This year, all categories will be voted on online. At the same time, every category will have a gold, silver and bronze winner.

Accomplishments of the Year

This category celebrates the outstanding brand campaigns of the past 12 months, campaigns that bring into play the full range of online and digital tools, channels and platforms to create a powerful, engaging campaign that delivers on the brand strategy and makes an impression on the public. This category also includes digital campaigns that are created for the management of a brand's (online) reputation.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and digital excellence often happens on a shoestring. This category gives those working with tighter budgets the chance to shine without being pitted against the much bigger budgets of digital giants. This category honours the best campaign with a maximum budget of 10,000 Euro per year.

Today’s companies are expected to stand up for something, while survey after survey shows that millennials prefer to donate their time, attention and loyalty to socially conscious brands. This category rewards digital communication with a social message that have truly connected brands, audience and society.

In such an unprecedented emergency, the need to strike a balance between purpose and profit has never been clearer, and several organisations – from banks to not-for-profits, airlines to high-street brands - are showcasing their corporate values in their innovative responses to the coronavirus crisis.

Progress requires innovation. Even though the technical tools of online communications seem to have infinite possibilities, it is the creative and courageous thinkers who ultimately drive new developments and mind-blowing projects. This category honours concepts and ideas that go beyond the known limits of digital channels, exploring the road less travelled, taking communications into uncharted territory and leading the development of online communications.

Campaigns of the Year

The award in this category goes to the stand-out campaign of a company over the past 12 months, the one that has best informed and mobilized target audiences through Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, communities, online platforms and sub-publishers. Whatever the medium, the Campaign of the Year maintains a coherent, cohesive message, engages audiences in dialogue, and shows clear strategic thinking behind its choice of channels.

The Internet has created a communication space that opens up new possibilities for NGOs and social movements. Faced with the challenge of uniting and communicating the interests of different stakeholders, NGOs and social movements utilise their considerable social influence and convince with relevant topics. The online campaign that educates, informs and mobilizes best will be recognised in this category.

Associations, governments, ministries, authorities, administrations, and trade unions create political and social influence by giving their issues a voice. Digitization has created a communication space that allows the use of specific segments of the public. But, in order to gain legitimacy, they have to prove their achievements to the public. Digital media and channels open up manifold possibilities for this, and bring insitutions and associations closer than ever before to the publics they serve. The winner of this category will be the online campaign that has succeeded in combining the individual spirit of the sender with the implemented measurements.

Projects & Strategies

When it comes to internal communication and engaging employees, successful companies are leveraging the opportunities of the digital age, withchannels like management blogs, video messages, live chats or employee apps combining several advantages like being fast, personal, authentic and interactive. The winning projects in this category will demonstrate delivering internally on the organizational strategy by meeting objectives.

The urgent move to remote working for many organisations brings challenges of cooperation, teamwork and culture. How to implement a “single source of truth” to a remote workforce, how to decide what is right amount of info to give employees, establishing clear lines of communication between HR and every employee, and how to scale IT strategy up to global comms teams are just a few of the questions facing internal comms teams. In any cases, we have also witnessed the return of recorded video – video messages from CEOs as means of continuing face-to-face communications, for example. This category rewards outstanding examples of internal digital communications that motivate, lift morale and answer the technical, operational, organisational, cultural and human resources challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

Whether an unforgettable experience that embodies your brand, or an internal digital event that brings employees together, digital drives awareness, participation and engagement, and needs a killer digital marketing strategy and an unique experience – online and offline.

From museum tours to opera, theatre or live concerts – organisations around the world have embraced the opportunity to connect with their audiences by broadcasting content and events - and finding new audiences as a result. Whether live event or repurposed content, virtual tour or broadcast platform, one off event or a regular series, this category showcases the innovative measures taken by organisation to provide information, education and entertainment to people in their homes.

Audiences expect to receive personalized, relevant communications that steals their attention away from their busy schedule; the winner of this category uses available technology to ensure that the target audience is presented with information - and the ability to react to information - across multiple channels.

Simply put, stories sell. A narrative presented in compelling and emotionally engaging formats - possibly featuring interactives, graphics, long reads, news games and data visualizations - wins hearts and minds, and bring strategies and values to life. The award in this category goes to the best tale, told by an organisation with a mix of traditional storytelling techniques and cutting edge digital tools.

