Home / Conferences & Awards / Awards / Anvil Awards

Anvil Awards

2023 PRSA Silver Anvil Awards

Spotlight Your Organization in the Anvils!

For over 75 years, the Anvils have been considered the icon of the profession and the benchmark of high performance in public relations. Silver Anvil Awards celebrate the best strategic public relations campaigns of the year, as well as outstanding organizational excellence. Bronze Anvil Awards recognize outstanding public relations tactics that contribute to the success of overall programs or campaigns.


What You Need to Know

Award Categories 

SILVER ANVIL STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN AWARDS

1. COMMUNITY RELATIONS
1A. Associations/Nonprofit Organizations
1B. Government
1C. Business 
Includes programs that aim to improve relations with, or seek to win the support or cooperation of, people or organizations in communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity. “Community” in this category refers to a specific geographic location or locations.

2. CONTENT MARKETING
2A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
2B. Business to Business
2C. Business to Consumer
Programs that effectively demonstrate a strategic program that includes creating and distributing valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage target audience(s). Include examples and metrics.

3. CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS
3A. Crisis Communications Program
3B. Cyber Related Crisis
3C. Social Media Related Crisis
3D. Health and Safety Related Crisis
Includes programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event that required an immediate response.

4. EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES
4A. More Than Seven Days
4AA. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
4AB. Business
4B. Seven Or Fewer Days
4BA. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
4BB. Business
Includes virtual or in-person programs or events, such as commemorations, observances, conferences, openings, yearlong anniversaries, celebrations or other special activities. Events that took place for longer than a one-week period should be entered in “4A. More Than Seven Days” and events occurring within a time span of one week should be entered in “4B. Seven Or Fewer Days.”

5. FINANCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
Includes programs directed to shareowners, other investors and the investment community; includes communication programs related to decentralized currencies.

6. GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS
Includes any type of program, such as Reputation/Brand Management, Marketing or Events and Observances, that demonstrates effective global communications implemented in more than one country.

7. INFLUENCER MARKETING 
7A. Macro-Influencers
7B. Micro-Influencers
Macro-influencers: Celebrities, executives, bloggers, and journalists who have 10,000–1M followers. They have the highest topical relevance on the spectrum, with category-specific influence – such as lifestyle, fashion or business.
Micro-influencers: Everyday consumers or employees or industry experts who have 500–10,000 followers. They have the highest brand relevance and resonance on the spectrum of influencers, with influence driven by their personal experience and strength of relationship with their networks

8. INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
8A. Associations/Nonprofit Organizations
8B. Government
8C. Business to Business
8D. Consumer Products
8E. Consumer Services
Includes creative and effective integrated campaigns, along with other marketing or communications including paid, earned, shared and owned efforts. The program must demonstrate the clear leadership of public relations, along with its integration with other disciplines.

9. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
9A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
9B. Business
Includes programs targeted specifically to special publics directly allied with an organization, such as employees, members, affiliated dealers and franchisees.

10. ISSUES MANAGEMENT
For programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.

11. MARKETING
11A. Business to Business
11B. Consumer Products – Regional Focus
11C. Consumer Products – National/International Focus
11D. Consumer Services
Includes programs designed to introduce new products/services or promote existing products/services to a particular audience. 

12. MOST EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN ON A $5,000 TO $10,000 BUDGET
Effective campaign delivered within parameters of a limited budget. This does not include staff time and overhead.

13. MOST EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET ($5,000 OR LESS)
Successful campaign despite constraints of a small budget. This does not include staff time and overhead.

14. MOST EFFECTIVE ESG CAMPAIGN
Program that enhances an organization’s reputation and demonstrates a business approach to initiatives that positively impact society. Campaigns to highlight the positive impact that they have had delivering environmental and social benefits to stakeholders.

15. MULTICULTURAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
For any type of program, such as institutional, marketing and community relations, specifically targeted to a cultural group.

16. MOST EFFECTIVE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION (DEI) CAMPAIGN 
Efforts devoted to promoting inclusivity and/or dismantle discrimination for racial, ethnic, religious or sexual orientation and gender differences.

17. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Includes programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies — at the local, state or federal government levels — so that the entity funding the program benefits.

