2014 PR People Awards: Publicist of the Year

Winner: Adrenna Alkhas, Marketing and Communications Director, Stanislaus County Fair

Half a century ago, county fair organizers could count on the warming feel of a yearly ritual to draw huge, happy crowds and sponsors. In this century, county fairs must fight to break through the clutter and stay relevant. This demands both an old-fashioned good-neighbor approach with partners and attendees, and a sure hand with brand-building digital communications. Adrenna Alkhas—a Vine enthusiast who uses the super-short videos to announce new bands and "Fair or Dare" challenges—excels at both.

Fairs in California are no longer funded by the government and must generate their own income; Alkhas has helped generate over $410,000 in sponsorship dollars for 2014 with the help of her sponsorship coordinator. She  came up with the idea for a new $10,000 sponsorship with Modesto Toyota called the ReCharge Modesto Toyota Lounge. The lounge was open all 10 days of the fair and allowed guests to come inside the tent to recharge their cell phones or computers.

She developed a Mommy and Me Lounge that was sponsored by Emanuel Medical Center. This lounge allowed moms to nurse their babies inside an air-conditioned building. Alkhas also secured a partnership with Uber; if attendees downloaded the Uber app and used it to come to the fair, they received up to $25 off their rides to and from the fair.

All told, Alkhas increased publicity by 10% for the 2014 fair and helped generate an increase in attendance at the fair by 15% increase over last year.