Communities share stories of long-lasting love


When planning out PR activities for the year, holidays and national observances are always something to explore. Is the client hosting a special event? Or doing something unique to celebrate? Are they giving back to the community? The possibilities are endless, and if you dig deep enough, you’ll typically find a great story. 

That was the case for Watermark Retirement Communities this Valentine’s Day. With many of their residents celebrating 60 plus years of marriage, there was no shortage of inspiring love stories to share. 

Couple Celebrates 73rd Valentine’s Day Together 

During my research, I learned that one couple at The Watermark at Trinity would celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary this year. My idea going into the media preparations was to have them share their advice for a long-lasting marriage. However, upon speaking with them I learned that they had their first date on Valentine’s Day! With that, i tweaked my angle and pitched their story to the local TV stations. 

The result was a feature story on Channel 10 News during their evening broadcast on Valentine’s Day. The station also shared the story on their Facebook page, which has more than a million followers, and more than one reporter shared the story on their personal Facebook pages – expanding the reach of this story exponentially. 

Married couple of 75 years renews vows

Meanwhile, across Tampa Bay, The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay was planning a Valentine’s vow renewal ceremony for 10 couples at the community. Couples were interviewed by the Community Life team and shared their stories, as well as their advice to maintain a healthy and loving marriage. I invited the local media to attend the ceremony and cover it on Valentine’s Day. 

Channel 10 News was there again and interviewed Phil and Stella Szemela who will celebrate 75 years of marriage this year. The resulting story aired the same night and featured them renewing their vows and offering their advice to other couples. Again, the story was shared on Facebook and Instagram, leveraging the power of social media to expand the reach of the story. 

“This event brought our community so much joy all around. Thank you for your assistance with the media, Kasey, and for orchestrating their time here at Boca!” 

 Melissa Krysh, Community Life Director, The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay

While neither story featured the communities (my client) directly, they did show how they are creating an environment where their residents thrive. These will be valuable tools for the community moving forward, as they can be shared with prospective residents, as well as the families of their current residents. 

Interested in getting your story on the local news? Contact me to find out more about my media relations services.