PUBLIC relations (PR) is such a misunderstood, if not an underrated, field in communications. It is often wrongly referred to as putting a misleading spin for the benefit of high corporate and public figures; it is either mere window-dressing or blatant disinformation.

Fortunately, there’s the much-needed book on public relations, Winning the Anvils: A Guide for Professionals in the Trade and Students Entering It, written by PR pioneer and giant Carlos “Charlie” Agatep.

Published last year by Agatep’s marketing communications agency Grupo Agatep, Anvil is sui generis and “first of its kind;” it does not dwell on heavy textbook and armchair theories which do not have any praxis. Instead, it offers stories of public relations professionals in their attempts to properly “build, enhance, and protect” the reputation of their client companies and public figures.

Agatep, a Varsitarian alumnus, presents readers with 64 PR case studies complete with background or situation, objectives, target publics, methods and strategies, and results.

The case studies alert PR practitioners, teachers and students from subterfuges, the bane of much of PR writing, which Agatep considers as practically a purveyance of fake news.

The book is an authoritative guide in the big PR world, most especially Agatep boasts of an impressive profile.

Agatep took up journalism at the defunct Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. He finished it in three years after 1950 and graduated cum laude.

Agatep was a former PR and advertising head of Esso Standard Fertilizer & Agricultural Chemicals and Mobile Oil Philippines. He taught public relations, mass communication, photojournalism, and advertising at UST, St. Paul University and Assumption College.

A Fulbright and Smith-Mundt fellow, Agatep took up his master’s degree in communication arts at Boston University. He received the 2017 Gawad Panday, the highest distinction in the Philippine PR industry. He once headed the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) and was director of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers.

Because it is explicitly titled as a “guide,” Agatep’s book serves as a “prescription” and “template” for aspiring PR practitioners, suggesting numerous ways of presenting campaigns and writing case studies.

Case studies found in the book include “Lumina Pandit: Home of Knowledge and
Preservation,” a project launched during UST’s quadricentennial celebration, which involved the digitization of “some 30 000 rare books and documents” housed in the Miguel de Benavides Library and University Archives.

Another study, “Sabi ng Jollibee: Kaya Mo, Kid! Campaign,” promoted Filipino values among the youth.

Agatep’s case studies are all winners of the most sought-after Anvil, bestowed yearly by PRSP.

The Anvils is like the Academy Awards or “Oscars,” and the so-called Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards of the PR world.

Agatep’s firm has won 137 Anvils: nine golds, 71 silvers, three grand prizes, three platinums, and a special citation for excellence in brand-building and reputation management.

Yet, the book is neither mere hoisting of Agatep’s trophies nor flaunting of his achievements to stoke his ego as a PR pioneer and giant in the country. It’s just icing on the cake; its true goal is to inspire PR aspirants to hopefully win their own Anvils.

But perhaps Agatep’s book does not just encourage people to simply win the Anvils; it reminds practitioners, teachers and students with regards the true essence of public relations, and that is to establish rapport among the public and earn their trust for outstanding, bona fide services.


  1. Charlie you seemed to have it all PR Wise ! Your vast knowledge of the profession, citing cases will surely (guide) students, PR practicioneers and the public of what PR is all about !


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