For more than 45 years, PRSA's Bronze Anvil Awards have recognized the best of the best in public relations tactics — the use of social media, video, blogs, podcasts, annual reports, digital newsletters, websites — that contribute to the success of overall programs or campaigns.
Judging is performed across the United States by teams of PRSA members and others with expertise in the specific categories.
Entries can be submitted in 33 different categories and corresponding subcategories. Only one Bronze Anvil may be awarded in each of these categories.
Runners-up receive the Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation. (There are no more than three runners-up in any category, and only programs meeting Bronze Anvil criteria will be selected.)
No awards are given in categories for which judges determine entries do not merit them.
Bronze Anvil Award Categories
1. BEST SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATION
Sponsorships represent the alignment of shared values and goals and can be profitable marketing opportunities for building harmonious partnerships. Activation requires a deep understanding of brand synergy to support how affiliations are formed and promoted to vetted demographics. Show how the activation leveraged investment.
2. MOST EFFECTIVE INFLUENCER PROMOTION
Influencer marketing focuses on an individual the audience sees as a trusted source of information and which can be differentiated far better than through advertising or content marketing. How did you ensure maximization of your ROI with these highly targeted consumers?
3. BEST SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM)
Were you able to improve your brand's SEM with paid results on major search platforms? If your team or agency had a successful paid search campaign across one or more search-based advertising platforms that demonstrated improvement and a positive return on investment, share your metrics and results.
4. MEDIA RELATIONS
4C. Nonprofit Organizations
4E. Consumer Products
4EA. Food & Beverage
4EB. Health Care
4EC. Non-Packaged Goods
4ED. Packaged Goods
4F. Consumer Services
Tactics, programs and events driven entirely by media relations. Submit press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, requests for coverage, etc., along with the one-page summary that includes measurable objectives and results, such as evidence of the resulting media coverage. Upload or provide YouTube/Vimeo links to any television or radio coverage. The Non-Packaged Goods subcategory refers to consumer products, such as clothing, appliances, furniture, etc. The Packaged Goods subcategory refers to traditional consumer products sold in packages, such as food products, pet products, household goods, toiletries, cosmetics, etc.
5. FEATURE STORIES
Feature articles that have been written by a practitioner and submitted and published through his/her efforts. Submit text of feature article, as well as documentation of publication and placement. The one-page summary should include target audience, measurable objectives and any documented results. Articles must be written in their entirety or substantively by the entrant, and not merely “pitched.”
6. BLOGGER CAMPAIGNS
A proactive outreach to the blogger community on behalf of a product, service or organization. The one-page summary should include rationale for blogger outreach strategy, statistics or other means of quantifiable measurement to support stated objectives, as well as a copy of (a) the outgoing messages and (b) the resulting blog entries either as uploads and/or the actual site URLs.
7. EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS
Positioning of an executive at any level across earned, owned, and share platforms. The one-page summary should include information about the executive and stated objectives, quantification of results as well as copies of significant placements, social media, posts or memos.
8. TIKTOK ENGAGEMENT
How did you use TikTok to engage and interact with your audience? Show your most engaging TikTok accounts with measurable results. How did you influence your audience?
9. TWITTER ENGAGEMENT
How did you interact with your audience in real time? Show your most interactive Twitter accounts with measurements like Retweets, likes, impressions and clicks. What impression did they leave on your audience?
10. FACEBOOK ENGAGEMENT
How did you use Facebook to share your message and engage your audience? How did it enhance your overall marketing plan? Did it lead to increased activity and viral reach?
11. YOUTUBE ENGAGEMENT
Did you make a popular YouTube video that persuaded your audience not only to watch but also comment and share the video? Share the videos that you created that combine storytelling and great production. In addition to the video please provide measurable objectives, such as the number of comments, shares and social reach of your video.
12. INSTAGRAM ENGAGEMENT
How did you use this visual platform to connect and engage with your audience? Was it used to sell products or share insights? Provide details of the results you have seen.
