Who won what in 2012: Roll-call of the best #intranets

If you’re looking for inspiration when writing your 2013 #intranet plan or resolutions, where should you start looking? One of the best places is to seek advice from those intranet managers whose intranets have won awards. In an earlier post, we let you know which awards to enter, so now, let’s take a look who won.

We’re now launching our intranet awards page so you can keep on top of submissions for 2013’s prizes.

StepTwo Intranet Innovation Awards

The StepTwo awards recognise intranet innovation in a number of different categories. Gold Awards went to the following companies:

  • Chr. Hansen (Denmark)
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities (Australia)
  • Enter (Russia)
  • Government of the Netherlands (Netherlands)
  • Weston Solutions (US)
  • Urbis (Australia)
  • Scott Corporation (Australia)
  • The Judge Group (US)

You can buy the full report here. Closing date for next years entries have not yet been announced but likely in May.

The SCM Awards

The SCM Awards have several categories that you should consider for your intranet project including the “Excellence in Technology”  and “Small Team Award”.

Winning the awards for their intranet was SmallWorlders / Heineken International.

Digital Communication Awards

Hosted by Quadriga University of Applied Sciences, the Digital Communication Awards are the first awards in European PR and communications that exclusively honour outstanding achievements in online communication. Primarily focused on external digital excellence, they do have a dedicated intranet category. A full list of their 2012 winners can be found here.

Best intranet award went to Coca-Cola Enterprises

Institute of Internal Communications Awards

The IIC awards celebrate the kind of work being done every day by IC professionals in the UK. They cover everything from campaigns, innovation, digital media, print media, writing, events and design. The full list of winners can be found here.

Winner of best intranet was Unilever News Centre for Unilever

Neilsen Norman’s Design Annual

The NNG Awards are yearly snapshot of the best in intranet design. Whilst we and others have been critical of this award methodology, it’s still the gold standard of intranet prizes. They recognise a list of  ‘top 10’ intranets for the year. For a summary of the winners, you can read their free report or pay to download the detail here.

  • Acorda Therapeutics (US)
  • American International Group (US)
  • AT&T (US)
  • Hager Group (Germany)
  • Luzerner Kantonalbank (Switzerland)
  • ONO (Spain)
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) (Saudi Arabia)
  • Swiss Mobiliar Insurance & Pensions  (Switzerland)
  • WorkSafeBC (Canada)
  • XL Group (Ireland)

Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards

The Ragan EC awards have five awards under their Intranet category. The categories cover design, headlines and blurbs, social, interviews and profiles and value to the employees. Unfortunately, their deadline has just closed so we don’t yet know the 2012 winners.

CIPR Inside Awards

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) celebrate internal communication successes, including intranets, through their annual CIPR Inside Awards. The winner was Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Digital Impact Awards

Covering a huge range of topics around social, external and internal digital communications, the DIA have a category specifically for intranets. Winners in 2012 include:

  • Clarks (Gold Award)
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises (Bronze Award)

The Judges’ View

Recently, I was asked to judge a ‘best intranet’ award for a conference which provided insights that may be useful as you prepare to enter awards in 2013. Here are a few tips that made my job much easier and will help you highlight your successes.

  1. Stick to the prescribed word counts: This is vital. Trust me, I will not count your words, but lengthy, wordy, overly verbose entries will not endear you to your judge. If you’ve got 10s of entries to judge, you’re better off making it succinct. And please, punctuate and use paragraphs! It immediately fills me with foreboding if I see 1000s of words without breathing spaces.
  2. If you don’t share it, I can’t judge it: I had the pleasure of seeing a summary of an intranet I know well, but the author had not really shown it in it’s best light. Your job on the entry form is to make it shine.
  3. Add hyperlinks to content: Some award entries are very strict about the materials that they want you to submit – maybe a prescribed entry form and a set number of images – but where there is some latitude, exploit it. Make your intranet images, videos or support materials available on the internet and add hyperlinks. There’s no guarantee a judge will click through, but if they do, they’ll get a much stronger vision
  4. Numbers make prizes: Be it ROI, costs, user stats, numbers help augment your words and make it easier to understand the scope or value of your project. Many companies (mine included) hesitate, but it helps judges enormously. If you don’t feel you can share it publicly, share it as part of the entry and make it clear that it’s not to be revealed. They’ll understand. Don’t for a second think that big companies equate to big budgets which take the prize. In my experience, intranet creativity and excellence is more likely to be founder in smaller organisations who really work hard to stretch their dollars.
  5. Speak with the organisers: A friendly relationship is not going to win you a prize, rest assured, but it won’t harm your entry. It may secure you a gentle reminder on deadlines; some liberty with closing dates or even the opportunity to add clarity where needed. Ask to see their scorecard, they can only say ‘no’.


Is internal approval, or external recognition more important? It’s easy to answer: your intranet, first and foremost, is designed to serve the communication, collaboration, transactional and knowledge needs of your employees and company so your first aim should be to get the thumbs up within the company. However, these are not mutually exclusive. If an award it appropriately designed, with good measurement criteria, it will be able to identify projects that meet employee and company expectations. And in an industry that operates behind the corporate firewall, it’s fantastic to get the external recognition afforded by a win.

There are 4 comments

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  1. Steve Bynghall

    Hi Jonathan, great post. You’re spot on about numbers around ROI being important. These, and plenty of screenshots, always go down very well with the judges in the Intranet Innovation Awards where we specifically score around organisational impact. In general what’s on the entry form is critical, but we do try and work with entrants to fill any “missing” gaps if we feel it can make a submission stronger.

    To clarify on the dates for the Intranet Innovation Awards – it looks like we’re opening for business on the 24th April, accepting entries to the end of May. In practice we do allow a few entries just after that date if the intranet teams have already been in touch with us.

    Also you might want to include the winner of IBF’s My Beautiful Intranet competition on the list. International Enterprise Singapore has an excellent intranet.

  2. Andrew Wright

    Don’t forget the Worldwide Intranet Challenge – the WIC’s most valuable intranets of 2012. These leading intranets are decided in a different way to the other awards in that there is no judging involved. These intranets are chosen based purely on feedback from actual intranet end users.
    Note: The article also contains links to a number of case studies from the leading intranets.

    From the 50 organisations who completed the WIC last year, the leading intranets for the year (in a variety of categories) were Aspen Technology, RSPB, Medibank, Rijkswaterstaat, NRMA Motoring & Services, IMS Health, Yorkshire Water, Sulzer Metco, GS1 Australia, nSynergy, Arup, Nykredit, Virgin Media, Energex, Transfield Worley, Telecom NZ, Yorkshire Water, Domino’s Pizza, Sulzer Chemtech, Fisher & Paykel Finance, WWF-UK, National Audit Office, Atradius, St Barbara, & University of Manchester.

    Interesting to note that some of these organisations also feature in the other awards.

  3. James Dellow

    Since 2003, the Web Marketing Association has also included a category for intranets in their awards

    The 2012 winner was Allonhill. Other winners over the years included SAIT Polytechnic, Irvine Company Apartment Communities, GE, Jet Blue, Avenue A | Razorfish, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, DHL, & FedEx.

    It can also be worth looking at other related professional awards – e.g. the Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) award. For example, Woods Bagot’s was a 2012 winner and their intranet is a critical part of their knowledge capability – see

    And finally, why not see if your intranet is eligible for a vendor’s own award or recognition, for example Interact Intranet host their own awards

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