Top-notch copywriting, multimedia elements such as images and video, connected narratives across several digital media platforms, and a consumer-focused narrative: some of the key ingredients for successful content marketing. This category is looking for well-researched digital content marketing strategies that successfully cut through the clickbait to position the brand and deliver on the brand promise.

Online influencers – whether celebrities, experts, social media stars or other noteworthy figures – can add credible third-party testimonials to your social media strategy. But identifying, retaining and measuring them needs careful planning: cases where influencer comms have backfired are highly-publicised. This category celebrates examples that use influencers authentically and strategically, with deliverable results and a through consideration of ethics and disclosure.

Digital communications that stand apart from the status quo in your field or industry, and/or that revolutionise your approach to communications, are celebrated in this category.

A target group-facing social media presence is an integral part of digital communication. The best are characterised by authenticity, credibility and transparency. In this category, the Digital Communication Award will be given to the platform that takes target group needs, preferences and limitations in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other online communities into account. It uses dialogue options with a customized and appealing presentation of the channel's messages.

The best candidates aren't responding to traditional tactics: they're slipping through the net and organisations need to be more proactive in order to connect with them. Out-of-the-box creative online recruitment campaigns enable unique interactions with candidates and send application processes viral – and come first in this category. As the war for talent gains intensity, the struggle to attract and retain talent puts the spotlight on employer branding – especially online, where the fight for attention is at its most intense. The winner of this category embodies the organisation’s employee experience and leads to a higher rate of retention and identification amongst dedicated employees.

Online communication is highly vulnerable to crisis, but at the same time offers new opportunities for stakeholder communication during and immediately after a crisis. Likewise, organizational issues can be identified early on and responded to accordingly. The DCA honours the crisis communication, issue and reputation management that has achieved an exceptional and completely transparent performance through the use of various online tools and digital strategies.

Big Data and AI has transformed strategic communication, as well as the role of communicators and the relationship between brands and customers. This winner of this category traces a clear thread from collecting, analysing and interpreting data to delivering effective communications optimally adapted to the needs of the target group.

Maintaining an online community based on strong stakeholder relationships can boost customer retention and the emotional connection between them and your brand. A place where you can interact with target audiences on a regular basis, encouraging discussions and asking questions, online community management needs success metrics, guidelines, close monitoring and lively networking and discussion.

From website to SEO and content, social media and pay per click, integration of on and offline – the tools for digital B2B Communication are as varied as those in B2C. Examples that show clear progress in achieving strategic B2B goals are rewarded in this category.

Tools & Channels

Great design, smart navigation, compelling content, calls to action, clever CMS, perhaps a blog, analytics and SEO, mobile design, social media links... these are some of the ingredients of a solid corporate website, the public face of your organisation. The winner of this category will build on those ingredients and deliver on the organizational professed mission, vision and purpose.

In a content-saturated environment, immersive digital reports do more than just impress stakeholders; they are a differentiating format that brings life to the data that underpins your work, and tell a compelling, interactive and mobile-friendly story about your organisation. Winners in this category find the narrative in numbers, and deliver it digitally.

Whether standalone publications on the web, native apps for iOS or Android, a new podcast or a blog on the corporate website, digital publishing encompasses a variety of channels that push specialised content towards target groups based on occupation or interests, as well as catching the attention of a wider public. Examples that do this while also conveying the organisation’s messages and engages with stakeholders will success in this category.

Online communication and its tools play an important role in employee communications, often based on an intranet. The winner in this category offers an optimally manageable user interface. The App and/or Intranet accelerates and optimizes internal information flows as well as organizational processes. The intranet of the year is adapted to individual needs and ensures transparency in all functions.

Online is the natural home for corporate film and video: engaging, interactive, colourful online videos have the luxury of telling in-depth stories in a way that other media cannot quite achieve. Distributed through social media channels and via email marketing, the best examples do not necessarily need complicated graphics or high-budget live action: the winner of this category will use their online presence to maximise the spread of their video. For films longer than 90 seconds.

Building loyalty through video storytelling over several episodes offers organisations an opportunity to create content that grows audiences, tells stories in depth, and build up real momentum.

Online is the natural home for corporate film and video: engaging, interactive, colourful online videos have the luxury of telling in-depth stories in a way that other media cannot quite achieve. Distributed through social media channels and via email marketing, the best examples do not necessarily need complicated graphics or high-budget live action: the winner of this category will use their online presence to maximise the spread of their video. For films up to 90 seconds.