The Blacksmith Awards, presented by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, honor the best of Greater Cincinnati’s public relations community, from talented, experienced practitioners to stellar work that has local, national and international impact.

2019 Blacksmith Awards

The Blacksmith Awards is grateful for the for the support of Kroger, our 2019 presenting sponsor:


Welcome to the 2019 Blacksmiths Awards!

We are now accepting entries for the 2019 Blacksmith Awards. Before you start assembling your entries, take a few minutes to review everything that’s new. While this year’s awards are similar to last year’s, there are a few updates, so make sure to read below.

For all other information on the Blacksmiths, including eligibility, detailed entry information, deadlines, entry fees, and more, visit the 2019 Blacksmith Awards entry portal.


We have moved to a new entry portal. While the specific entry process is very similar to last year, we have moved to what we believe is a more modern and easier to use platform. The OpenWater platform will allow you to fully submit and pay for your entries online, and will provide status updates. You’ll need to set up a new account to enter; however, this process will take just a few minutes.

We suggest you set up an account on our portal and login early, so you can see how it works well before the entry deadlines. You can also begin to create your entries at any time. You do not have to complete and submit your entry all at once; you can save your entry at any time and then come back as many times as you want prior to the entry deadlines to finalize and submit your entries.

Want more information on setting up your account and submitting entries with our new portal? See the OpenWater Portal Instructions page.

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We continue to use categories based on the National Bronze (tactic) and Silver (campaign) Anvils, with a few additions specific for our local market. We also continue to offer a PRSSA campaign category, PRSSA tactics category, as well as professional and team categories, which remain unchanged.


  • Tactics - Owned - Online Newsroom: A web page or site section that contains distributable information about a corporation or organization.

  • Tactics - Owned - Research/Evaluation: Research that provides a meaningful contribution or input to a public relations program, or an evaluation documenting the value or benefit of a public relations program or tactic.

  • Tactics - Shared - Influencer Marketing as part of a Larger Campaign: Tactic that focuses on using paid spokespeople and key leaders to increase awareness and drive your brand's message to the larger market.


  • Tactics - Paid - Best SEM: This category was changed from Best SEO to Best SEM

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Once again, we have early, regular and late deadlines for award submissions:

  • Early Deadline: 5 p.m., Friday, August 16

  • Regular Deadline: 5 p.m., Friday, August 30

  • Late Deadline: 5 p.m., Monday, September 9

The contest fees reflect these deadlines. Most award types receive a $5 discount if submitted by the early deadline, or will incur a $10 penalty if received after the regular deadline, but by the late deadline. See our deadlines and entry fees page for full details on pricing, as well as the discounts and incentives we offer.

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blacksmith save the date_SS.png

Save the date for our Blacksmith Awards event on the evening of Thursday, November 14. The event will take place at The Newport Aquarium. In addition to celebrating the 2019 Blacksmith winners and finalists, we’ll also honor the 2019 WVB Award and 2019 Presidents Award winners.

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Know someone else who should be entering? Let’s face it – we all do! Spread the word – to PRSA members and non-members. We want everyone in the Greater Cincinnati public relations community to enter their best work into the Blacksmiths!

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Ok - so you’re ready to enter, or to find out all the entry details. Head over to our Award Portal and login to submit your entries.

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We figured you might. First, check our FAQ page - we may have already answered it there. Didn’t find your answer? Please direct contest-related questions to:

Faith Lynch, APR, 2019 Blacksmith Co-Chair: or 513-‭792-8358‬
Elliot Campbell, PRSA Cincinnati Chapter Business Manager: or 513-446-4700

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Jackie Koopman and Faith Lynch, APR - 2019 Blacksmith Co-chairs
Joyce Battoclette
Drew Boehmker
Susan McDonald
Elizabeth Robinson
Elliot Campbell, Chapter Business Manager

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Thanks to our 2019 Blacksmith Awards sponsors. If are interested in becoming a 2019 Blacksmith Awards sponsor, visit the Cincinnati PRSA sponsorship page or contact Barbara Grimsley, APR, for information on packages and opportunities.


Presenting Sponsor



Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors






Silver Sponsors



Design Sponsor