Press/Journalists

Press Release
June 24, 2013

National Archives wins PRSA's Silver Anvil Award of Excellence

Earns national recognition for celebration of Emancipation Proclamation's 150th Anniversary

Washington, DC…On Thursday, June 13, in New York, the National Archives received a prestigious Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for its Forever Free: The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation campaign. The Award of Excellence, which recognizes outstanding strategic public relations planning and implementation, was presented to the National Archives in the category of Events and Observances.

Recognizing leading public relations initiatives, this year's competition drew 847 entries, of which only 144 organizations were selected as Silver Anvil finalists. This is the first Silver Anvil for the National Archives.

"I am delighted to honor the National Archives with a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, as they have demonstrated outstanding work that helps showcase the value of public relations to the organizations we represent and the communities they serve," said PRSA 2013 Chair and CEO Mickey G. Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA. "With their campaign work, the National Archives continues to distinguish the Silver Anvils as the profession's most prestigious awards, setting an important standard for others in the profession."

"We are especially honored to be recognized for these efforts which reinforce our mission to preserve and share our nation's historic legacy" said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. "This prestigious award highlights our outreach, creativity, adaptability and teamwork. The Forever Free campaign created great impact, resulting in personal visits from thousands of people including tourists, religious groups, and top leaders from Capitol Hill."

Forever Free: The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation describes the National Archives' rare three-day showing of the historic Emancipation Proclamation document in Washington, DC, to celebrate its 150th anniversary. The National Archives public affairs team partnered with The Foundation for the National Archives and Public Relations firm Resnicow Schroeder Associates, to carry out a plan for multi-tiered outreach that resulted in synchronized efforts with the U.S. Postal Service, Smithsonian Institution, and other agencies, robust media coverage, 400% growth in the social media views, and record-setting attendance for the free 3-day event. Year-long celebration activities and programs continue.

The original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln is in the holdings of the National Archives. To protect the document from light damage, it is publicly displayed only a few days each year under extremely low light. In this video, senior archivist Reginald Washington and senior conservator Terry Boone discuss the document's significance, its history and measures taken to preserve it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJreHq76xM

For additional history, images, and conservation treatment of this historic document, see the 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation Brochure [www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2013/pdf/emancipation-proclamation-anniversary-brochure.pdf]

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at www.archives.gov.

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives' private-sector partner in the creation of and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, and historical/records-related products, publications, and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to "advance the profession and the professional," PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 320 colleges and universities.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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