Hilary Robertson / 20 June, 2016


SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. was honored this past Friday with a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The prestigious award recognizes outstanding public relations planning and implementation and was presented to Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. for their work with the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) in helping them defeat a proposed seasonal wood-burning ban in Utah. The statewide ban would have prevented Utahns from using wood stoves, even low-emission Environmental Protection Agency-certified models, between November and March.

Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. worked closely with the HPBA’s out of state public relations firm, Stratacomm, to organize and launch Utahns for Responsible Burning – a grassroots group of concerned Utah citizens who wanted to maintain their ability to use EPA-certified stoves in the event of a statewide ban.

  • After web and social components were put into place by Stratacomm, Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. helped the coalition educate and inform the public about the need to exempt EPA-certified wood burning appliances from the ban and to create some clarity and navigable solutions associated with the ban. Some results of this work included:
  • The grassroots campaign was successful and forced regulators to rescind the proposed ban and prompted state legislators to pass a bill preventing Utah’s Air Quality Board from imposing a similar ban in the future.
  • Almost 100 news articles and TV segments were written as a result of deskside briefings and interviews where Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. introduced and educated the media about the implications of a broad wood burning ban and the benefits of new EPA-certified technologies.
  • More than 2,500 people attended six public hearings, with the crowd nearly unanimously opposed to the wood burning ban and many using messaging developed by Wilkinson Ferrari & Co.
  • More than 3,500 people signed the Coalition’s petition in less than one month.
  • Over 50 Letters to Editor were submitted to local media outlets.

This is the first Silver Anvil Award for Wilkinson Ferrari & Co.

For more than 70 years, PRSA’s Silver Anvil award has served as the most distinguished honor in the field of public relations, recognizing complete communications campaigns that incorporate measurable and sound research, planning, execution, and evaluation. The awards are judged by an elite group of national public relations professionals. Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. and Stratacomm received the Silver Anvil award in the Community Relations for Associations/Nonprofit Organizations category.