If you’re a publicist and want to avoid controversy, then there’s a simple formula: take no risks and go to great lengths to avoid offending others.
In short, prepare to fail.
With any worthwhile pursuit, if you bring enthusiasm and creativity to the task, you will leave yourself open to naysayers, hecklers and all manner of critics.
That’s because one person’s enthusiasm and creativity is another’s bad idea and unseemly taste.
Such was the recent case with I Do, Doggone It!, the Nov. 8 event in Oak Park, Ill. that I publicized for Downtown Oak Park, an association of businesses who wanted to bring attention to their shopping district.
We drew 87 couples on a bone-chilling, rainy day–easily the 2nd-largest wedding in history, though shy of the Guinness World Record of 178, set in Littleton, Col. in May 2007. And with 13 same-sex couples (nine male and four female duos), we likely set the standard in that category.
Local letters to the editor, and even an editorial, found fault with either the premise itself or the fact that we did not break the Guinness record.
All those slings and arrows go with the territory.
Fortunately, so does the continuing national and regional coverage, from the likes of Fox News, the Chicago Tribune and various Chicago television stations, which continue shining a spotlight on Oak Park’s downtown.
Let the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on!
Dogged Determination: Guinness World Records Attempt at Largest Dog Wedding Ceremony
August: The Dog Days of Publicity