Amidst a busy news cycle focused on wildfires and record-breaking heat, Aker Ink landed a series of media hits for a retirement community celebrating a resident’s 91st birthday.

She’s not the oldest resident, but Nancy Moore had something many companies tend to overlook — a compelling story. Nancy, who happens to be the oldest woman to ever complete the 1.8-mile swim to Alcatraz (she was 79 last time she did it), wanted to swim a mile to commemorate that accomplishment and celebrate her birthday.

Had the retirement community sent a press release about its amenities or learning programs, media wouldn’t have been interested. Instead, they cleverly focused on Nancy, using her story as a backdrop to showcase their facility and what a fun place it is to live.

Having a compelling human interest angle as a hook paid off; FOX10 did a remote segment during its morning program, and ABC15 aired a three-minute “Uplifting Arizona” story during the 10 p.m. newscast, with an online article that touted the community providing treats to the residents who turned out to cheer for Nancy. Scottsdale Progress and Lovin’ Life After 50 sent a reporter to cover the feat, and Scottsdale Independent interviewed her as well.

However, a great story alone isn’t enough to garner coverage. Aker Ink provided three essentials that got fantastic results:

  1. Relationships are key. Reporters, editors and producers receive hundreds of emails a day. Knowing who best to approach is an important first step, but cultivating relationships and becoming a trusted resource not only means our emails are opened and calls are returned, but it ultimately generated better coverage. We identified unique angles and interviews for each outlet and facilitated in-depth interviews that a press release couldn’t achieve.
  2. A picture is worth a thousand words. Compelling visuals are imperative, and Aker Ink helped media scout the best vantage points and arranged interviews with Nancy, members of her family and residents there to encourage her. We also collected photos of her Alcatraz swims to share along with photos from the event.
  3. Their wish is our command. Accommodating schedules and special requests not only results in a better story, but also helps solidify relationships. Nancy planned to start her swim at 10 a.m. but rearranged her plans so FOX10 could broadcast during the morning show. ABC15 requested an audience countdown to start Nancy’s swim and used it in the story. Scottsdale Independent requested their photographer be allowed into the pool so she could get some underwater shots. Flexibility is appreciated and remembered.

In addition to lending a company invaluable third-party credibility, media coverage provides excellent content for social media and email marketing. Aker Ink can ensure your event, product or service is newsworthy, develop memorable pitches to snag media interest and prep your spokespeople to shine in the spotlight.