18. PUBLIC SERVICE
18A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
18B. Business
18C. Partnerships (Funded jointly by businesses and other organizations, including nonprofit and government)
Includes programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.

19. REPUTATION/BRAND MANAGEMENT
19A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
19B. Business
Programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics or key elements of its publics, either proactively or in response to an issue, event or market occurrence.

Best of Silver Anvil

A Best of Silver Anvil Award recipient is selected from among the year’s Silver Anvil Strategic Campaign Award winners. The Best of Silver Anvil winner represents the pinnacle of excellence in public relations programming and demonstrates public relations’ strategic value and ability to drive critical business outcomes.

SILVER ANVIL ORGANIZATIONAL AWARDS

1. BEST IN-HOUSE TEAM
1A. Associations/Nonprofit Organizations
1B. Government
1C. Business (Budget less than $5M)
1D. Business (Budget of $5M or More)
A public relations/public affairs/communications team that demonstrates excellence in public relations.

2. BEST AGENCY
2A. Best Boutique Agency (Revenue less than $5M)
2B. Best Small Agency (Revenue $5M - $20M)
2C. Best Mid-Sized Agency  (Revenue $20M - 75M)
2D. Best Large Agency (Revenue $75M - $200M)
2E. Best Mega Agency  (Revenue Over $200M)
An agency team that demonstrates excellence in public relations. 

3. ORGANIZATION WITH THE MOST IMPACTFUL DEI PROGRAM 
3A. Agency
3B. In-House
A team focused on shaping and implementing effective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for its organization or company. These meaningful efforts have led to a more supportive, rewarding working environment for all.

4. Best College/University Communications Program/Department
4A. Undergraduate Program
4B. Graduate Program
A college/university team that is best preparing the next generation of communication practitioners through an innovative curriculum, high standards for student success and placement assistance.

 

BRONZE ANVIL TACTICAL AWARDS

PAID:

1. PAID PROMOTIONS
Use of sponsorships, paid placements, or other marketing communications tactics that complement a broader public relations strategy or approach and generate exceptional ROI. These efforts should be targeted and strategic, and ultimately demonstrate a distinct purpose that aligns with the goals of an overview campaign or specific desired outcome.

EARNED:

2. MEDIA RELATIONS
2A. Associations/ Nonprofit Organizations
2B. Government
2C. Business-To-Business
2D. Consumer Products
2DA. Non-Packaged Goods
2DB. Packaged Goods
2E. 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, including media impact. 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.

3. 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.”

4. 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.

SHARED:

5. SOCIAL MEDIA 
5A. Single Channel Use
5B. Multichannel Use 
How did you use social media to tell a story or connect with an audience? Share screenshots of links to your work and provide detailed results focusing on engagement and conversions, where applicable.
6. INFLUENCER MARKETING 
Tactic that focuses on using paid spokespeople and key leaders to increase awareness and drive your brand's message to the larger market. Include details of achievements/benchmarks on how the spokesperson met/exceeded campaign goals.

OWNED:

7. DIGITAL PLATFORM
Did you launch or substantially enhance a digital platform? How was it launched and how much risk was involved in your marketing plan? What value did the end user receive and how did it specifically match goals? Include metrics and benchmarks. This entry can be completed by a vendor or the customer.

8. DATA INSIGHTS
The use of data or research in a program to inform a communications strategy and/or message development. Demonstrate how the insights were acquired and applied. 

9. WEBSITES
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 and how the site met or exceeded your communications benchmarks.

10. NON-TRADITIONAL 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 to be fully considered in this category.)

11. 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.

12. BLOGS/VLOGS
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.

13. NEWSLETTERS
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 including goals and results.

14. SINGLE-ISSUE PUBLICATIONS 
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 including goals and results.

15. MAGAZINES
Publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis (Print, digital only and both will be considered). 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 including goals and results.

16. VIDEO
Produced videos to inform target audiences of an event, brand, product, service, issue or organization. The one-page summary should include usage statistics or other means of quantified measurement to support stated objectives.

17. BRANDED CONTENT
Use of content generation to promote a particular brand which funds the content's production. Upload samples along with the one-page summary including goals and results.

