Immersion Tour with National Public Relations Firm Seeks to Uncover New Stories

By: Kate Virag on September 4th, 2018

Telling the Story of Northeast Indiana Quality of Life and Industry

In the world of media relations, it’s increasingly important to constantly seek out new and fresh story ideas. Sometimes a story might resonate with a media partner because of trends, current events or headlines in the national news. Other times it’s about uncovering a yet-untold story. Through our national public relations work with Development Counsellors International (DCI), our strategic focus is to work within key regional themelines, such as downtown development, lifestyle and innovation, pitching a variety of individual stories within each theme.

To give our partners at DCI first-hand experience in the region and pursue new stories, we bring them to Northeast Indiana once a year for an immersion tour. This year, we spent two very full days shepherding them to businesses in our target industries, showing them quality of life amenities, and meeting with innovators and leaders who have helped build the region.

The immersion tour began in Whitley County, meeting with Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel, Whitley County Economic Development Corporation President Jon Myers and Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center Executive Director Jennifer Romano. We learned about Whitley County’s efforts to welcome and integrate 45 Puerto Rican families to their community and strides they have made in adding quality of life offerings like the Fahl Aquatics Center. Next, we visited Chapman’s Brewing, Micropulse and 80/20 Inc. before ending the day with a tour of Sweetwater.

On day two, DCI was thrilled to join a tour of Electric Works and then head to Modbar to learn about innovations in the commercial coffee equipment industry. After a meeting with Visit Fort Wayne to discuss an upcoming journalist visit, the group headed to Turnstone, where they were treated to a tour and given the opportunity to watch the exciting, fast-paced game of Goalball. DCI was amazed at what Turnstone offers. In addition to the amazing, state-of-the-art facility and top-notch programs the organization provides, Turnstone is also home to the United States Men's Paralympic Goalball Team and will host the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball & Judo Paralympic Qualifying Competition.

DCI departed Northeast Indiana inspired and ready to pitch many new stories about quality of life and industry in the region. Through our partnership with DCI, we have achieved over 200 million national media impressions for an advertising value equivalency of more than $1 million just this year. It’s important to continue to refresh and reinforce our pitches with new stories.

Do you have a story to share? Send it to Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Communications Kate Virag.