We usually don’t blow our horn much about winning awards. As former New Times columnist and current WPLG Local 10 commentator Bob Norman once said, “They give too many awards.” Norman would know. He won a lot of them. Sometimes, however, excess is not too bad, especially when it is Gulfstream Media Group’s magazines on the receiving end. Usually our company wins an award or two at the Florida Magazine Association’s annual convention. You would expect as much with six magazines entering the competition.
But this year was extraordinary. We won 15 awards, including a few golds. We doubt if anybody keeps track, but we find it hard to believe that any other Florida magazine company ever had such a score. The impressive part was the breadth of the achievement. We were honored across the board for quality writing, photography and design, including advertising related materials, in both print and digital presentations. The latter is a fairly recent and growing category, and it is a tribute to our art department led by art director Craig Cottrell and featuring the work of Brian Beach and Celiese Tuason on the print side. A number of the design prizes also owe much to the excellent photography of Jason Nuttle.
On the digital side, our presentations can only get better, as we have hired specialists for that department. Ileana Llorens, senior web editor, and Lyssa Goldberg, web editor, will be taking bows at future awards dinners.
Speaking of Gulfstream Media Group’s six magazines, you would think we would take more advantage of that sextet to run major features in all books. Sort of the way The Associated Press and other syndications run the same stories in hundreds of newspapers around the country. We don’t often do that, however. One reason is that our regional publishers like to keep their magazines very local. It takes a story of major importance to more than one market to convince them otherwise.
This month is one of them. Our piece on the water crisis in the Everglades is timed for our annual water issue, which comes out in time for the big Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that’s a little more than a month away. Everglades water issues are of importance to about half of Florida, but particularly to the state’s east coast, from Stuart down to the Florida Keys. And the people we feature are located up and down that coast.
Finally, this issue carries our annual Who’s Who in Charity & the Arts feature. This section goes back to the late 1980s, when it was introduced in another magazine that we succeeded. It gives us the distinction of having invented something that has been copied by numerous magazines.
When it began, it was sort of a gimmick to help the magazine regain credibility once we resumed control after a long lawsuit. It was not intended to be a permanent fixture, nor did we ever think so many other magazines, including some of the biggest, would pick up the idea with annual philanthropy issues.