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.