I’ll be one of the first in line when the Wisconsin State Fair opens this weekend, making a mad dash to the Expo building to see if two framed needlepoint canvasses I entered won blue ribbons—or were judged good enough to even place.
Then it’s off to the creampuff building to stand in a mile-long line and watch college kids in white aprons behind a big glass window. The efficient assembly line will probably crank out several thousand creampuffs dusted in powdered sugar by the time I’ve made my way to the front of the line to claim my six-pack. Several hours later and several pounds heavier from sampling giant turkey legs, french fries, elephant ears, blooming onions and those fried Dutch cakes, I’ll waddle to the parking lot to find the car and head home.
It time for county and state fairs. And smart Publicity Hounds will be able to work their way into newspaper and TV stories using a clever angle. Here are several to consider:
—Call your local TV station and ask if they want to follow you through the vendors building to see how much free stuff you can accumulate in a brown paper bag. My friend Shawne Duperon, a TV reporter in Michigan, says that’s a favorite story for TV.
—Are you a speaker or author who specializes in humor? Offer to take a newspaper reporter on a tour of some of the funniest things you can find at the fair. Heck, you’ll practically be writing for the story for them. How can they possibly resist?
—If you’re taking the kids and you know how to do the fair on a tight budget, you could be the source reporters are looking for.
—If you work in any area of health, offer tips on how people can stay cool, from buying those little portable fans you hold in front of your face to drinking gallons of water.
—Veterinarians can comment on how to keep the dairy herd cool. Horticulturists can pass along tips for keeping cut flowers fresh in sweltering heat. And gardeners can share green-thumb secrets for gargantuan cukes and carrots.
My friend, TV reporter Shawne Duperon, who was my guest during the teleseminar titled “103 Sizzling Story Ideas from July Through December” says TV stations are always looking for unusual angles for the fair. And because fairs ahve so many visuals, the story is custom-made for TV.
Newspapers love them too.