About a month ago, my friend Holly, who works at Airbnb, posted an Instagram photo of a couple getting married at the company’s headquarters. Turns out, the newlyweds met two years ago through the site as a host and guest. Aww, right?
I’ve been a writer for a long time, and have mostly done a very good job of avoiding journalism. It’s just not my thing—facts and such. I prefer writing about what I think rather than about stuff that happens, because you may or may not be aware, but fact-checking is stressful. Writing about food and what I watch on television is much less so. But when I saw Holly’s photo, I immediately went into journalist mode. Whooda guessed?!
Slight sidebar (I’ll bring it back around, I promise): a former co-worker of mine named Matt takes a ferry to downtown Seattle everyday, and if you’ve never been to Seattle, let me tell you, it looks all innocent from the top…
…but down in the trenches, it’s hilly as all get-out. So, Matt’s trek from the ferry dock to the office was quite the climb, but he had figured out a route through a series of buildings in which he would either catch an elevator or escalator up and out the front door to the next block. He could get all the way from the ferry—probably six or seven blocks up-hill—to the office, without having to walk up a single one. I was telling this to another co-worker, Anne, who had an extensive background in journalism, and the first thing she said was, “That would make a great article!” While I just thought it was a funny anecdote, Anne’s journalism brain took over and saw it as a story.
And so, in an effort to train myself to be more like Anne, I’ve tried to be more conscious of those moments when I see or hear about something and think, Oh, how cool!. Instead of stopping at, how cool!, sometimes it occurs to me that others might also think it’s cool, and perhaps I should write about it.
This was one of those times.
And while I’ll never really consider myself a journalist (finding stuff out is hard!), I can absolutely see the appeal. The feeling of potentially being the first person to write about the Airbnb wedding was downright thrilling. I felt a rush of energy emailing Holly to ask about getting connected with their PR team, and sat at my desk nervously drumming my fingers, willing her to reply. Hurry!!—I don’t want to get scooped! (Do journalists still say that or did they abandon the phrase back in the fifties and come up with something much cooler?)
My article is now live on Apartment Therapy, and while I think a couple of business publications technically beat me to the punch, I do believe my article is the first one out there that isn’t just a re-printing of the press release.
I interviewed Ben and Noa via email, but didn’t have space in the original article to include the couple’s favorite memory from their wedding day, so I thought I’d share that little tid-bit here…
For Ben, it was spending the morning reminiscing about how they first met, as well as running into a flower shop on the way at the last minute—they just happened to be a wedding delivery florist not usually open to the public, so they were able to get a gorgeous bouquet. For Noa, it was holding hands in the car, realizing it’s actually happening. And also, seeing the happiness in people’s eyes all around the Airbnb workspace.
Thanks again to Ben and Noa for letting me share their story, and to Holly for giving me the PR hook-up!
You can read the article on Apartment Therapy.