Create a Winning 2016 PRSA Phoenix Copper Anvil Award Entry

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PRSA Phoenix Copper Anvil AwardsMovie stars have the Academy Awards, television professionals have the Emmy Awards and PRSA Phoenix public relations members have the Copper Anvil Awards. As one of the highest honors in our industry, winning this award shows true excellence in a campaign or tactic. It is a grand night in public relations. Since its existence, it has unveiled hundreds of winning programs that have solved problems, changed opinions and created business opportunities.

Are you planning to submit your tactic or campaign and need to fine-tune your entry? Check out these tips below for creating an award-winning submission. But, don’t thank us, thank multi-year award winner, Paula Pedene.  She shared these best practices during her Copper Anvil Workshop several years ago and they are still relevant today.

As a sidebar, the early bird deadline is 3 p.m. this Friday, July 1. The final deadline to enter your best work is by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19.

General notes

  • Always look for four main components:
    • Research
    • Thought process (plan)
    • Execution (how)
    • Measurement (outcome)
  • If you have sent in an entry before, review and use your scoring sheet as a guide
  • Always remember to include a budget
  • It’s a good idea to start with a question to engage the audience
  • Judges like to see challenges you had and how you overcame them
  • Under objectives, be sure to include percentages and numbers, and be specific


  • Use words like “to help shape”
  • Focus groups are informal research, formal research needs to be 100 people or more
  • Formal research > informal research


  • Start with “Based on the research…”
  • Underline objectives
  • Outcome – was it the way you wanted it?
  • Key components judges will be looking for:
    • Research, planning, objectives, know publics, included budget.
    • It’s a good idea to mention how much of the budget was divided up between each individual in your public. For example, a budget of $5,000 divided by a community of 2,500 would mean $2/ person.
    • Note - in all entries, one public must be the media.
    • Did you meet your objectives?
    • Close with a nice closing sentence, something empathetic.
    • No matter what the project is, this is still the same formula that you would follow.

We wish everyone the best of luck and we are beyond excited to celebrate our industry’s successes at the 2016 Copper Anvil Awards Ceremony on September 8 at The Yard in Tempe!

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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