It’s the oldest and, some say, most prestigious awards competition for outstanding achievement in public relations, based on its rigorous judging criteria and emphasis on measurement and evaluation. And if you want to win one, the time to enter is now.

The Silver Anvil Award has been bestowed annually since 1946 by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Meant to symbolize the forging of public opinion, the Silver Anvil Award recognizes outstanding professional achievement in 16 categories and sub-categories, including “Reputation and Brand Management,” “Public Affairs,” “Marketing Consumer Products,” “Crisis Communications” and “Multicultural Public Relations.”

More than 250 senior public relations professionals from around the country travel to New York each March to judge the Silver Anvil Award entries based on their research, planning, execution and evaluation, while also taking factors such as creativity and budget into consideration.

In line with PRSA’s support of the Barcelona Principles and the accompanying measurement guidelines issued by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), Silver Anvil-winning programs should have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) objectives, demonstrate a tangible contribution to the organization, impact the target audience in a desired way and link public relations activities to specific business outcomes that support organizational goals.

The use of AVEs — the “advertising value equivalency” of the media earned through a campaign — as an evaluative metric, is strongly discouraged.

The judges may select one Silver Anvil winner and up to three Award of Excellence winners in each category; if no program in a particular category merits a Silver Anvil Award, none is awarded for that group of entries.

The deadline for Silver Anvil entries is Feb. 22. Silver Anvil Award finalists will be announced in March. Winners will be announced at the PRSA Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony June 13, at the Equitable Center in New York.


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