Barrio Logan Referendum Work Wins National Award

Jun 11, 2015

Company honored with Silver Anvil from Public Relations Society of America
Southwest Strategies LLC, one of San Diego’s top-ranked public affairs firms, was recently honored with the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award in the category of Issues Management for “Overturning the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update: Protecting a Billion Dollar Industry in San Diego.” This award is the fifth Silver Anvil Award Southwest Strategies has received.

“This esteemed award is a reflection of Southwest Strategies’ dedication to our work and our clients,” said company president Chris Wahl. “The San Diego Ship Repair Association remains dedicated to protecting and improving the community and our local economy, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts to help them educate the public about the importance of the maritime industry in San Diego.”

The Silver Anvil, which recognizes outstanding achievement in strategic communications planning and execution, is a top honor in the public relations field nationally. The award, symbolizing the forging of public opinion, is awarded to organizations that have successfully addressed contemporary issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. Silver Anvil Awards recognize complete programs that meet the highest standards of performance in the profession and incorporate sound research, planning, execution and evaluation. Programs considered in the Issues Management category handle issues that extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.

The Ship Repair Association hired Southwest Strategies to manage the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update issue and ensure the long-term viability of San Diego’s shipyards. The issues management campaign’s purpose was to communicate the industry’s commitment to San Diego and oppose a plan update that placed housing near the shipyards and prevented suppliers from continuing business in the area, harming the future of the industry.

On behalf of the Ship Repair Association, and a broader coalition named the Protect Our Jobs Coalition, Southwest Strategies developed and implemented a strategic plan designed to overturn – through a voter referendum – a San Diego City Council decision to update the Barrio Logan Community Plan. On June 3, 2014, voters rejected the Plan at the Ballot by a margin of 60-40 percent, reinforcing the Ship Repair Association’s concerns that the Plan threatened the viability of the maritime industry.

This recent award comes after a successful year of awards for the company. Wahl was recognized as the 2014 PRSA San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter’s Public Relations Pro of the Year for his service and dedication to his clients and the profound impact he has had on the local public relations industry, and the company received five other awards at the Chapter’s Bernays event.

“Congratulations to all of the Silver Anvil Award recipients and thank you to PRSA for recognizing our firm with us such a prestigious honor,” said Wahl.

Since Wahl and partner Alan Ziegaus formed Southwest Strategies in 2000, the firm has received multiple recognitions for the work it has done for its clients, including numerous awards from PRSA nationally and locally, the San Diego Business Journal, Metropolitan Magazine and the California Redevelopment Association.

About Southwest Strategies
San Diego-based Southwest Strategies offers a full range of communications and strategic services for a diverse client list throughout the state of California. The firm’s services include public affairs, community relations, crisis communications, public relations, media relations and government affairs. The company has been ranked by the San Diego Business Journal as one of San Diego’s top three public relations firms. Alan Ziegaus and Chris Wahl formed Southwest Strategies in April 2000. For more information, visit

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