"IC you, baby..."

“…shakin’ that (cl)ass (award)…” – almost works.

Last night was the always-fun Institute of Internal Communications National Awards – the annual celebration of all things brilliant in the IC world.

This year saw a few changes – firstly, the effervescent Jen Sproul (chief executive of the IoIC), in some killer red heels, was joined on stage by head judge and IoIC board stalwart Justine Stevenson, in a smooth, two-pronged presenting attack.

Secondly, the attendees. Busier than 2018 (great to see), the room was packed. And not just IC folk. Multiple tables brought wider teams, or people from different departments, in a real demonstration of how much IC is now valued. Shout out to communications infrastructure firm Arqiva (who also won best in-house team) and NATS (leading provider of air traffic control services) as good examples of this.

As the lines continue to (rightly) blur between internal and external comms, communicators in various sectors and industries are getting more time at the c-suite, board or any other table.

The calibre of projects, campaigns and teams (both house and agency) was particularly high. This is the third year I’ve had the privilege of being a judge, and nominations in my designated Storytelling category were impressive – both in terms of creativity and delivery, but also in measurement and objectives. Benchmarking and strategy were really well considered.

Thirdly, and most impressive, was the focus on people. From Tata Steel’s Tim Rutter for the special #WeMatterAtWork award, Rising Star for Harriet Small, Best IC Manager for Nicholas Wardle of One Housing Group, to a new Changemaker Award, with two fantastic IC heroes shortlisted – Katie Macauley for the great AB IC podcast and Sheila Parry for her strategic model Take Pride, which was won by the former.

Congratulations to all the teams and people involved; it’s great to be shortlisted, let alone win. You should all be very proud!

Talking of people, only right to mention the fantastic Brenda – who many of us have had the pleasure of dealing with over the years – who is moving on from the Institute. Thanks for all you’ve done, Brenda – you’ve kept the IoIC machine running!

More next year, please! Were you at the ceremony? What did you think of the awards?