Media Relations: CNN Features Camp on Homepage
This incredible and beautifully written story about teens coping with the death of a loved one who served in the military was featured on the CNN.com home page when it published. Steppingstone LLC’s Ami Neiberger-Miller had several conversations with author Chelsea J. Carter in advance of the TAPS National Good Grief Camp in 2012, where Carter was “embedded” with a group of teens mourning a loved one.
One of the things this story demonstrates, is how important it is for an organization to build a good relationship with a reporter. Carter had written a story about the camp many years prior while at another media outlet, and called in 2012 seeking to cover the program from a new angle.
It also demonstrates the importance of trust. Some of the leaders with the camp program remembered Carter and her sensitivity to the children and were comfortable with having her present, and willing to work with youth and parents to ensure that everyone was comfortable with the idea of coverage. Conversely, Carter and her photographer/videographer had to allow the story to unfold during the weekend and be content with not having a firm storyline scripted out in advance.
So often, reporters covering this program gravitate toward the younger children, but to see a reporter with an interest in teens is unusual. This story is extraordinary and demonstrates how when trust is built between a reporter and the people she or he is reporting about, understanding can happen.
Even though a link to a YouTube version of the video piece that went with this story is below, do not miss the online story and photo gallery.