Master-planned community and client Wendell Falls in Wendell, North Carolina, is a nexus of connectivity marked by people with a passion to make a difference. Wendell Falls joined forces with builder Garman Homes, nonprofit Operation Coming Home and the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County to build a “Hero Home” in honor of a fallen soldier. During a pandemic when many felt disconnected, the Wendell Falls team sought to unite residents and rally industry partners behind the Hero Home cause.
Wendell Falls turned to Clairemont to help create a media campaign that would celebrate the fallen hero and inspire community cohesion through widespread news coverage of the Key Ceremony — the event that unveiled the Hero Home to the family of the fallen soldier. Clairemont targeted all top media outlets within the immediate county. Our objective was to provide visibility for Wendell Falls by securing on-site attendance from at least two media and four news pieces (two stories in newspapers and two with local TV stations).
Clairemont used the following creative tactics to raise awareness and gather media interest in this event:
- The Hero Behind the Home: Rather than just a standard news release, Clairemont wanted to tell the personal story of the hero and his family. Through personal interviews, media captured glimpses into the fallen hero’s love for his two sons, his passion for hobbies, his pride in his country and his ultimate dream to own a home – a dream that Wendell Falls was making a reality that day.
- A Veterans Day Event: Since the Key Ceremony was planned for Veterans Day 2020, it was quite the community event. The family arrived in a cavalcade of hummers, serenaded by The American Bombshells, a 1940s musical trio from New York City. The house keys themselves were slated to be parachuted to the home site in honor of the fallen hero’s service in the army as a paratrooper.
- A Head-Turning Home: Media were offered exclusive first glimpses of the Hero Home unveiling, designed personally for the family.
Clairemont’s work resulted in five on-site media and a total of 13 news stories, including four TV segments, two newsletters and seven print articles. These included a front-page feature story in the region’s leading newspaper along with stories in main papers across the state.