More then 200 leaders and award winners of PR Society of America will gather at 6 p.m. tonight at the Axa Equitable Center at Seventh Ave. and 51st St. for the Silver Anvil Awards ceremony.

Stewart, Parks
Stewart, Parks
Emcee is Terry Stewart, former president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Entertainment is by the Walter Parks Group, which provides swamp blues music, also known as "rootsy, Southern-fried blues."

Ketchum has finalists in 14 categories and other firms with finalists in more than five categories are Edelman, Exponent PR, FleishmanHillard, maslansky + partners, MSL Group, Ogilvy PR and Weber Shandwick. There were nearly 850 entries.

Also present for the ceremonies will be many of the leaders of PR who will attend the Leadership Rally June 14-15 at the New York Marriott Downtown.

Cost of attending the Anvil awards ceremony tonight is $350 for members. This does not apply to the 112 chapter presidents, 14 section chairs and 10 district chairs who will be attending the Leadership Rally. Each receives $550 to offset the expense of coming to New York.

Society leaders have said the cost of the Rally is about $140,000.

Leaders discussed dropping the in-person Assembly two years ago if a $30 dues hike was not passed but said there was no chance the Leadership Rally would be cancelled.

More than 100 awards will be given out. Winners get Anvils and finalists get Anvil Awards of Excellence.

The awards have 16 main categories and 50 sub-categories.

A panel of 142 members met in New York March 22 to judge the entries.

"Each Silver Anvil is representative of the true value of PR to business and society," said chair Mickey Nall.

Entries must have "specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and Timely (SMART) objectives, demonstrate tangible contribution to the organization, impact the target audience in a desired way, and link PR activities to specific business outcomes that support organizational goals."

The Society supports the Barcelona Principles for measurement guidelines of the Int'l Assn. for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.