Silver Anvil Awards: Free Silva: Politics, Prison and the Power of PR

May 31, 2011 by Melissa Snead
The PRSA 2011 Silver Anvil Awards podcast series features finalists from this year's program. The Silver Anvil Award recognizes complete public relations programs incorporating measurable and sound research, planning, execution and evaluation. These four areas represent the solid criteria by which senior practitioners judge each entry to ensure it meets the highest standards of performance in the profession.
 
Join Gary McCormick, APR, PRSA Fellow, as he speaks with Charles Bakaly, senior counselor at Edelman, about the “Free Silva: Politics, Prison and the Power of PR” campaign.
 
Free Silva campaignSilva Harotonian, an Iranian citizen of Armenian descent, was a coordinator for International Research & Exchanges Board’s (IREX) Maternal and Child Health Education and Exchange Program. While in Tehran for business, Harotonian was detained and charged with violating Iranian law and plotting a “soft revolution” against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
 
Facing the challenge of civil and human rights issues in Iran; the complications of foreign nonprofit, non-governmental organizations operating in a theocratic republic; and the protests and arrests surrounding Iran’s presidential elections, Edelman created and executed a program designed to raise international awareness and develop relationships with key influencers. With the help of this program, IREX and Harotonian’s family and lawyers ultimately gained the leverage they needed to successfully negotiate Harotonian’s release.
 
Gary McCormick served as PRSA chair and CEO in 2010. He currently works in the corporate public relations arena as director of partnership development for HGTV.
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