Looking for a claim to fame? Need a unique story to interest the media? Just have way too much time on your hands? Any of those might be a good reason to set an official world record.
The Guinness World Records(TM) folks have been keeping track of all kinds of interesting feats, facts and phenomena since 1955. Their data base currently includes more than 40,000 categories of record makers, from fastest winkle picker to golf ball stacking.
To find out how you can qualify to set a world record, go to the Guinness web site: http://www.GuinnessWorldRecords.com/. Although the online data base is not complete, you can view listings for many of the records, and even see photographs and video of some of them.
There are categories such as longest lecture, most miles walked on a treadmill in 24 hours, largest CPR training session, most trees planted in a day, smallest kite flown, and many more. Some records get more competition than others. According to their web site, every month brings attempts to break the radio DJ marathon record. Kevin Cole of Carlsbad, New Mexico, holds the record for the longest spaghetti strand blown out of a nostril in a single blow. That one probably doesn’t have as much competition, but it may not be the record you wish to break.
Of course, there are lots of categories for the largest and smallest, and the youngest and oldest, etc. One of the existing categories may be a good fit for you. If not, come up with a brand new idea. The Web site includes guidelines for the types of categories they will and will not accept.
Could you set a record that would bring you media attention or bragging rights in your industry? One category is most haircuts given in one hour. (In case you are wondering, the current record is 23.) A hair stylist could try to break that record while raising money for charity by taking contributions from the victims, uh, customers she serves while setting the record.
Before attempting to set your record, make a proposal to Guinness. They may accept your proposal, reject it, or suggest that you attempt to break an existing record. If accepted, they will give you specific guidelines to follow as you make and document your attempt.
It can take four weeks or longer to get approval of your proposal, so be sure to allow plenty of lead time if you want to time your attempt to coincide with another event. There is no charge to submit a proposal, but if you need a quick response you may pay for Fast Track service to get an answer within days rather than weeks.
Use your record-setting attempt to drum up media coverage (they love events with visuals), and include your record in your bio and future press kits. Frame your Guinness certificate and display it prominently. Put photos or video of your record-setting activities on your Web site.
See you in the record books!