The Oscars of PR

Prsa_354I'd be remiss on this Father's Day Monday if I didn't give a major shout-out to my third child, Peppercomm, for winning two Silver Anvils last Thursday.

The PRSA's Silver Anvil is the public relations industry's answers to Hollywood's Oscar. And, while we also have our versions of the Golden Globe, Tony and others, the Anvil reigns unchallenged as THE most sought-after trophy.

In fact, it's not a stretch to say Peppercomm owes some of its success to the Anvil.

Back in 1997, we were still a small, virtually unknown start-up with one or two blue chip clients and many, many more tiny ones. One of the latter, however, a dotcom known as Money Talks, enabled us to shine.

We had two terrific clients by the names of Larry Thomas and Julie Farin, who let us do amazingly creative things to break through the Wild West-like clutter that existed back then and establish the personal finance website as a trusted source of advice.

We were rewarded for our efforts by winning the very first Silver Anvil in the 'Internet PR' category.

The Anvil win established Peppercomm as a credible player and, of equal importance, attracted a veritable horde of cash-rich dotcoms wanting us to do for them what we'd just done for Money Talks.

Thanks to that long-ago Anvil win, we were also able to attract the likes of Steelcase, Aon and General Electric, all of whom yearned to partner with a savvy 'click-and-mortar' public relations firm. And, thanks to Steelcase, GE and a few other ‘real' businesses, we were able to survive the dotcom bust a few years later. 

So, I'd like to thank the PRSA judges, our agency teams who brought home the awards and, of course, all the folks behind the scenes who made winning these prestigious awards possible.

Winning two Silver Anvils makes this father one very proud poppa.

10 thoughts on “The Oscars of PR

  1. Well put, Judy. Since the APR is truly an evergreen subject, it’s forever bashable. That’s important for a blogger.

  2. That’s a great question, Heather. I guess, as is the case with PR itself, the answer can be somewhat murky. PRSA accreditation is rather pointless, but the Silver Anvil is uber prestigious. Re: the latter, I’ve served as a judge for all of the major award programs and I can tell you there’s far more rigor to the Anvil submission reviews than elsewhere. I’m not suggesting there’s been a blurring of the lines between church and state among our fine trade press but, there isn’t an editor or editorial board involved in the Anvil selections. That’s important. So, too, is the fact that the Anvils pre-date ALL of the other awards, so there’s a legacy that simply can’t be matched. I hope that helps.

  3. First – I had to smile at the Father’s Day Monday reference (should it soon be Father’s Week or Month, or maybe Year, Decade or Century of the Father?)
    More seriously, to pick up on the Awards credibility point, the PRSA Anvil isn’t something that I’m really familiar with in the UK but there’s certainly plenty of hyperbole about them on the Awards website. Why exactly do you think they really “mean everything”? What gives them credibility – and can an organisation like PRSA really lack validity in one respect (its accreditation) but have a good reputation for another (its Awards)?
    BTW, I support real robustness and credibility in Awards, its just that I feel many of them are more about generating revenue or publicity rather than truly recognising the best and raising standards. (See:

  4. The APR and the Anvil awards are two different animals. The PRSA is a valued and honored institution that recognizes extraordinary work in the field. The APR designation is fluff. It’s akin to saying you love a restaurant but don’t like the paper the menu is printed on.

  5. Must admit, I had the same thoughts as bookandbloggeek. It’s rather subjective as to what PRSA programs you value and diss.
    On the other hand I figured your anti-APR post was written on a slow day for blogging topics. 😉

  6. You’re confusing the PRSA with their bogus APR credential, Book. Unlike the three-letter acronym that means nothing, the PRSA Silver Anvil means everything.

  7. Congrats, Steve, and to all the talented people at Peppercomm. Winning a Silver Anvil is nice validation of great work.
    (and Happy Fathers’ Day, too….)