Imperial Valley Alive! wins PRSA award

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SAN DIEGO — The local Imperial Valley Alive! magazine won the Award of Merit for magazines at the Public Relations Society of America, San Diego and Imperial County (PRSA SD/IC) 25th annual Edward L. Bernays awards dinner Thursday, October 12.

Published by Reliance Public Relations, Inc., Imperial Valley Alive! is a regional magazine written for visitors, newcomers, and those who want to connect with a region unique and alive with possibilities. It was the only magazine to receive a Bernays Award this year.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by our peers,” said Bill Gay, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of Reliance and one of the magazine’s three co-publishers. “We are especially proud to be recognized for developing a magazine intended to showcase a region often overlooked or maligned by the rest of the world.”

Imperial Valley Alive! is a quarterly regional magazine that went into publication in fall 2016. It is designed for those interested in the diverse, vibrant, creative, energetic, innovative community of Imperial Valley that we know and love, but rarely see in the media.

The glossy, full-color magazine started with a print circulation of 5,000. It also is available to read online and it has a very active Facebook presence. The magazine is written, developed and printed locally. It also is widely used in efforts to market the region.

The next edition will be in news racks this week.

“As we see it, the Bernays Award is a recognition of all the talent and local support poured into the magazine, not just those of us who publish it,” said Peggy Dale, magazine co-publisher and corporate secretary for Reliance Public Relations, Inc. “The Valley is so full of talent. Without it, Imperial Valley Alive! could not exist.”

The staff that has helped breathe life into the publication includes: graphic artist Alejandra Noriega; advertising director Bill Amidon; advertising representative Mark Gran; advertising representative Sue Gay, who is co-founder and corporate treasurer of Reliance, and social media consultant Marissa Bowers. Also joining the team as an ad representative is Elsa Beljean.

“We knew the Valley was ripe for a regional magazine,” said Sue Giller, APR, magazine co-publisher and Reliance Public Relations corporate vice president. “But thanks to the ideas and images contributed by our readers and Facebook friends the magazine really has come to life with the region’s people, places and possibilities.”

Since its inception, the magazine has grown dramatically thanks to advertising support and reader interest. The print edition coming out this month will grow to 5,500 copies. And, what started as a 32-page magazine a year ago is now a 48-page magazine.

The Bernays Awards annually honors outstanding public relations practitioners, projects and practices in San Diego and Imperial counties. It is the second year in a row that Reliance Public Relations received a Bernays Award. In 2016, Reliance was awarded a Mark of Excellence Award for a community education project it conducted to educate the public about increasing property tax assessments.

This year, public relations practitioners from the West Michigan Chapter of PRSA judged Bernays entries.

Awards in the numerous Bernays categories were announced at a dinner attended by more than 200 public relations practitioners at The Dana on Mission Bay.