Revealed: the stories behind our IoIC award-winning projects

Revealed: the stories behind Headlines' IoIC award-winning projects

October 7, 2014

Headlines – The Internal Communications Agency scooped five awards at the Institute of Internal Communication’s 2014 awards – including three national titles.

Here’s the full stories behind our projects for Shell, Tullow Oil and Dixons Carphone that wowed the expert panel of industry judges.

Tullow Oil
Award: Best Quarterly Magazine for Tullow World

Print and digital channel Tullow World, which is produced by Headlines, recently scooped the Best Quarterly Feature Magazine title at the 2014 Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) awards.

The quarterly that aims to engage Tullow Oil employees worldwide also received Awards for Excellence for Best New Publication and Best Feature.

Tullow World
Tullow World

Headlines’ publisher David Gale helps to write its content and he believes printed publications and internal comms is thriving as a whole.

He said: “The awards prove that going the extra mile to deliver a stand-out publication is the right thing to do for everyone concerned.

“Printed publications are incredibly important within internal comms – they help to build pride as well as performance in the workforce and they keep colleagues well informed and engaged with the way their business works.

“While the world is moving forward with digital – Headlines included – we can’t forget the power of print.”

Tullow World app
Tullow World app

Tullow Oil operates across the globe and boasts an extremely diverse workforce in terms of culture and experience.

Lead designer Duncan Boddy says getting to know the differences in audience and producing content that can be understood on a universal level is vital to creating an engaging publication.

He said: “It’s important in publications such as Tullow World to get a good cross-representation of the entire business.

“We design features with excellent imagery, while infographics and the content are put together in a way that engages the reader on a level that everyone within the business is able to understand.”


Award: Best Feature

Headlines senior editor Sue Kiddy believes industry experience and strong relationships with clients are the secrets behind her recent success at the 2014 IoIC awards.

The Best Feature award, which she gained for a sensitive article written for Shell covering one man’s battle against mental illness, follows the Best Writer gong that she scooped at last year’s awards.

Sue started out training as a journalist on regional newspapers more than 30 years ago and later took up a sub-editor role before moving into communications.

Sue Kiddy
Sue Kiddy

She spent several years with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund – now Cancer Research UK – working in the team that established the first Race for Life.

After a stint as a freelance editorial and communications consultant, Sue joined Headlines in September 2001. She has worked in a number of roles but writing remains her passion.

She said: “I’ve been writing for many different clients for 13 years and I never tire of it – I love talking to the people involved and finding things out.

“The common thread I try to put through all my work is the human interest element – telling a story through people helps to bring it alive for the readers and make it more memorable.”

Experience aside, Sue sees real value in developing great working relationships and believes this is crucial to creating engaging content.

She added: “I like to build up a close, long-term relationship with my clients, based on trust and mutual respect.

“The better I know and understand a client and their business, the more I can tailor the copy to its people.

“I like to be seen as an extension of their team, bringing an external perspective on issues and comms challenges that the internal team can sometimes find it hard to be objective about.”

Sue admits that she gets a “great buzz” from seeing how her work makes an impact within her clients’ organisations and says this is what she enjoys the most about internal comms.

She added: “Good journalism really does have incredible power to help bring about culture change and I’m proud of that.”


Dixons Carphone
Award: Best Special Publication for The Plug – Coffee Edition

The Plug – Coffee Edition, a magazine Headlines produced for the UK’s most successful electrical retail group Dixons Carphone, scooped the Best Special Publication award at the 2014 Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) awards.

Written and designed to offer colleagues guidance and increase their knowledge on products, the Plugs help Dixons deliver excellent customer service.

The Plug - Coffee Edition
The Plug – Coffee Edition

The Plugs cover products across several categories such as computing, vision, audio, domestic appliances and imaging and they’re a result of Headlines and the Dixons training team working together for many years.

Headlines senior journalist Gary Oxenham is part of the team that worked on the special coffee issue in the run up to the busy Christmas period.

Alongside Sam Boniface, Headlines’ acting head of content, Gary invested time in research and training on the subject matter, with the judges lauding the final publication as “genius”.

The Plug - Coffee Edition
The Plug – Coffee Edition

Gary said: “It’s great for the Coffee Plug to receive such recognition and it’s a result of the whole team working together.

“The content in The Plugs can be very technical so to receive this feedback from the judges proves that everybody’s hard work has paid off.”

Brian Amey, designer at Headlines, said: “The journalists and designers at Headlines have a great working relationship and that helps us to create high-standard publications.

The Coffee Plug in particular was a whole new concept – we all enjoyed working on it and we’re looking forward to producing similar publications in the future.”