Inside Edge PR’s Media Support of Living Donor Guinness World Record Attempt

It’s an inspiring and humbling thing to be providing public relations and media relations support for the Guinness World Record Attempt: Living Donor Rally on Saturday, April 21st at Millennium Park in Chicago.

Through contacts I have made in myriad media markets around the United States–all after gathering information from organ donors who are attending the rally–I have been inspired to consider donating one of my own organs. The key word is “consider,” since  significant, thoughtful steps must come before organ donation is a reality for me.

Among the heroes I have been fortunate to connect with, and to connect with their regional media: June Monroe, featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ashley Hoyng, the focus of a column by Joe Blundo in The Columbus Dispatch; Misty Shaw, in The State Journal-Register; Rebecca Marsh, in the Reporter-Herald of Loveland, Col.; and Mike Koetting, featured in a “Minnesota Moment” segment on KSTP, the ABC station in the Twin Cities.

Laurie Lee, CEO of Swift Passport Services

Kudos to Laurie Lee, a friend and client (along with her husband, Rob, she is the owner of Swift Passport Services). An organ donor herself, Laurie is spearheading heightened awareness of the need for more life-saving living donors. See the Northwest Herald feature on Laurie’s story, including her distinctive take on the so-called organ “shortage” that numbers more than 100,000 across the country:

“You hear every day on the news about an organ shortage,” Lee said. “There isn’t an organ shortage. There’s an organ surplus.”

The problem is a lack of people willing to donate, Lee said.

“There’s an allocation issue,” Lee said. “Most people are walking around with two kidneys. You only need one to live a perfectly normal life.”

Those are challenging, and inspiring, words indeed!

Related Posts:
George Hood’s Guinness World Record in the Plank Propels Post-Event PR Push
The Reward of National Publicity Comes With Heightened Risk of Rejection



George Hood’s Peak-to-Peak Guinness Effort Illustrates Goal-Setting Power

George Hood during his Guinness World Record performance on April 20th. (Photo by Bob Kauffman)

When is the last time you broke down a daunting marketing or public relations goal into smaller pieces?

Marathon runners do it all the time until their ultimate goal, finishing the race, is simply another smaller objective on the heels of a stream of other, manageable goals.

On April 20, those who witnessed George Hood obliterate the Guinness World Record in the abdominal plank, more than doubling it, were privy to this kind of goal-upon-goal process.

Having provided public and media relations for Hood’s efforts over the past six years, I have often observed him use this same approach to push himself well beyond typical boundaries of mind, body and soul.

But this time, viewing his tenacity via Ustream video, a phrase that I had first heard years ago stuck in my mind: “peak-to-peak.”

On April 20th, at an American Heart Association fundraiser in Newport, Ky., George Hood, six-time Guinness World Record setter, is locked into the form he held for three-plus hours to shatter the Guinness World Record that he had set 16 months earlier.

That’s short for peak-to-peak goal-setting. Picture yourself in front of a huge mountain. Rather than try to summit the whole thing at once, all you can do is focus on getting to the first peak. Once there, you can then rivet your attention on the next peak up, and so forth, until you are at the top.

It’s a principle that applies in any endeavor, in any aspect of your life.

George Hood celebrates his 6th Guinness World Record effort with Emily Clements (left) and Philip Robertson, a Guinness World Record adjudicator. (Photo by Staci Boyer)

With a peak-to-peak mindset, rewards at each step of the way help provide fuel to persist when difficulty and pain shows up.

For the 55-year-old Hood, who is group exercise director at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge, going into uncharted endurance territory certainly entailed significant levels of both difficulty and pain, both during and after the record-shattering plank.

“The soreness I sustained after the event was the most painful I’ve ever had to endure,” said Hood. And he’s no stranger to pushing the limits, whether it’s jumping rope for more than 13 hours or riding on a spin cycle for more than nine days with the benefit of only five-minute hourly breaks.

During the latter stages of his effort, Hood went from one peak (in terms of plank duration) onto another one. Only when he got to that next peak (or time) did he focus all his energies on the next peak.