18. PODCASTS
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 goals, results and listener feedback.

                  
Preparing Your Entry

Need Help Preparing Your Entry?        

View examples of Anvil Award-winning case studies

Contact us at awards@prsa.org. We will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can provide further guidance on preparing your Anvil entry.

Join the Anvil conversation on Twitter: #PRSAAnvils

Entries become the property of PRSA. The decisions of the judges are final.

Register to attend PRSA ICON 2022 to learn from past Anvil winning entrants, plus a special bonus session on Sunday, November 13, “Turning Your Triumphs into Trophies: Practical Tips for Creating Winning Award Entries” co-facilitated by PRSA Honors and Awards Committee leaders: Michael Gross, APR, President of AKCG – Public Relations Counselors, and Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of McDougall Communications.

View "Think Like a Judge, Best Practices for Submitting a Winning Silver Anvil Award Entry," presented by Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2017 PRSA Chair, JKD & Company, Mark Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, Executive Director, Golin, Atlanta and John Matson, APR, Alabama Nursing Home Association.

 

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.

Entry Guidelines and Helpful Tips

GENERAL ANVIL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • Access our database of Anvil Award-winning case studies in the categories you wish to enter to use as a benchmark (currently only Silver Anvil Strategic case studies are available online).
  • Register to attend PRSA ICON 2022 to learn from past Anvil winning entrants, plus a special bonus session on Sunday,  November 13, “Turning Your Triumphs into Trophies: Practical Tips for Creating Winning Award Entries” co-facilitated by PRSA Honors and Awards Committee leaders: Michael Gross, APR, President of AKCG – Public Relations Counselors, and , Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of McDougall Communications.
  • NEW THIS YEAR:  At least some part of the work must have occurred during the period Feb 1, 2021 – Feb 1, 2023, though the program must have been initiated no earlier than Jan 1, 2021.
  • An entry may be submitted in multiple categories, provided 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 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/submission.
  • Images: Upload up to three graphic images representative of your program. These images will be featured onscreen during the Anvil Awards Ceremony and may be featured in a PRSA publication should the program be selected as a finalist. 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.
  • Submit in English. Entries produced in a language other than English must be translated prior to submission.
  • By entering the Anvil Awards, 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.
  • All entries and entry materials must be submitted online.

 


 

DETAILED ANVIL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & TIPS

SILVER ANVIL STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • Two-Page Summary: The two-page summary (to be uploaded as a PDF) is the single-most important component of a Silver Anvil Strategic Campaign entry. It should begin with a brief situation analysis for your program, followed by addressing each of the four entry criteria — insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation.
  • Supporting Materials: Entrants will be instructed to upload four separate PDFs (no more than 225 pages each with a maximum file size of 10MB) of any detailed supporting materials referenced in the insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation sections of your two-page summary. Please note the absence of relevant and meaningful supporting materials will result in significantly lower scores, effectively eliminating the entry from consideration.
  • Uploaded documents must be uploaded as PDFs. Pages should be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (A4 size for international entries) with a minimum of 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.
  • Judging Criteria: Anvil Judges will evaluate your entry on the merit of the four criteria — insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation — that you share in your two-page summary and supporting materials. Your entry should begin with a brief situation analysis for your program.
  • Visit http://apps.prsa.org/awards/silveranvil/Search to view examples of past Anvil-winning case studies.

 

The following questions will help you prepare a strong Silver Anvil Strategic Campaign entry:

Insights And Analysis
  • What methods/strategies/tools were implemented to arrive at your insights into and analysis of the campaign?
  • What type of research did you use — primary, secondary or both, to arrive at your insights/analysis? Primary research involves original research, including focus groups, interviews, data and analytics software and surveys. Secondary research involves searching existing resources for information or data related to a particular need, strategy or goal (e.g., online computer database searches, Web-based research, library searches, industry reports and internal market analyses).
Planning
  • How did the plan correlate to the insights gathered at the end of the campaign?
  • What was the plan in general terms?
  • What were the specific, measurable objectives of the plan?
  • Who were the target audiences?
  • What was the overall strategy used?
  • What was your budget?
Execution
  • How was the plan executed, and what was the outcome?
  • How did the activities flow in general terms?
  • What were the key tactics?
  • Were there any difficulties encountered? If so, how were they handled?
  • Were other organizations involved?
  • Were nontraditional public relations tactics used, such as advertising? (Unless you are entering this program under “Integrated Communications,” advertising costs should not exceed one-third of the budget.)
Evaluation
  • What methods of evaluation were used?
  • What were your results?
  • How did the results compare to the specific, measurable objectives you identified in the planning section?
  • How well do the results reflect original strategy and planning?

