The Internal Communications cluster at New Media cleans up at local awards

New Media’s Internal Communications team scooped multiple awards at the SA Publication Forum’s 17th annual SAPF Awards, which took place on Friday. These wins are in the Best Communication Innovation category and the One-off Publication category (where the team took all three places).

The Communication Innovation awards recognise two New Media projects – FNB Sync, an enterprise social network app aimed at FNB employees, and Magic Talk, M-Net’s Internal Communications app.  Being recognised for innovation, in such a dynamically changing media industry, is very important to the New Media Internal Communications team.

The SAPF judging panel said this about FNB Sync: “Everything about this entry is close to brilliant, including images used, article subjects and content, video, infographics. There is nothing new about distributing content via apps, but not all succeed in solving problems, empowering and educating members using this afforded luxury. This is definitely a step forward and we can’t wait to see how this will be put to full use in the future.”

In the One-off Publication category, New Media took all three places. First prize went to Centennial, the publication created to celebrate Sanlam’s 100-year anniversary; runner and second runner up were Santam 100 and Sanlam Personal Finance’s Impact 100 respectively.

New Media’s Internal Communications cluster was also recognised for Trudie Myburgh’s excellent editorship of the Sanlam account by placing as second runner up in the Editor of the Year category.

Last year, New Media restructured to create an internal communications specialist focus area, under the leadership of editorial stalwart Brendan Cooper.  The aim of the division was to focus exclusively on effective employee engagement content and strategies.

Cooper says: “It’s lovely to win awards but what makes us really excited is that the audiences love the content we’re providing. Engagement rates show an upward curve, which ultimately proves that our work has meaning for both our clients and their staff.” Cooper explains that employees are a business’s ultimate brand ambassadors. Their job satisfaction and ability to unite behind the company’s culture and purpose as a result of effective communication is what will drive growth for organisations.

Globally there is a massive growing trend towards internal communications delivered digitally on mobile platforms and New Media is proving themselves the local front runner in this shift. “We are very proud of the excellent work we’re doing in this area and I believe the Communication Innovation award won by FNB’s Sync reflects this,” says Cooper.

He adds, “Although digital is definitely the future of internal communications, nothing says we value you as an employee more than a beautifully crafted print publication that lands on your desk. There is certainly still room in the sector for the use of tactical print executions that really wow employees, which is what we saw with the response to Sanlam’s Centennial magazine.”

“I believe there’s more focus than ever on internal communications locally and globally, and New Media has embraced this. Awards like these are a welcome affirmation that we are changing the Internal Communications game in South Africa.”

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