These cases, for a popular consumer home magazine, approach home building and remodeling as a story — a problem-solving exercise, complete with characters (the homeowners and their architect), a challenge (gaining space, saving energy, achieving aesthetics, conserving land), and a solution.
"Responsible Remodeling," Midwest Home. The problem: How to publicize Minnesota GreenStar, a new collaborative effort of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the Green Institute. One solution would be to extol the program and its virtues. A better way is to tell the story of how the new program solves people's problems.
"Bluff-Top Overlook," Midwest Home. The homeowners had a grand site, but they didn't want a grandiose house. How to keep the location from overwhelming the building? SALA Architects came up with a plan. That plan formed the story-line of this article.
"A Delicate Balance," Midwest Home. The sale of lakeshore property presented a challenge to the conservation-minded president of a design-build firm. How do you protect land, build homes, and not go broke in the process? Again, the challenge provided the story-line.
People read about people. And if the subject of a profile tells a story that furthers your marketing aims — voilà — you've put across your message while presenting your company as the home of creative, interesting, dedicated employees. What could be better?
"The Lion King," Minnesota, magazine of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Even though biologist Craig Packer works in Minnesota, half a world away from the African lions he studies, he is one of the world's preeminent lion experts. It was the story of a novel and hilarious experiment that brought his research to life — and to light.
"Chapter Two," St. Paul College, publication of its namesake institution. The problem, said the editor, was "to put butts in the chairs" — meaning to enroll students in this small technical college. The story of an Ethiopian immigrant who turned his life around with a college degree suggested how any student could make a better life through education.
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E-mail Greg Breining or call 651-644-4164.