By Ryan Gerding

We tell folks often that what makes us different as a PR firm our ability to figure out how to make our clients interesting to the news media: identifying the one or two unique aspects of a story that will push it from being ignored among dozens of other pitches and instead be the most important thing a journalist worked on that day. 

INK secured some great local coverage for one of our clients last week that is a prime example of finding the nugget that makes the news. Our client is The Residences at Park 39, a very unique residential development in the heart of Kansas City’s Midtown. Developers took a historic high school that had sat abandoned for years and turned it into an apartment building. They took great pains to preserve parts of the school’s history while also giving the apartments all of the modern amenities. That’s a pretty cool story on its own. But we found more. 

We learned that developers were planning an open house and grand opening, and that in addition to inviting members of the surrounding community to visit, they were also inviting former graduates of the historic school to tour the inside for the first time in decades. There’s the hook. 

We told the local media they would get the amazing chance to see the dramatic renovations to the high school through the eyes of men and women who attended as kids. It would be emotional and compelling. The results speak for themselves: two fantastic pieces on local TV and one in-depth tour of the facility in The Kansas City Star, each focusing on the reaction the alumni had to the new apartment building. The stories turned the central compelling character of the story from the building itself to the people who used to walk through its walls. That gave the story enough emotional heft to warrant bigger coverage: it led the evening newscasts, but probably wouldn’t if the story and pitch had simply been, “here’s a new apartment building that had a grand opening.”

By working hard to identify the nuggets that turn a story from ho hum to compelling, we earned better coverage for our client.

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