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Division 1: Communication Management 

Focuses on strategic communication planning and execution of internal and external programs.

Category 1 | Internal Communication

  • This category recognizes programs or strategies targeted at employee or member audiences.
  • Entries may include programs that create awareness and influence opinion or behavioral change, including those focused on ethics, morale, internal culture or change management.
  • Entries 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 

  • This category recognizes 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.
  • Entries s include employee recognition and employee volunteer programs, including programs that benefit charitable or philanthropic causes or that recognize employees’ organizational contributions or achievements.
  • Entries submitted to this category can be local, regional, national or international in scope.

Category 3 | Leadership Communication

  • This category recognizes strategies that help leaders become more effective communicators, improve the quality of leadership communication within an organization, and improve leader knowledge and ability to use communication as a business driver.
  • Tactics used in entries to this category 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 4 | Safety Communication

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

Category 5 | Human Resources and Benefits Communication

  • This category recognizes 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.

Category 6 | Government Relations 

  • This category recognizes short- or long-term programs that influence the opinion or actions of government bodies or agencies.
  • Entries may seek to create awareness, or influence attitudes and behaviors toward the organization or industry among decision-makers.

Category 7 | Community Relations 

  • This category recognizes one-time or ongoing programs that enhance stakeholder understanding of issues affecting business operations within the community served.
  • Entries to this category seek to build trust and credibility with stakeholder groups generally through consultation and other communication-based activities.
  • Tactics and supporting strategies for entries may include formal and informal meetings, town hall discussions, workshops, presentations, open houses, and electronic and printed material.

Category 8 | Media Relations 

  • This category recognizes strategies or ongoing programs that use the news media as the primary channel for reaching target audiences, and that seek to influence opinion or motivate action to support business needs.
  • Entries should demonstrate quality of media coverage and its impact on the organization; quantity of media stories alone is not considered a valid measurement in this category.
  • Strategies may support consumer products or services, business-to-business efforts, associations or non-profit groups, government relations activities or other initiatives important to the business.

Category 19 | Customer Relations 

  • This category recognizes strategies or ongoing programs targeted at customer audiences that educate, inform, engage or otherwise connect the organization and its employees to the customer.
  • Entries may include programs that influence reputation, brand awareness and loyalty, and market position.
  • Entries may include relationship management, experience standards or appreciation programs; however, the program must be focused on communication elements.

Category 10 | Advertising Campaigns

  • This category recognizes strategic advertising campaigns designed to build brand awareness, influence opinion, motivate audience behaviors, or sell products and services.
  • Campaigns in this category are generally short-term in nature and may use a variety of communication vehicles and channels such as radio and television commercials; newspaper and magazine ads; flyers; brochures; the Internet; email; social media; outdoor, transit or mall advertising; posters; street teams; and guerilla marketing tactics.

Category 11 | Marketing Communication

  • Marketing is defined as the systematic planning, implementation and control of a variety of business activities intended to bring buyers and sellers together.
  • Entries may include various activities designed to sell products, services, destinations or ideas to external audiences, and is generally delivered through a variety of communication vehicles and channels.
  • Entries include campaigns that are broader than advertising campaigns, although advertising is often an element of a marketing program.

Category 12 | Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Entries include 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.
  • Entries may be targeted to multiple audiences and influence share price and customer loyalty, retention and recruitment, operational efficiency and increased sales.
  • Entries are 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 and health, cultural preservation, and indigenous and heritage protection.

Category 13 | Advocacy Communication

  • Entries seek to influence the attitudes and opinions of audiences toward an issue, cause, point of view, or organization that in turn can sway government decisions or regulations.
  • Entries are generally long-term, and include programs that may use a variety of communication vehicles and channels designed to raise awareness, create understanding, influence opinion, create buy-in and motivate change that positively impacts the organization or the issue.

Category 14 | International Communication

  • This category recognizes long- and short-term programs or strategies targeted at international audiences, including multinational consumers, international organizations, or global issues or trends.
  • Entries may include communication work undertaken by multinational bodies to influence audience opinion and action.

Category 15 | Issues Management and Crisis Communication

  • This category recognizes programs targeted at external and/or internal audiences that address trends, issues and/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 16 | Government Communications Progam

  • Entries in this category should be specific to government organizations at the municipal, state, provincial, regional, federal, national or international level.
  • Entries may be targeted to one or more audiences, and include internal, external or integrated communication strategies or programs.

Category 17 | Non-Profit Campaigns

  • This category recognizes the particular challenges of the non-profit sector. Entries in this category can include multiple internal or external audiences.
  • Entries should promote non-profit organizations or causes.
  • Entries can be paid-for 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.

Category 18 | Brand Communication

  • This category includes strategies for new brands and the repositioning of existing brands in relationship to internal and external audiences.
  • Entries must demonstrate how research findings were used to inform the brand strategy, and discuss the strategic approach and results.
  • Entries may include work on 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).

Category 19 | Social Media Programs 

  • A social media strategy engages internal and external audiences in conversation. These programs encompass tools and practices that allow individuals and groups to collaborate and share knowledge and experiences online.
  • Entries in this category may use conversation-enabled publishing platforms such as blogs and podcasts, social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, democratized content networks such as wikis and message boards, micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, content-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, and virtual networking platforms.

Category 20 | Multi-Audience Communication

  • This category recognizes strategies or programs targeted at more than one internal and external audience.
  • These programs should align internal and external communication strategies, demonstrate the full range of communication skills, and showcase multiple areas of expertise such as media relations, employee communication, marketing, branding, crisis management, communication research and measurement, and other disciplines.

Category 21 | Financial Communication

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

Category 22 | Communication Management - Student Entry

  • This category is for entries to any category in this division submitted by a student.