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Anvil Awards

2022 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

3. CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS
3A. COVID-19 Challenges
3AA. Best Organizational Pivot
3AB. Healthcare
3AC. Associations
3AD. Government
3AE. Nonprofit Organizations
3AF. Business
3B. Non-Covid-19 Challenges
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.

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 PROGRAM TO EXPAND AWARENESS
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
8D. Business to Business
8E. Consumer Products
8F. Consumer Services
Includes any program that demonstrates leadership of public relations strategies and tactics in a creative and effective integrated campaign, along with other marketing or communications. 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 Non-Packaged Goods
11C. Consumer Products Packaged Goods
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
A public relations/communications team from any sector that demonstrates excellence in public relations and embodies the core values of PRSA. This team fosters a positive working culture and is driving positive, measurable behavioral or attitudinal change among its target audiences.

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 and embodies the core values of PRSA. This team fosters a positive working culture and is driving positive, measurable behavioral or attitudinal change for its clients.

3. BEST ORGANIZATIONAL DEI PROGRESS
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
4A. Undergraduate Program
4B. Graduate Program
A college/university team that demonstrates excellence in public relations and embodies the core values of PRSA, especially ethical practices. This team fosters a positive working culture and is driving real results aligned with the mission of its organization.

 

BRONZE ANVIL TACTICAL AWARDS

PAID:
1. MOST EFFECTIVE PAID PROMOTION
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
4D. 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. BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
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 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. Include details of achievements/benchmarks on how the spokesperson met/exceeded campaign goals.

 

OWNED:
7. BEST 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 specifically match goals? Include metrics and benchmarks. This entry can be completed by a vendor or the customer.

8. 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?

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. 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 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
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. Best Use of 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.

16. 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, valuable and critical to the success of the program or tactic.

17. BEST USE OF 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. 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.

19. 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.

20. MAGAZINES
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 including goals and results.

 

 

 

Entry Guidelines

GENERAL ANVIL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

  • All entries and entry materials must be submitted online.
  • At least some part of the work must have occurred in 2021. Entries tend to have better chances of winning near their completion, when evaluation against initial objectives can be measured.
  • Entrants may choose to enter in more than one category, 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.
  • 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.
  • Access our database of Anvil Award-winning case studies in the categories you wish to enter (currently only Silver Anvil Strategic case studies are available online).

 

SILVER ANVIL STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Two-Page Summary: A concise summary no longer than two pages must be uploaded as a PDF. Each of the four criteria — insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation — must be addressed. The two-page summary should be typed using no smaller than a 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.
  • 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. 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.

 

SILVER ANVIL ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • 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). Describe how this team serves as a model for the industry, and why it deserves this award based on the prior year.
    • Case Study Upload: Two brief case studies or examples.
    • 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. Describe how this team serves as a model for the industry.
    • Case Study Upload: Two brief case studies or examples.
    • Number of employees at the agency and annual revenue.
    • A representative client list from the past year. Uploaded as a on-page PDF.
  • Best Organizational DEI Progress Submission Requirements:
    • Two Page Summary: An overview of the team leading these efforts and a detailed description of the programs, practices and/or initiative this team has instituted to bring about positive DEI change. Include explanations as to the research or other background as to why those efforts were chosen and ultimately effective. Share future plans, if any, to continue to build upon the success.
    • Case Study Upload: Two brief case studies or examples.
  • Best College/University Communication Program Submission Requirements:
    • Two Page Summary: An overview of the education institution and a description of outstanding accomplishments within the award-program timeframe. Describe how this team lives up to PRSA’s code of ethics and serves as a model for other higher education institutions.
    • Case Study Upload: Up to two brief case studies or examples.
    • Number of employees on the team and annual public relations budget.  
  • General Support Material Guidelines:  Two Page Summaries and Case Study Uploads must be uploaded as PDFs, no longer than two pages each (minimum of 10-point typeface and one-inch margins).

BRONZE ANVIL TACTICAL AWARD SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

  • 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.)
Preparing Your Entry

Need Help Preparing Your Entry?        

Access our database 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 Silver Anvil entry.

Join the Silver Anvil conversation on Twitter: #PRSAAnvils

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

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.

Tips for Preparing Your Entry

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR SILVER ANVIL STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN AWARD ENTRIES

  • The two-page summary is the single-most important component of the Silver Anvil strategic campaign entry.
  • Judges evaluate the program on the merit of the four criteria — insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation — that you share in your two-page summary. Your entry should begin with a brief situation analysis for your program.

View examples of past Silver Anvil-winning case studies. 

Use the following questions to help you prepare a strong 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?
Definitions Used In Categories and Subcategories:

Use the following definitions to help you decide the most appropriate category and subcategory based on your program’s objectives and audiences.

“Business — Products” and “Business — Services”
These subcategories include all profit-making entities. A company that derives half or more of its sales from manufacturing products should enter under “Products.” A company that derives half or more of its revenues by providing services, such as banks, utilities, retailers and transportation companies, should enter under “Services.”

Government

This subcategory includes all government bureaus, agencies, institutions or departments at the local, state and federal levels, including the armed forces, regulatory bodies, courts, public schools and state universities.

Association
This subcategory includes trade and industry groups, professional societies, chambers of commerce and similar organizations.

Nonprofit
This subcategory is specifically intended for health and welfare organizations, as well as educational and cultural institutions not included in other subcategories. It is not intended for organizations that may have nonprofit status but are clearly business organizations. Programs receiving funding or support from private or government organizations should be entered in those subcategories or “Partnerships.”

Partnerships
This subcategory is intended for public service programs that are funded jointly by businesses and other organizations, including nonprofit or government.

Packaged Goods
This subcategory refers to traditional consumer products sold in packages, such as food products, pet products, household goods, toiletries and cosmetics.

Non-Packaged Goods
This subcategory refers to consumer products, such as clothing, appliances and furniture.

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR BRONZE ANVIL TACTICAL AWARD ENTRIES

  • 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.
Deadlines and Fees
Entry Type PRSA Member
Early Deadline
By Feb. 11, 2022
Non-PRSA Member
Early Deadline
By Feb. 11, 2022
PRSA Member
Final Deadline
By Mar. 4, 2022
Non-PRSA Member
Final Deadline
By Mar. 4, 2022
Silver Anvil Strategic Campaign Awards$350 $450 $550 $650
Silver Anvil Organizational Awards Businesses$395 $495 $695 $795
Silver Anvil Organizational Awards Education$195 $295 $345 $445
Bronze Anvil Tactical Awards$250 $350 $350 $450
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