By day, Alison Bailin is a veteran senior account executive at our PRGN partner – HMA Public Relations in Phoenix. But by night, she is one of the state’s most prolific freelance writers. Get to know her better below:
Tell us how you got into freelance writing?
I began my PR career in 2004 with HMA Public Relations and I’ve been here ever since. In 2008, I asked an editor friend (Arizona media rock star, Michelle Glicksman) to let me write a story about high tea in the Valley, and she obliged. That turned into writing about food, then drink, then resorts, then travel…and the list goes on.
Today, I write for about two dozen magazines – mostly monthly glossies but also some weekly, bi-monthly and annual magazines – on travel and luxury experiences across the globe; wineries, beer, mixologists, cocktails, resorts, restaurants, bars, events and more. The best way to see a mix of my favorite stories is to visit my Instagram account.
I am not an influencer or anything like that, but I do post up examples of what to pitch me and my favorite columns. Some of the magazines for which I write include: So Scottsdale, Uptown, Entertainer, Experience Arizona, Scottsdale Airpark Magazine, AZ Foothills, AZ Business Magazine, North Valley Magazine, College Times, Scottsdale Progress, AZ Business Leaders, AZRE, Contractor and Community Magazine, Chandler Lifestyles, Green Living Magazine, AZ Health & Living Magazine and AZ Business Angels.
Do you have any regular columns?
I do! I have two monthly wine columns, as well as three cocktail/beer columns, two restaurant columns, two chef columns and three travel columns.
How do you balance writing for clients all day and writing in your spare time as well?
I often do phone interviews before the workday at 7:30am, then usually three or four days a week at lunch if I remember to bring a freezer meal to the office. Then, I stay late at the office at least two nights a week as well to jam out stories.
Tell us your fave restaurants in Arizona?
I am a massive advocate of the northern Arizona food scene, especially Cottonwood, Sedona and Flagstaff. Some favorites up there include Merkin Osteria (get the gnocchi), Crema Cafe, Page Springs, Cress on Creek, Mariposa, Brix, Tinderbox Kitchen, Root Public House and Josephine’s.
Then, in “the Valley of the Sun,” which is what we collectively call all the 60 or so miles that make up the greater-Phoenix area, I love Bourbon Steak, Rokerij, Postino, Proof, North, Steak 44, Toro, Bar Pesce, Confluence, Hush Public House, Clever Koi, Carlos O’Briens, Rusconi’s, Blue Hound, Virtu, Different Pointe of View, Lincoln, Atlas, Snooze, FnB, Rancho Pinot and The Macintosh.
Tell us the favorite travel spots you’ve covered?
I started writing about luxury travel around the globe about five years ago but am still a bit “West Coast is the Best Coast” in my personal faves. Alaska, Carmel, Monterey, Cabo, Tahoe, Sonoma and Vancouver still have my heart. Look up Farmhouse in Sonoma, Indian Springs Calistoga in Napa, Edgewood in Tahoe, Le Blanc in Cabo and Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel for some of my most recent favorite hotels.
And favorite wines/wineries?
As with my travel, I am a fan of West Coast here, too. My favorite winery experiences are at Blue Rock, Mondavi, Bella, J Vineyards, Medlock Ames, Schramsburg, Prisoner, Rombauer, Coppola, Bennett Lane, Sterling and Newton. My favorite wines to drink are Rombauer Zinfandel, Bella Zinfandel, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Carlson Creek Rule of Three and any Prosecco.