PR Restraint For George Hood’s Next Guinness World Record Bid in Plank

George Hood on Dec. 3, 2011, shortly after he set the Guinness World Record in the abdominal plank.

George Hood, the ultra-endurance athlete extraordinaire from Aurora, Ill., isn’t slowing down at 55 (years of age).

The five-time Guinness World Record holder on Saturday is supporting HeartChase, an American Heart Association fundraiser in Newport, Ky., as he bids to break his own record in the abdominal plank.

But just because the disciplined and driven former Drug Enforcement Administration agent has mind-boggling stamina doesn’t mean the media operate the same way. As a result, publicizing the effort on behalf of Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge, where Hood works as group exercise director, has been an exercise in restraint.

Having promoted six of Hood’s prior Guinness World Record efforts over the past six years, one of the major lessons that has emerged is the importance of not wearing out the story’s welcome before the record-breaking moment arrives.

Sure, being persistent is important in marketing and public relations, but it’s critical to balance that trait with the discernment to “pick your spots” and intelligently consider when is best to reach out to any given media outlet.

In this instance, another factor is that Hood is from the Chicago area (representing one media market) and will be going for the Guinness World Record in the Cincinnati area.

So four weeks ago, Inside Edge PR began waging media outreach in the Chicago area as well with some national outlets. Among other coverage, you can see the news release at the Chicago Tribune‘s TribLocal and this feature story in Suburban Life.

Meanwhile, this week marked the start of outreach to media in the area where Hood will be looking to shatter his own mark of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds. The Cincinnati Enquirer is now pursuing the story.

It remains to be seen where other coverage may flow from, but one thing is for sure: if Hood succeeds in setting a new Guinness record, the moment he stops his plank will mark just the start of a new wave of media coverage.

Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered, PR-Style

“Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.”

In other words, don’t get too greedy.

From the standpoint of creating something that is a legitimate, well-rounded piece of news, rather than a wholly self-serving PR piece that may turn off the media, the pigs/hogs axiom certainly applies.

There simply are times when it’s best to share the spotlight rather than try to hog all of it. A current example illustrating that truth is a recently issued Inside Edge PR news release on an event called “Pancakes for Soldiers.”

I learned of it from Pat Liss, the concierge at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge, and a news release and photo gallery in local media outlets ensued.

Over the last three years, Pat has been a great source of excellent story ideas, often human-interest in nature.

And in this case, Pat was also part of the story, as it turns out. Of course, because Five Seasons is a client–and because it played a key role in supporting the cause–the release included prominent mention of the club.

But it’s not at the exclusion of noting others’ support, from a local Starbucks to another company that donated a propane griddle.

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