Intercom Awards Awardees

Intercom, the Society’s magazine, publishes articles about the issues and topics that are driving the conversation in the world of technical communication. It provides practical examples and applications of technical communication that will promote readers’ professional development. Each month, Intercom highlights the thought leaders and practitioners who are shaping the future of the profession and delivering exceptional value to companies, nonprofits, and government organizations around the world.

The Intercom Outstanding Article and the Intercom Distinguished Special Issue awards were established by the Board of Directors in 2013 to recognize authors of superior articles and guest editors of superior issues of the Society’s magazine.

The Intercom Outstanding Article award recognizes the author(s) of an outstanding article that appeared in Intercom during a calendar year. The Intercom Distinguished Special Issue award recognizes the guest editor of an exceptional issue of Intercom magazine during a calendar year.

2020 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardee: Ondrej Sirocka for his article, “Writing Conversational Content: The Dos and Don’ts” in the July/August 2019 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For breaking down the complexities of conversational interfaces, providing relatable examples, and engendering confidence in readers to build their own chatbots.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Cruce Saunders and the Simple A Team for the November 2019 issue of Intercom with a theme of “Content Engineering.”

Citation: For demonstrating how content engineering principles and methodologies help break down persistent barriers to customer success and create engaging and personalized user experiences.

2019 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardees: Jenifer Schlotfeldt and Courtney Bittner for their article, “How Can You Leverage Data to Know You Have Effective Content?” in the September 2018 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For showing how IBM increased its focus on customer's experiences with technical content and for distilling that case study into practical advice for improving content strategy.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Mark Lewis for the September 2018 issue of Intercom with the theme of “The Value of Content.”

Citation: For engaging the complexities of measuring and articulating the value of technical content and offering practical yet innovative solutions for addressing this important issue within organizations.

2018 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardee: Jessica McCaughey, for the article “Put Down the Red Pen! Nine Strategies for Providing Better Feedback to Multilingual Writers” in the April 2017 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For describing practical skills for editing work by multilingual writers and, in doing so, reinforcing the role of editor as teacher and listener.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Michael Opsteegh, for the guest-edited content of the October 2017 issue of Intercom with a theme of “Document Design After Paper.”

Citation: For attempting to engage the question, “What happens to the craft of communication when content management automates much of that work?,” and offering practical insights in response.

2017 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardees: Jenn Carlos, Travis Kelly, and Vivianne Costa, for the article “ “Measuring Content Like a Marketer: Getting Started with Web Analytics” in the
2016 March issue of Intercom.

Citation: For clearly and enthusiastically explaining how to collect quantitative and qualitative data about Web-based content and use it to strengthen future content and persuade stakeholders of the value of technical communication.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Nicky Bleiel, for the guest-edited content of the 2016 November/December issue of Intercom.

Citation: Because of the exceptional commitment of the guest editor, this special issue tells the history of the field from well-informed perspectives and, as significantly, creates an emotional connection with these “legends” and our field.

2016 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardees: Kirk St.Amant, for the article “Re-considering Social Media for Global Contexts” in the April 2015 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For posing important questions for technical communicators using social media with global audiences. The article is an outstanding example of using international technical communication principles in a modern media context.

Awardees: Saul Carliner, for the article “Technical Communication at a Crossroads” in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For providing a historical perspective on the field and identifying challenges the technical communication profession faces after four epochs. The article provides a thorough overview of the past and a clear direction to strive for in the future.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Marcia Riefer Johnston, for the guest-edited content of the January 2015 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For guest editing an exemplary issue of Intercom that provides readers with an essential primer on fundamental writing and editing skills. The issue provides new insights and ongoing conversation on a core topic within technical communication.

2015 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardees: Rick Lippincott, for his article, “We Explain Things” in the April 2014 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For a realistic-yet-positive view of the importance of our profession and how technical communicators facilitate technological change. Expressing both the foundations of our past and a hopeful look forward as we engage with the future, this article reinforces our value to society and our shared experience as technical communicators, regardless of industry or medium.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Tom Johnson, for his guest-edited September 2014 issue, with a theme of “API Documentation.”

Citation: For guest-editing an issue of Intercom that contributes to the professional development of technical communicators by delivering valuable information that appeals to both the novice and the veteran technical communicator. This comprehensive issue showcases articles that enlighten and educate readers with useful examples and context for application, as well as effective strategies for practitioners to implement.

2014 Awards

Outstanding Magazine Article

Awardees: Alyson Riley, Andrea L. Ames, and Eileen Jones, for their article, “Telling the Right Story: Proving the Business Value of Content” in the May
2013 issue of Intercom.

Citation: For highlighting the need to prove the business value of content; for connecting data and storytelling with business goals like revenue streams, ROI, and successful conversions; for providing a direct tie between the content that technical communicators produce and the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that drive broader business. The article inspires and resonates with technical communication practitioners, their colleagues, and managers alike.

Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue

Awardee: Alan J. Porter, for the guest-edited content of the May 2013 issue of Intercom, with a theme of content strategy.

Citation: For guest-editing an issue of Intercom that provides readers with an essential primer to the growing field and discipline of content strategy; for compiling articles that showcase job growth, technologies and methodologies, vision, and alignment with other disciplines. The issue is an outstanding example of content curation around a single theme, providing new insights and ongoing conversation.