 

SILVER ANVIL ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • Best In-House Team Submission Requirements:
    • Two Page Summary: An overview of the business/organization and a detailed description of outstanding accomplishments/strategic benchmarks within the award program timeframe. Differentiate the role of the in-house team from any externally employed resources (e.g., agencies). Submitting teams should include examples of measurable impact on their organization; how they dealt with challenges; how they developed creative or innovative programs; how they influenced behavioral or attitudinal change among their target audiences; and/or how they foster a positive working culture.
    • Case Study Upload: Two brief case studies or examples (each 500 words or fewer).  Current Silver Anvil submissions can be included instead of case studies.
    • Number of employees on the team and annual public relations budget (including staffing costs).

 

  • Best Agency Submission Requirements:
    • Two Page Summary: An overview of the agency, its offerings, and a detailed description of outstanding accomplishments/strategic benchmarks within the award-program timeframe. Submitting agencies should include examples of measurable impact for their clients; how they dealt with challenges; how they developed creative or innovative programs; how they influenced behavioral or attitudinal change among their clients’ target audiences; and/or how they foster a positive working culture.
    • Case Study Upload: Two brief case studies or examples (each 500 words or fewer).  Current Silver Anvil submissions can be included instead of case studies.
    • Number of employees at the agency and annual revenue.
    • A client list from the past 12 months, including tenure. Uploaded as a one-page PDF.

 

  • Best College/University Communication Program/Department Submission Requirements:
    • Two Page Summary: An overview of the education institution and a description of outstanding accomplishments within the last 12 months. Submissions should include examples of how the team is equipping students for job readiness; metrics related to admissions, graduation trends, first-year employment data, internship placement and other related measurable results; as well as examples of academic achievements and other stand-out successes.
    • Other Requirements:
      • The College/University must have a PRSSA chapter.
      • The College/University must hold a Certificate in Education for Academic Programs in Public Relations (CEPR).
    • Number of educators on the team, detailed by full-time faculty, part-time lecturers, and adjunct faculty as well as the faculty’s PRSA involvement.  

BRONZE ANVIL TACTICAL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • 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 a Bronze Anvil Tactical Award entry.
  • Judging Criteria: Anvil Judges evaluate the entry 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.
  • Supporting Materials: Entrants will be asked to upload supporting documents and back-up materials as requested in each individual category, e.g., PDFs, videos, audio, video links, website URLs, etc.
  • Uploaded documents must be uploaded as PDFs. Pages should be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (A4 size for international entries) with a minimum of 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.
Deadlines and Fees
Entry TypePRSA Member
Early Deadline
By Jan. 27, 2023
Non-PRSA Member
Early Deadline
By Jan. 27, 2023
PRSA Member
Regular Deadline
By Feb. 10, 2023
Non-PRSA Member
Regular Deadline
By Feb. 10, 2023
PRSA Member
Final Deadline
By Feb. 24, 2023
Non-PRSA Member
Final Deadline
By Feb. 24, 2023
Silver Anvil Strategic Campaign Awards$395 $495 $595 $695$795 $895
Silver Anvil Organizational Awards Businesses$395 $495 $595 $695$795 $895
Silver Anvil Organizational Awards Education$195 $295 $345 $445 $495 $595
Bronze Anvil Tactical Awards$295 $395 $395 $495 $495 $595
Silver Anvil Order Form

 

Example Silver Anvil Award Case Studies

View

Search All Silver Anvil Award Case Studies

View

Order Additional Awards

Order

 

 


anvil-11
anvil-4
anvil-10
anvil-8
anvil-6
anvil-3
anvil-2
anvil-7
anvil-1
anvil-5
anvil-9