13. LINKEDIN ENGAGEMENT
Show how you used this social media gateway to optimize the company’s business stature through announcements, engaging articles or other creative ways.
14. BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM (OTHER)
Beyond those delineated in other categories, how did you use another social media platform to tell a story or connect with an audience? Share screenshots of links to your work and provide results.
15. INFLUENCER MARKETING AS PART OF A LARGER CAMPAIGN
Tactic that focuses on using paid spokespeople and key leaders to increase awareness and drive your brand's message to the larger market.
16. NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM
Did you launch a new website, App or other digital platform? How was it launched and how much risk was involved in your marketing plan? What platforms were used? What value did the end user receive and how did it match goals? This entry can be completed by a vendor or the customer.
17. MOBILE APP
Use of mobile applications as part of a public relations program. Include copy and any images of key pages to support your one-page summary. Additionally, include brief instructions on how to download the application.
18. BEST USE OF DATA/ANALYTICS
How did it uncover hidden patterns, correlations or other insights to help make quicker and more efficient business decisions to gain a competitive edge?
Use of a website as part of a communications or content marketing program. Include screen grabs or copies of key pages to support your one-page summary. Additionally, include the website URL for external sites.
20. WORD-OF-MOUTH (VIRAL, BUZZ, TALK TRIGGERS)
Tactics that get key audiences talking or provide an avenue for conversation using different techniques, such as viral marketing, sampling programs, loyalty programs, etc.
21. CREATIVE TACTICS
Innovative, unconventional, creative tactics or approaches used as part of a public relations program. Documentation of how the tactic specifically contributed to the measurable results of the campaign should be included in the one-page summary. (Photographic and/or video representation of any physical objects should be uploaded.)
22. ANNUAL REPORTS
Publications that report on an organization’s annual performance. Upload a sample of one copy of the publication, along with a one-page summary.
Web-based journals, or blogs, that communicated to a target audience. The one-page summary should include rationale for blogging strategy, target audiences and statistics, or other means of quantifiable measurement to support stated objectives. Screen downloads of the blog being entered, as well as the actual site URL, must be submitted as part of the story.
Publications – digital or print – designed, written and published/distributed periodically to provide brief and timely information to target audiences while supporting an organization’s overall objectives. Upload samples of three consecutive issues, along with a one-page summary.
25. SINGLE ISSUE PUBLICATIONS (Newsletters/Booklets/Calendars)
Single-issue publications designed for a special purpose. Books and other publications not eligible for consideration in other categories should be entered here. Upload a sample of one copy of the publication along with the one-page summary.
26. BRAND VIDEOS
26A. Business – for B2B communications or promotions
26B. Employee Engagement – conveying a corporate message or initiative
26C. Nonprofit/Association/Government – philanthropic, CSR or impact on society at large.
Video that shows off a brand in order to educate, inspire and develop more trust and loyalty to the brand.
27. OTHER VIDEOS
Produced videos distributed online to inform target audiences of an event, product, service, issue or organization. The one-page summary should include usage statistics or other means of quantified measurement to support stated objectives.
28. RESEARCH/ EVALUATION
Research that provides a meaningful contribution or input to a public relations program, or an evaluation documenting the value or benefit of a public relations program or tactic. Sample of the methodology and findings of any research should be uploaded, along with a one-page summary. One-page summaries for evaluations should detail how and why this method is unique and valuable.
29. BEST USE OF BRANDED CONTENT
29B. Business to Business
29C. Professional Services
29D. Financial Services
29F. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organization
29G. Hospitality Industry
29H. Arts, Sports and Entertainment
Use of content generation to promote a particular brand which funds the content's production.
30. INNOVATION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customers are wielding more power and demanding more from customer service. How did you demonstrate transformative innovation by introducing something new which revolved around the customer’s needs and had a big impact on the company’s service performance? Provide metrics.
