Valley Bank’s Commercial Real Estate team in Florida had financed a series of U.S. Tesla service and delivery center locations for its long-standing client Truett Realty Group (TRG). When the fourth location was approved, in the Lealman neighborhood in St. Petersburg, it marked the second Community Reinvestment Act-qualified site for Valley’s work with TRG and promised a kickstart for the local area, an underserved community.
The site had been home to a Kane’s Furniture liquidation center. The new 50,000-square-foot Tesla development is expected to upgrade the site and bring more than 50 highly qualified jobs to the area.
Celebrated by the neighborhood and Pinellas County business community, both Valley Bank and TRG were eager to get the news out to key audiences. However, there was an initial flurry of news coverage that had scooped the planned announcement and created some misinformation in the market, which understated TRG’s role in the story.
B2 teamed up with PR network partner Amber Brinkley of Kippen Communications to collaborate on a press release and media outreach that would correct misinformation and highlight the involvement of Valley and TRG.
To do so, B2 and Kippen compiled a series of key elements to correct misinformation and drive media’s interest in a second round of coverage.
- Community-focused – The news release focused on the positive community impact of the new site and financing, which offered a fresh angle that prominently included both TRG and Valley.
- CRA Education – It was vital to explain the history and meaning of the Community Redevelopment Area in Lealman to fully relay the impact of Tesla’s development and give the story a fresh angle.
- Meaningful Quotes – In addition to quotes from both TRG and Valley, the news release included remarks from a Pinellas County Commissioner and the Kane’s Furniture’s CEO that delivered additional details and perspective to the story, leading to multiple sides of the story.
- Compelling Images – In addition to the standard renderings, B2 and Kippen provided aerial photos of the site, renderings and array of visuals for media to utilize in the news stories.
The announcement was well-received by both regional Tampa Bay media and national CRE trade media outlets with coverage in publications such as the Business Observer, Tampa Bay Business Journal, St. Pete Catalyst, and GlobeSt.com.
The media coverage was appropriately focused on the developer TRG as the entity responsible for bringing the future Tesla center to the area and included Valley Bank’s role in financing the purchase.