This approach can lead you to some amazing places you never imagined possible. A few days after his jaw-dropping performance, Hood told me that as the days counted down toward his Guinness attempt, he thought that he might be able to get to 2 hours and 45 minutes.

But when he reached the 2 ½-hour mark, the three-hour milestone entered his mind as a prospect. When he reached that, he set his sights on lasting for another minute, then aiming for another four minutes. From that point, he lasted another two minutes and 15 seconds for his final time of 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds.

In marketing and public relations campaigns, going peak-to-peak is much less dramatic—and certainly less painful.

I have found that it often takes the form of that extra phone call placed to a previously untapped outlet, that follow-up e-mail when I have all but given up on a reporter’s potential for taking an interest, or that chasing down of a detail from a client that opens the door to an angle that captures the media’s imagination.

Each represents a small piece of the bigger picture, but they have a way of adding up to a powerfully more significant whole.

Meanwhile, as is usually the case with Hood’s record-setting journeys, the media interest has ramped up after his latest accomplishment, including this piece in The Post Game.

Getting the Word Out About George Hood’s Latest Guinness World Record Achievement

A few weeks ago, I noted the Guinness World Record attempt by George Hood in spin cycling, in support of the Gunnar Hotchkin Memorial Fund.

In the spirit of follow-up–and George Hood is nothing if not the consummate example of persistent follow-up, here’s a news release that Inside Edge PR produced in the aftermath of Hood’s successful ride: “Two Much: George Hood Wraps Up Spin Cycling Marathon at 222 Hours, 22 Minutes, 22 Seconds.

Along with other volunteers’ efforts, Inside Edge PR helped secure coverage for George’s feat on WGN Radio (host Greg Jarrett), WBBM Radio (Mike Krauser), NBC 5, and a variety of local newspaper outlets.

Congratulations to George, whose record-setting rides (as well as a few that fell short) I’ve publicized for nearly four years. And kudos to the volunteer crew that played an integral role in his extraordinary effort.

Below is a video clip, shot by Devyn Bokos of Urban Tri Gear in Burr Ridge, that shows George cruising past the prior record of 200 hours:

Providing PR Support for Guinness World Record Bid, Hotchkin Family Fundraiser

Much afoot with Inside Edge PR, including a great cause that was oh-so-easy to get behind: raising awareness about an outreach to help the family of Gunnar Hotchkin, a Hinsdale native who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Starting on Saturday, Oct. 23, the indefatigable George Hood is aiming for another Guinness World Record and using the platform to raise money for the Hotchkins, as noted in this TribLocal piece.

If George’s name looks familiar, it may be because I have blogged about him before, in addition to providing PR support, either officially or informally, for all five of his GWR bids on the spin bike.

Ride IV Reasons: Guinness Bid Gets Under Way

On Sunday night, with the much-awaited start of Ride IV Reasons, Inside Edge PR entered the marathon PR phase of its effort in support of that Guinness World Record attempt.

George Hood, a 52-year-old Aurora, Ill. man, has already set the Guinness mark twice—only to have the record eclipsed shortly thereafter by other ultra-athletes. This time, George wants to stretch the record so far (over 12 ½ days to a staggering 300 hours) that it discourages anyone else from ever trying to top it.

The journey will play out in the space most recently occupied by Lazarus Furniture, in the Aurora Marketplace Shopping Center, at the northwest corner of Route 59 and 75th St. It is most certainly open to the public, so if you’re anywhere close, be sure to swing by as there are a variety of activities under way. Details are at the Ride IV Reasons website.

You can also see George live via video webstream.

The fund-raising goal is $200,000. Beneficiaries will be the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which provides support to Marines injured in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families; and a variety of programs through the United Way of Fox Valley, about an hour west of Chicago.

It’s the third time I’ve done public relations as George has gone on a protracted spin and I encourage you to get involved as well in some way, through your time, a financial donation, or both. It’s always gratifying to be part of something so much bigger than any one individual person.

More updates to follow. Meantime, you can see the countdown to the start right here.