Four weeks ago, after a four-week organizational sprint, the Villa Park Community F.U.N. Commission tried to shatter the Guinness World Records title for the largest dog wedding ceremony.
Though the effort fell short, between the encouraging local, national and international media coverage along the way, the lessons that organizers learned in the process and the all-around fun that occurred, enthusiasm abounds to take another shot at the mark next year.
And this time, with more time to plan, the light-hearted title may well be wrested from the Littleton, Colorado group that drew 178 canine couples back in 2007.
Glad to be in the mix of it all as the event’s public and media relations provider, Inside Edge PR + Media is eager to help F.U.N. Commission Chairperson Leslie Allison-Seei and her cohorts on that follow-up bid.
Having provided media and public relations for a 2008 Guinness World Record attempt in the same category, in Oak Park, Illinois, Inside Edge parlayed that experience this time around, too.
The event website (Paws & Claws in the Park animal adoption fundraiser) features some of the media coverage that ensued, including an appearance by organizers (and dogs) on Daytime Chicago, the new hourlong WGN-TV program that was a big booster of our efforts. Check out the segment that aired a few days before the September 25th attempt in Villa Park.
The Pre-Event PR Push
Toward the end of our pre-event PR push, Inside Edge secured an interview of Leslie by WGN Radio host Steve Dale, the syndicated Pet World personality. That interaction led to Steve Dale serving as the event emcee.
By waging another round of tailored media outreach in the closing days before the ceremony, international coverage occurred through a preview story by the UPI wire service. In addition, multiple Chicago television outlets expressed interest in receiving an update on the day of the event. That interest–plus outstanding work by M & L Productions to create a top-notch video compilation of the festivities–resulted in Chicago TV news coverage that night as well as in subsequent interviews of Leslie.
Quoting Leslie (who, along with her husband, Greg, owns Robust Promotions):
“When it was decided that we were going to attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for Largest Dog Wedding Ceremony, I knew the first person I needed to call was Matt Baron at Inside Edge. Matt not only is a magnificent writer and PR specialist but he also has a lot of experience with Guinness World Records.
With just the right mix of professionalism, genuine excitement and calm determination, he was a pleasure to work with. He set up interviews, wrote press releases and acted as our media liaison the day of the event. I can’t imagine a more important team player!”
Her remarks are included in an Inside Edge PR + Media case study, which you can find in the Success Stories section of this website.
The appreciation and admiration are mutual–Leslie and Greg always “have me at hello” because they bring fun–with big doses of love and kindness–to everything they do. As Leslie noted–and was included in a post-event news release–the event succeeded wildly in drawing attention to the 10 animal adoption groups that received $4,000 from dog owners who married off their mutts. Plus, the day served to bring the community together.
“Love was in the air,” Leslie said. “It’s a win all around, especially after the turbulent times we have all had.”