The Public Relations Strategist

From the Editor: Celebrating the Very Best in Public Relations

July 26, 2017

On June 8, PRSA honored outstanding achievements in public relations during the 2017 Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony at the AXA Equitable Center in New York City.

The Silver Anvils have signified the best in strategic and influential PR programs since 1945. This year wasn’t any different.

“The Silver Anvil continues to be the hallmark of our industry,” 2017 PRSA Chair Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, said in a statement. “The scope and scale of this year’s entries reflect the ever-changing and dynamic nature of campaigns that support social, societal and real-time issues.”

To showcase the excellence that the Silver Anvils embody, we devoted this issue of The Strategist to the programs. In the pages ahead, you will read about the five finalists, including NASA’s “Year in Space” program, which received the Best of Silver Anvil Award.

Here are the campaigns in their winning categories, as judged by a panel of more than 140 senior-level PR executives:

  • Integrated Communications > Government. NASA’s Johnson Space Center

“Year in Space: Communicating NASA’s Historic One-Year Mission From Space to Ground”

  • Events and Observances > Seven or Fewer Days > Nonprofit Organizations. Invictus Games Orlando 2016 with Hill + Knowlton Strategies

“Victory: Sharing the Inspiring Stories of Wounded Warriors”

  • Integrated Communications > Associations. Destination Cleveland, Cleveland Plus, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, JumpStart, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Greater Cleveland Partnership, City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County with Dix & Eaton, Hennes Communications, Adcom, thunder::tech and Falls Communications

“Changing a City’s Narrative: How Cleveland Leveraged the 2016 RNC to Shift Perceptions From Rust Belt to Rebirth”

  • Public Affairs > Associations/Nonprofit Organizations. Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute with LDWWgroup

“Making It Okay to Say: Talk Openly About Mental Health Issues”

  • Marketing > Consumer Products > Health Care. Adapt Pharma with Ketchum

“Redefining NARCAN® — A Lifesaving Medication”

According to the judges, a common trend among this year’s categories was the scope and expansion of entries that went beyond traditional media relations. Social media has continued to become an increasingly important element of overall campaigns. 

In addition, judges said that they saw campaigns use more varied, creative avenues to distribute stories and messages, with a more concerted effort to evoke emotion, create meaningful behavioral change, underscore relevance and contribute to an outcomes-driven evaluation.

The home team

While we’re honoring the best in public relations, I also want to recognize the team who helped create this issue — Amy Jacques, managing editor, Dean Essner, our editorial assistant, who wrote the Best Of case study and interviewed Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and Albert Chau, our freelance photographer who has captured the Anvils and PRSA International Conferences in recent years. Also, a special thanks to Erika Kendra, our art director, who gave this summer edition an appropriately winning look.

We enjoyed working on this issue as well as being part of a special evening. Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen. 

John Elsasser

John Elsasser is PRSA's publications director. He joined PRSA in 1994.


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