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Silver Anvil Awards

Spotlight Your Organization in the Silver Anvils!

Since 1944, the Silver Anvil Awards — which symbolize the forging of public opinion — have been awarded each year to organizations that have successfully addressed challenging issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

Silver Anvil Awards honor outstanding strategic public relations programs. Entries are accepted in 18 categories as well as a number of subcategories. Judges evaluate strategic programs that incorporate sound insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation. 

View the 2020 Silver Anvil Finalists

 

What You Need to Know

Award Categories 

1. Community Relations

1A. Associations
1B. Government
1C. Nonprofit Organizations
1D. Business Products
1E. Business Services

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 Products
2C. Business Services
2D. Consumer Products
2E. Consumer Services

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

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 — Products
     4AC. Business — Services
4B. Seven Or Fewer Days
     4BA. Business to Business
     4BB. Consumer Products
     4BC. Consumer Services
     4BD. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations

Includes programs or events, such as commemorations, observances, 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 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/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
8B. Business to Business
8C. Consumer Products
     8CA. Food & Beverage
     8CB. Non-Packaged Goods
     8CC. Packaged Goods
     8CD. Retail Stores and Restaurants
8D. 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
     9BA. Fewer Than 1,000 Employees
     9BB. 1,000 to 10,000 Employees
     9BC. More Than 10,000 Employees

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
     11AA. Products
     11AB. Professional and/or Financial Services
11B. Consumer Products
     11BA. Food and Beverages 
     11BB. Health Care
     11BC. Non-Packaged Goods
     11BD. Packaged Goods
     11BE. Retail Stores and Restaurants
     11BF. Technology
11C. Consumer Services
     11CA. Financial Services
     11CB. Health Care Services
     11CC. Technology
     11CD. Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

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

12A. Associations
12B. Government
12C. Nonprofit Organizations
12D. Business

Effective campaign delivered within parameters of a limited budget. This does not include staff time and overhead.


13. Most Effective Campaign on a Shoe String Budget

13A. Associations
13B. Government
13C. Nonprofit Organizations
13D. Business

Successful campaign despite constraints of a small budget. This does not include staff time and overhead.


14. Most Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign

Program that enhances a corporate reputation and demonstrates a business approach to initiatives that positively impact society. Campaigns to highlight the positive impact that they have had delivering economic, social and environmental 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. Public Affairs

16A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
16B. Business

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.


17. Public Service

17A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
17B. Business
17C. Partnerships (Funded jointly by businesses and other organizations, including nonprofit and government)

Includes programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.


18. Reputation/Brand Management

18A. Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations
18B. Business
     18BA. Companies With Sales Up to $50 Million
     18BB. Companies With Sales of More Than $50 Million to $500 Million
     18BC. Companies With Sales of More Than $500 Million to $10 Billion
     18BD. Companies With Sales Over $10 Billion

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 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.

Entry Guidelines
  • All entries and entry materials must be submitted digitally online. Entrants are no longer required to submit binders.
  • At least some part of the program must have occurred in 2019. Programs 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Images: Upload up to three graphic images representative of your program. This image will be featured onscreen during the Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony 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.
  • By entering the Silver 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. Should the judges find two entries equally deserving of a Silver Anvil, they may use this statement to break the tie. 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.

Start Your Entry

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.

Tips for Preparing Your Entry
The two-page summary is the single-most important component of the Silver Anvil 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. Visit

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.

Deadlines and Fees

Early Deadline: Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

The regular entry fee of $340 for PRSA members and $440 for nonmembers will be charged for each entry submission on or before the deadline.

Final/Late Deadline: Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

Entries received after the early deadline will incur a $200 late fee per entry and must be submitted no later than Feb. 28, 2020.

Start your Silver Anvil Entry Today

Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony

This year’s ceremony, originally scheduled to be held on June 4 in New York City, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be rescheduled for a later date.

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