Make it the Biggest, the Smallest, the Fastest, the Longest…

The “it” tactic for companies to stand out in the crowd and promote their brand is by setting a Guinness World Record.

An article by the Wall Street Journal highlights a number of companies who have set their way into the Guinness World Records:

– Starwood’s Sheraton hotel chain set the record for the most people gathered to participate in the largest-ever resistance-band strength-training class at a Sheraton in midtown Manhattan. (270 people)

Estée Lauder set a record for having the “most landmarks illuminated for a cause in 24 hours” when it had t38 landmarks lit up in pink to promote breast-cancer awareness.

Cricket Communications Inc. teamed up with Samsung Electronics Co. to produce the world’s largest cell phone. At 15 feet long, 11 feet high and three feet wide, it was fully functional.

A Guinness World Record helps to create buzz for a company and gives it something to promote. Usually the record set is unusual enough in itself to garner attention, so the company can ride the publicity wave.

I have firsthand experience with the Guinness World Record operation. I am part of Team Giant George, the record holder for the Tallest Dog in the World. The amount of publicity that the record receives can’t be counted in thousands, but rather tens and hundreds of thousands. The reach is extension, with tentacles in Asia, Europe and Australia, to name a few.

Last month, I traveled with Giant George to New York City to participate in the launch of the Guinness World Record 2011 book launch. Giant George and Boo Boo, the smallest dog in the world, were the media faces for the new book. Both animal record-holders were part of the Regis and Kelly Live TV show week-long celebration of Guinness World Records. Both George and Boo Boo participated in a photo shoot in Central Park, where reporters from local, national and international publications and Internet sites were on hand to tell the story and generate publicity. The amount of attention was overwhelming and the team at Guinness knows how to handle PR (shout out to Jamie Panas, Guinness’ U.S. PR executive.)

The experience left me with a strong respect for the publicity that a Guinness World Record can create. If it is appropriate for your company or client, give it a try. But remember, make your world-record attempt relevant to the brand you are promoting. The new trend won’t last long if a multitude of companies turn to Guinness to make their PR efforts unique.

For the full Wall Street Journal article on this new trend, visit Fastest-Growing PR Stunt: Get Into Guinness Records

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