FRIDAY 17 JAN 2020 4:54 PM


Protecting companies in times of crisis, communicating corporate messaging to investors and shareholders and developing a strong relationship with the media require skill, strategic thought and creative processes. Excellence in these areas of communications is celebrated at the ninth annual Corporate & Financial Awards.

Each year, a panel of expert judges determines which companies excel at communicating with investors, analysts, stakeholders and corporate partners. The winners of the Corporate & Financial Awards set the benchmark for success in annual reporting, the development of corporate websites and in corporate communications.

Last year, 52% of the FTSE 100 entered the awards across the reporting and communications categories, alike. Winners included Burberry, HSBC, Coca-Cola HBC, Rentokil Initial, DS Smith and the Post Office, among many others.

Judges consider the communications challenges and how they were met by entrants when awarding trophies in categories like ‘Best M&A communications’ and ‘Best crisis communications.’ When measuring success in a company’s annual report or ESG report, judges examine the efficacy of the report and its narrative in addition to the creativity with which it was produced – digitally or physically.

A guide for entries is available here, with practical advice about compiling a winning entry. Entries are accepted until 12 June, but those received by 24 April receive £100 off the total cost of entries and see their fifth entry free. Entries received between 29 May and 12 June are subject to a late entry fee.

Categories include:


Best corporate website

This award is for corporate websites that are used as a portal of information for various stakeholders including analysts, investors and the media. Entries should demonstrate ease of access and navigation as well as address the website’s responsiveness. Please include before and after images that illustrate the development of the website.

  • FTSE 100
  • FTSE 250
  • AIM/small cap
  • International
  • Unlisted

Best printed report

This award honours reports that successfully use one document to tell an organisation’s corporate story to stakeholders. Submissions should clearly demonstrate the ease of access to key information. Reports entered into this category can include: corporate report or annual report.

  • FTSE 100
  • FTSE 250
  • AIM/Small cap
  • International
  • Unlisted

Best online report

This award is for the organisations that take the printed report to the next level, using advanced technology to successfully communicate content to its audience. Stronger entries should illustrate how the report has developed since its previous incarnation. Reports entered into this category can include: corporate report, annual report or corporate social responsibility report.

  • FTSE 100
  • FTSE 250
  • AIM/Small cap    
  • International
  • Unlisted

Best CSR/ESG report

This award honours reports that successfully showcase an organisations commitment to communicating its CSR/ESG principles and the way it informs and influences it’s stakeholder groups. Submissions should clearly demonstrate the ease of access to key information, including metrics and demonstrate the relationship between the work done, the business strategy and the impact made.

Best online corporate newsroom 

This award recognises organisations that successfully make their regulatory and media-targeted news easy to access, share and view, for press, investors and other stakeholders. Submissions should include information about the navigation and engagement elements of the newsroom i.e. use of video, downloadable documents, etc.

Best meeting

This award recognises meetings that stand out and reflect the development or successes of a company. Submissions should include objectives and outcomes of the meetings, information on and number of attendees compared to previous instances. Entries accepted into this category include: AGM, analyst, investor or press meetings.

Most innovative financial communications

This award honours new and engaging ways to reach and communicate with stakeholders. Strong entries include information of why the tool or communication methods fit within the sector in which the company operates. Entries accepted in this category may include: apps, virtual roadshow/event etc.


Best M&A communications

This award is for organisations that have successfully communicated a merger or acquisition with various stakeholders. Entries should address how investors were engaged and influenced to stay on board throughout the process. If possible, include statistics on public relations and media coverage.

Best IPO communications

This award recognises effective communications leading up to an IPO. Submissions should include details of how analysts, the media and investors were engaged throughout. Entries are accepted from both British and internationally listed companies.

Most effective crisis communications

This award honours innovative and engaging communication during a crisis. Strong entries should focus on a management-led approach with particular attention paid to effective media relations and the tools involved. An inclusion of analyst views before and after is advised. 

Best use of digital media

This award celebrates organisations that have effectively integrated digital media into their communications outputs. This may include: apps, streaming, research mechanisms, social media activity, use of video, etc. Submissions should show strong results linked to stakeholder engagement.

Best management of corporate & financial media relations

This award is for PR teams that are proactively developing ongoing and new relationships with the media. This could be through hosting a press meeting or event, regularly or as a one-off. Successful entries should explain what the target media audience is and include examples of positive coverage as an outcome.

Best management of investor & analyst relations

This award is for organisations that are proactively developing ongoing and new relationships with analysts or investors. This may be through the hosting of analyst meetings or investor days. Successful entries will exemplify how the communications strategy is reflected in the investor or analyst relations programmes.

Best communication with overseas investors &/or media

This award recognises organisations that communicate effectively with investors and/or media outside of the company’s home country. Successful entries will describe how stakeholders were engaged and the impact those relationships had on the business.

Best evaluation of a communications campaign

This award celebrates the communications evaluation strategy that best exemplifies the successes, obstacles or effectiveness of a campaign through measurable data. The strongest entries will feature proprietary evaluation systems, an effective use of existing systems or solid analysis of metrics.


Best in-house corporate & financial communications team

This award recognises the best in-house corporate communications team. Past winners succeeded through their ability to communicate with a variety of stakeholders using tailored communications strategies and tools, effectively execute communications campaigns or crisis communications, and engage with all of the organisation’s stakeholders.

Best IR agency or PR consultancy   

This category is split into small and large. Small agencies qualify if they have less than 100 employees. Large agencies are over 100 employees.

This award celebrates the communications agency or consultancy that effectively develops, carries out or supports a corporate communications campaign or partner. Past winners have exemplified the ability to understand and address stakeholders’ needs and to take a proactive, coordinated approach to corporate and financial communications