31. BEST TACTICAL PIVOT
When faced with an unexpected challenge or complication, how did you overcome it? Describe your creative and innovative solution to an issue that could have otherwise had significant negative repercussions for a business or organization.
How did you tell your story – was the purpose to teach or share? Was it intended for internal or external audiences and was there engagement on multiple platforms? Provide listener feedback.
Publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis. Magazines typically differentiate from newsletters by the number of pages and length of articles. Upload samples of three consecutive issues along with the one-page summary
Entry Fees and Deadlines
Early Deadline: March 12, 2021
The regular entry fees of $225 for PRSA members and $325 for nonmembers will be charged for each entry submitted on or before the early deadline.(All entry fees are nonrefundable)
Final/Late Deadline: March 26, 2021
Entries received after the early deadline will incur a $100 late fee per entry and must be submitted no later than March 26, 2021.(All entry fees are nonrefundable)
- All entries and entry materials must be submitted digitally online. Entrants are no longer required to submit physical entries.
- Tactics produced in part between Jan. 1– Dec. 31, 2020, are eligible. Tactics tend to have better chances of winning near their completion, when evaluation against initial objectives can be measured.
- Entrants may choose to enter their program into more than one category, provided that it applies to the specific criteria stated within each category. The simplest way to do this is to select the “Copy Submission” link from the “Review and Checkout” page of the first entry submitted. In deciding which category/categories are most appropriate, entrants should examine program objectives and target audiences. Judges will not move entries to better suited categories.
- Basic Entry Information: Entrants must select the category being entered, the title of the entry (each title must be unique or it will be renamed), name of the organization/client, name of the agency (if any) and a 100 word description of the program.
- One-Page Summary: A concise summary no longer than one page must be uploaded as a PDF. The one-page summary is the single most important component of the Bronze Anvil entry. Judges evaluate the tactic on four key areas —planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and results. (Media relations categories are not judged on technical excellence.) Within these areas, the summary should include measurable objectives, target audiences, budget and any other specific information requested in the individual category. Results — qualitative, quantitative or both — should provide evidence of how the stated measurable objectives were met, and how the entry impacted the success of a broader or ongoing program. The one-page summary should have no smaller than a 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.
- Uploads: Upload and supporting documents/back-up materials (as requested in each individual category, e.g., PDFs, videos, audio, video links, website URLs, etc.)
- Images: Upload up to three graphic images representative of your program. This image may be featured in a PRSA publication should the program be selected as a winner. We ask that the image meet the following requirements: Acceptable file formats include: jpg, tif, eps, native Illustrator, Photoshop or hi-res pdf files. As a general rule of thumb, the artwork should be at least 1,000 pixels or more in either width or height.
- All tactics must be submitted in English. Tactics produced in a language other than English must be translated. A copy of the original, as well as the translated version, must be submitted.
- By entering the Bronze Anvil program, all entrants confirm that their programs and entries comply with the ethical standards of the profession, as embodied in the PRSA Code of Ethics. Should your entry have an aspect of "ethics performance" that is both instructive and vital to your program, please include commentary of no more than four sentences. If at any point PRSA becomes aware of any aspect of a submission that may not be in compliance with the Code, it may, at its sole discretion, take appropriate action.
Preparing Your Entry
- View “Bronze Anvil Thinking: The Route to Award-Winning Tactics,” presented by Stacy Smith, APR, Stacy Smith Strategic Public Relations, Andrea Lindsley, Partner, DVL Siegenthaler and Mark Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, Executive Director, Golin, Atlanta. This video will show you how to prepare an Anvil entry that gets noticed by teaching you the secrets of success, including using research to develop clear objectives, creating a winning strategy and providing clear benchmarks for evaluation.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can provide further guidance on preparing your Bronze Anvil entry.
Entries become the property of PRSA. The decisions of the judges are final.