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Tips for Putting That Award-Worthy Campaign Into an Anvil-Earning Entry


PRSA is now accepting entries for the 2024 Anvil Awards. Find details here.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of PRSA’s Anvil Awards, the pinnacle of recognition for outstanding achievements in public relations.

While, thankfully, much has changed since 1944, the enduring importance of acknowledging ethical and impactful PR campaigns still remains. Now’s the chance for you and your team to be part of this historic year and here are some practical tips to enhance your chances of success.

I’ve been a senior Anvil judge for a while and have reviewed hundreds of entries across dozens of categories. Each year, I’m disappointed by submissions that omit crucial elements, such as a well-crafted communications plan or thoughtful insights and analysis. Neglecting these fundamentals (which no doubt exist, but just weren’t included) or inundating entries with countless clips devoid of context, can jeopardize your chances of clinching an award.

Whether you’re vying for a Silver or a Bronze to showcase your triumphs, I strongly urge you to consult PRSA’s comprehensive entry guide. Additionally, don’t miss this informative session Turning Triumphs Into Trophies by Silver Anvil Award winners Mike Gross, APR, and Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA. They go into depth about the best practices of submitting winning entries, offering invaluable insights.

Key tips for a successful entry also include:

  1. Study the list of Anvil Categories and don’t miss new categories added for 2024, including: Best Use of AI, Best AI Integration and Digital Innovations and Best Solution Provider/Vendor.
  2. Avoid last-minute rushes; give yourself ample time to review your work and rediscover forgotten accomplishments.
  3. Be sure to adhere to all the guidelines — even when it comes to font size and page length.
  4. Utilize the two-page summary to compellingly narrate your story, breaking it down by each section required in the Silver or Bronze categories.
  5. Always include your communications plan.
  6. Access PRSA’s database of Anvil Award-winning case studies in the categories you wish to enter to use as a benchmark
  7. Collaborate closely with the person crafting the entry, ensuring that they have all necessary information.
  8. Thoroughly proofread your work; ideally, have someone who is not involved in its creation review it for any omissions.
  9. Ask for help — reach out to PRSA with any questions you may have.
  10. Enter now to secure the early bird rate!

Here are the 2024 deadlines:

  • Early: Jan. 18
  • Regular: Feb. 1
  • Final: Feb. 15

Ann Andrews Morris is principal of AndMore Communications, LLC, a D.C.-based PR firm that specializes in nonprofit communications. She has served as a senior Anvils judge, an Assembly delegate, and as a board member for PRSA’s National Capital Chapter. Ann is the incoming chair for both PRSA’s Honors and Awards Committee and the Mid-Atlantic District. In December, she was honored with the 2023 Senior Professional Award from PRSA NCC in recognition of her contributions.

[Photo: albert chau]

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Ann Andrews Morris

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