Division 1: Communication Management

The Communication Management division covers projects, programs, and campaigns that are guided by a communication strategy. Entrants must demonstrate how their project applied a full range of planning and management skills, including research, analysis, strategy, tactical implementation and evaluation. Entries may include a wide range of communication materials. (A single tactical execution element that formed part of a communication program may also be entered in the Communication Skills Division).<

Category 1: Internal Communication

  • Programs or strategies targeted at employee or member audiences.
  • Includes programs that create awareness and influence opinion or behavioral change, including those focused on ethics, morale, internal culture or change management.
  • May involve improving employee understanding and alignment with business direction, improving face-to-face communication, preparing employees for change, integration of organizational cultures caused by an acquisition or downsizing, an internal brand ambassador program or a program to inspire pride in the organization.

Category 2: Employee Engagement

  • Local, regional, national or international programs or strategies that profile the role of strategic communication as a driver in improving employee engagement.
  • Entries must focus on the communication elements of these programs, which could include contribution to program development and promotion through various communication vehicles and channels.
  • May include employee recognition and employee volunteer programs, including programs that benefit charitable or philanthropic causes, or that recognize employees’ organizational contributions or achievements in the organization.

Category 3: Human Resources and Benefits Communication

  • Programs or strategies targeted at internal audiences that relate to communication of health and welfare, savings and pension, stocks and compensation, or recruitment and retention initiatives.

Category 4: Change Communication

  • Communication strategies that support organizational change.
  • May be directed at internal or external audiences, or both.

Category 5: Safety Communication

  • Programs or strategies that focus on improving awareness, understanding and behaviors related to safety issues within an organization.

Category 6: Leadership Communication

  • Programs or strategies that help leaders become more effective communicators, improve the quality of leadership communication within an organization, or improve leader knowledge and the ability to use communication as a business driver.
  • Tactics may include tool kits with speaking notes, games or other tools that help leaders communicate a specific topic, and special publications with information and support for leadership communication.

Category 7: Marketing, Advertising and Brand Communication

  • May include various activities designed to sell products, services, destinations, organizations or ideas to external audiences, and is generally delivered through a variety of communication vehicles and channels.
  • Strategies for new brands and the repositioning of existing brands in relationship to internal and external audiences.
  • May include brand characteristics and attributes, changes to corporate identities and design solutions that address the challenges of brand communication (must be more than a logo redesign).
  • Strategic advertising campaigns designed to build brand awareness, influence opinion, motivate audience behaviors, or sell products and service.

Category 8: Customer Relations

  • Strategies or ongoing programs targeted at customer audiences that educate, inform, engage or otherwise connect the organization and its employees to the customer.
  • Programs may influence reputation, brand awareness and loyalty, and market position.
  • May include relationship management, experience standards or appreciation programs, but must be focused on communication and marketing elements.

Category 9: Media Relations

  • Strategies or ongoing programs that use the news media as the primary channel to reach target audiences and seek to influence awareness, understanding and opinion or motivate action.
  • Should demonstrate the quality of media coverage and its impact on the organization—quantity of media stories alone is not considered a valid measurement in this category.

Category 10: Community Relations

  • A one-time or an ongoing program that enhances stakeholder understanding of issues affecting business operations within the community served.
  • Seeks to build trust and credibility with stakeholder groups generally through consultation and other communication-based activities.

Category 11: Government Relations

  • Short- or long-term programs that influence the opinion or actions of government bodies or agencies.
  • May seek to create awareness, or influence the attitudes and behaviors of decision-makers toward the organization or industry.

Category 12: Financial Communication

  • Entails strategies, tactics and tools used to share financial data and recommendations with investors and other interested parties.
  • Includes investor relations functions that integrate finance, communication, marketing and securities laws compliance to enable effective two-way communication between a company, the financial community, and stakeholders.

Category 13: Issues Management and Crisis Communication

  • Programs targeted at external and/or internal audiences that address trends, issues or attitudes that have a significant impact on an organization, such as labor relations, crises, mergers, acquisitions, public policy or environmental concerns.
  • Programs may demonstrate proactive planning and preventative action during an extraordinary event, or show the actions taken to address trends, issues and interest group attitudes that have a major impact on an organization.

Category 14: Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Programs or strategies that communicate social responsibility and encourage positive actions while building awareness and reputation and positioning the organization as a good corporate citizen.
  • May be targeted to multiple audiences and influence share price and customer loyalty, retention and recruitment, operational efficiency and increased sales.
  • Generally long-term and focused on enhancing the well-being of communities and populations through causes such as the environment, energy sustainability, food safety, economic stability, employment, poverty reduction, literacy, education, health, cultural preservation, and indigenous and heritage protection.

Category 15: Social Media Programs

  • Engages internal and external audiences in conversation through social media.
  • Encompasses tools and practices that allow individuals and groups to collaborate and share knowledge and experiences online.
  • May use conversation-enabled publishing platforms such as blogs and podcasts, social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, democratized content networks such as wikis and message boards, content-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, and virtual networking platforms.

Category 16: Government Communication Programs

  • Programs and strategies specific to government organizations at the municipal, state, provincial, regional, federal, national or international level.
  • May be targeted to one or more audiences, and include internal, external or integrated communication strategies or programs.

Category 17: Nonprofit Campaigns

  • Programs recognizing the particular challenges of the non profit sector.
  • May include multiple internal or external audiences.
  • Promotes nonprofit organizations or causes.
  • May be paid projects or pro-bono projects donated to the client by an organization, agency or consultancy; entries will generally have a small budget or none at all.