Each year in New York City, considered the center of the public relations agency industry, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awards the Silver Anvil, the most prestigious honor in the public relations profession. Dr. Carl Zangerl, full-time faculty member in Northeastern University College of Professional Studies Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communications program, was invited to serve as a judge to determine, according to PRSA, which organizations have “successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.”
The judges may select one Silver Anvil winner and up to three Silver Anvil Award of Excellence winners for programs in 16 categories and subcategories. The Silver Anvil and Silver Anvil Award of Excellence winners are announced and presented in June at the Silver Anvil ceremony in New York.
“The judges represented a wide range of perspectives and communication experience, from PR executives, to consultants, and even a smattering of communication faculty members,” Dr. Zangerl noted on his judging experience. “What I found personally most satisfying was the opportunity to share impressions with my team members, to hear which elements of a communication campaign they felt were most impactful.”
To help guide their decision-making, the judges are given specific criteria in which to measure the entries. The criteria are outlined by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), and include answering the following three questions:
- Did they have specific, quantitative objectives?
- Did they reflect research-based insight into the target audiences?
- Did they show a link between the communication activity and an impact on business outcomes?
Dr. Zangerl and his colleagues on the judging panel noted some trends emerging: the incorporation of creative social media tactics in almost all of the campaigns, and the greater focus on communication activities and not enough attention paid to the organizational impact of those activities.
Reflecting on his judging experience, Dr. Zangerl concludes, “Northeastern’s Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication curriculum incorporates many of the planning and assessment principles promoted by PRSA and other professional associations. Our courses emphasize the importance of planning and how communication fits into the larger organizational context. In that respect, I believe that we’re preparing our students for successful careers in an extremely dynamic field.”
In 2011, Zangerl led the development and launch of a social media concentration in the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication program. This concentration is one of the first of its kind in graduate education.
Dr. Carl Zangerl is the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication program. Prior to joining the College, Zangerl was co-founder of ZHC Partners, a communications consultant firm and worked with individuals and teams to improve personal and organizational performance. For over 20 years, he worked with New England Financial and MetLife providing a wide range of support to managing partners, top producers, and sales managers. In 2007, the College recognized him with the Excellence in Teaching Award. Zangerl is also active in the Yankee Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, serving three terms as the Vice President of Professional Development on the chapter board. He holds a PhD in Modern German History from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University, an MA from the University of Michigan, and a BA from the University of Illinois.
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