Panel assembled for the 2018 Interact Excellence Awards
The global Interact Excellence Awards uncover the stories behind critically-acclaimed digital workplace and internal communications projects.
Celebrating both individuals and teams who have inspired outstanding achievements, innovations and contributions in their field, the Excellence Awards are now in their 9th year.
Welcoming entries spanning a broad range of industry sectors and organization sizes, previous winners of the awards include brand names such as Travelex, the New York Racing Association, Piedmont Healthcare and Avon and Somerset Police.
Entrants are given an opportunity to share their own challenges, journeys and solutions, providing a unique insight behind the normally closed doors of internal communication teams.
Interact has now released details of the 8-strong panel of industry experts who will be assessing this year’s entries. Winners will be announced later this month.
More about the Interact Excellence Awards
Creating a platform that will not only deliver business value but inspires, informs, and engages users at every level of an organization is the ultimate goal for any intranet or internal communications project.
From our experience delivering solutions for hundreds of customers around the globe, we’ve discovered that one of the most powerful tools to ensure success is learning from those who have gone before. The Interact Excellence Awards were created to shine a light on those journeys and experiences.
In doing this, we not only give those organizations who have achieved success the recognition they deserve, but also provide a unique opportunity for others to be inspired by excellence and innovation in the design, delivery and continued success of others’ intranet projects.
What makes an award-winning intranet?
Entries to the Excellence Awards are welcomed through the Interact Community, and submitted under seven main categories:
Best Offline Worker Strategy: up to 75% of our employees are non-desk-based. This category recognizes creative or innovative campaigns that have overcome those barriers to engage staff who are traditionally hard-to-reach.
Best Use of Video: It’s the new medium of choice and an essential part of the internal communicator’s toolkit. This category showcases examples of video being used to change the employee experience of comms.
Best Design: Celebrating the best-in-class for creativity, user experience and brand, the Best Design Award acknowledges intranets that push the boundaries of design to wow their audiences.
Best Stakeholder: Senior level engagement is critical to the success of any project. This award identifies those executives who have played a pivotal role in breaking down barriers and getting staff onboard.
Best Launch: Getting users excited and onboard with a new intranet comes with a unique set of challenges. The Best Launch celebrates those who have come up with innovative ways to raise awareness and encourage adoption across their entire workforce.
Best Success Story: What does success look like for an intranet project? Entries in this category have gone above and beyond to achieve change, realise goals and deliver success for their organization and staff.
Essential intranet: How do you make your intranet more than ‘just another piece of software’? This award identifies organizations who have pushed their intranet functionality to the limits, making it a critical and transformational part of their business.
In addition to the seven categories, Judges’ Awards for Innovation are awarded to those entries that don’t fit inside the box of an existing category, but deserve unique recognition: whether for ingenuity, effort or application.
All entries into the Excellence Awards are considered for recognition in this category, with previous winners demonstrating true innovation or creativity in using their intranets to address some of the more complex or niche challenges in their organizations.
(One of the Judges’ Awards for Innovation in 2017 went to US non-profit MidPen Housing for their unique application of Interact’s peer reward feature, which they referred to as ‘ICARE keys’. Combining popular culture, their company values and alluding to the unique experience of giving families keys to their new home, the program delivered a jump from just 1% of employees receiving formal recognition to a staggering 94% within 4 months of launching their intranet. Read more about their story.)
What makes an award-winning intranet?
Meet the Judges
For the 2018 Excellence Awards, Interact is proud to announce its 8-strong panel of global intranet, communications and engagement professionals who will be judging this year’s entries.
Andrew Wright, Australia
Andrew Wright is the founder of the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC), the world’s largest intranet and digital workplace end user satisfaction study. An intranet and digital workplace consultant for over 15 years, Andrew has completed projects for organizations of all shapes and sizes from all industries.
Elizebeth Lupfer, United States
Elizabeth is a globally recognized thought leader and key note speaker on employer brand, HR and internal communications, social collaboration, and transforming traditional HR functions from transactions into interactions. She is a certified professional in Employer Branding through Universum Global’s Employer Branding Academy.
Ellen van Aken, Holland
Consultant and trainer Ellen has built a reputation as the largest curator of intranet launch content in the world. A specialist in the fields of both SharePoint and the Digital Workplace, she has an extensive collection of launch videos on My Digital Workplace and is the social media co-ordinator for The Digital Workplace Group.
Ephraim Freed, United States
Employee Experience guru and Communications Manager for the Digital Workplace Group, Ephraim is a constant on the employee engagement circuit. A digital strategist, internal communications manager and intranet manager, Ephraim works closely with organizations to transform the employee experience, build positive organizational cultures, and drive productivity and performance.
Sam Marshall, United Kingdom
Sam Marshall is the owner of ClearBox Consulting and has specialised in intranets and the digital workplace for over 18 years, working with companies such as AstraZeneca, Vodafone, TUI Travel, Sony and GSK. Focused in the areas of intranet and digital workplace strategy, Sam is the lead author of the annual ‘SharePoint Intranets in-a-box’ report and a regular keynote speaker at international conferences around the world.
Simon Dance, United Kingdom
Simon is the CEO at Interact. Simon has 15 years of experience within the content technology arena. With a reputation of spearheading innovation and driving change inside Interact, Simon’s approach is key in creating the collaborative technology solutions that Interact provides to their global client base.
Steve Bynghall, United Kingdom
Steve Bynghall is a freelance consultant and writer, specialising in intranets, collaboration and knowledge management. Steve produces and coordinates Step Two Design’s Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards, and is a consultant, knowledge manager and benchmark evaluator for the Digital Workplace Group. Steve recently set up a new intranet strategy, governance and measurement training company with Chris Tubb called Spark Trajectory.
Steve Crescenzo, United States
Steve has been Ragan’s go to keynote speaker for a number of years. A master of putting people first, he travels the world consulting and re-educating organizations on focusing on their biggest asset: people.
Cindy is the President of Crescenzo Communications and brings over 15 years of experience to the communications industry. Specializing in research, measurement and strategic planning, Cindy has worked with hundreds of communicators around the world to transform their roles in their organizations and build successful communication strategies that deliver results. Just some of her clients include brands such as 3M, Bayer, Boston Medical Center and CGI Technologies.
What happens next?
The panel will be reviewing entries to this year’s awards over the coming weeks. Announcement of winners is expected in late November.
Winners of the Excellence Awards receive recognition in the form of a trophy, speaking opportunities at industry-leading conferences and events, and free entry into the subsequent year’s Ragan Awards (worth $300). The last five Interact Excellence Award winners have gone on to win Ragans.
If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with a member of our team.