioned your totally amazing Internal Communications ideas, make sure you keep track of successes so that you can write a top-notch awards application.
Getting that piece of silverware (or certificate — we’re not fussy) for the shelf not only gives you the warm and fuzzies on the night, but it can also be the persuasion factor for more when it comes to budget time. If you can prove your Internal Communications are not only working in terms of internal metrics, but that they’re also industry-leading and bring (good) external attention to the organization. Suddenly, senior leadership will be more willing to see what you can do with more money, a bigger team, better resources. That award could be your ticket to even better Internal Communications ideas being sent out into the world, and better employee engagement.
So we all want the limelight, the kudos, the possibility of more resources — but how can you get the attention of those all-important Internal Communications specialists that judge these awards, and make sure it’s you who stands out for all the right reasons?
There’s a pretty simple formula here, really:
Clear purpose + link to strategy + strong positive metrics = Award
Maybe that’s over-simplifying. Let’s put it this way:
Sarah Browning, people comms consultant and member of Browning York, often acts as an awards judge, and she got in touch on Twitter to explain her thinking when it comes to Internal Communications awards.
“I look for a clear purpose/objectives combined with a good understanding of your audience(s). Without these you are only guessing at which tactics might work,” she said.
“A particular campaign that stands out is the Meningitis Research Foundation campaign which won at the Third Sector Excellence Awards last year. They had the things I've mentioned, plus evidence that behavior had changed, and they had literally saved lives as a result!”
So what tools do you need to create an award-winning campaign? While tech platforms do play a role in Internal Communications strategy, Browning warns to not chase the shiny objects like apps and ebooks just because you can: “In my opinion, technology only helps if you've chosen it for the right reasons and not just because you 'should' or because it's a shiny new thing.”
“My advice is to make it clear that you (individual, team, organization) care about genuine, effective communication. Show your passion and drive for successful communication!”
Creating award-winning Internal Communications methods is actually no different to create run-of-the-mill Internal Communications methods — the difference is in the research and planning. To get there, follow these steps:
Yes, all of this is brilliant — we all love to see our work up in lights — but why is a company that makes Google Workspace technology talking to you about Internal Communications awards? Well, besides the fact we want to see everybody be the best they can, we also know the power of Google’s collaboration and communication tools to really impact a business.
In Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) we look at three companies that have had a real impact on employee behavior through deploying and developing a Google intranet:
Any of these Internal Communications best practices would be sure to grab the attention of awards judges, especially as the digital workplace and increasing number of remote workers is proving a challenge for Internal Communications methods. So when you’re considering your next strategy move, consider how technology like Google’s collaboration tools could enhance your employee experience — and maybe bring you that trophy for the cabinet.