Aurora Man's Guinness World Record Attempt Goes Social

Leading up to April's Attempt, George Hood Utilizes Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Raise Awareness, Funds

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George Hood's Pre-Ride Media Event

Social media is an underutilized method for financially-strapped non profit organizations to get their message out

Aurora, IL (PRWEB) January 28, 2010

George Hood is not afraid of challenges. And that’s a good thing. The Ultra endurance athlete is currently training to break the Guinness world record in stationary (spin) bike riding, a fundraising feat that will benefit the Fox Valley United Way youth programs and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF).

Already a three-time world record holder, the 300 hour Ride IV Reasons record attempt will take place April 11-24, 2010 at Aurora’s Rush-Copley Healthplex (1900 Ogden Avenue, Aurora). Hood’s previous record setting rides have benefitted other charity groups, with nearly $100,000 raised.

Hood realizes that besides preparing for the mental and physical tests he faces, he must also address the challenge of charitable fund raising during a depressed economy. His solution is to reach out to the public via social media channels.

“I’m trying to raise money and awareness through a grass-roots effort,” says Hood. “But I don’t have time to go door-to-door to collect money. I needed to find a better way.”

Enter Brian Basilico, director of direction for B2b Interactive Marketing in Aurora, a marketing firm savvy in the use of social media and networking. Basilico helped Hood to set up a Ride IV Reasons blog, a Facebook fan page and a Facebook cause page.

From there, he linked the blog to the Facebook fan page as well as to Hood’s LinkedIn profile and Twitter account which were already set up. Now, when Hood adds an update to his blog it automatically feeds into the LinkedIn profile, Facebook and is tweeted on Twitter.

Basilico sees social media as an underutilized method for financially-strapped non profit organizations to get their message out.

“Social media is a tool that can generate awareness really fast,” says Basilico. “Look at what recently happened in Iran and Haiti. The first information coming out was through Twitter. Right now, the various networking sites are all buzzing with donation opportunities and information about the Haitian earthquake.

“If you have a legitimate message to send, you can easily leverage the social networks to create relationships with a broader audience,” continues Basilico. “That is what I’ve done for George; he has an amazing story, but needed some help to let people know.”

As far as Hood is concerned, training continues to be a main focus; that, and being a father to three sons. Besides raising money, Hood hopes to serve as an inspiration to others, especially to youth. His message: “Nothing is ever good enough; strive to reach bigger goals and don’t give up.”

With the challenge Hood is facing, “don’t give up” will likely become a battle cry. Expect to see it buzzing through the social networks as the record attempt transpires in April.

Donations for the cause are being accepted through Fox Valley United Way and also on the Ride IV Reasons cause page on Facebook. To learn more, George Hood can be contacted by email at trainer4663@yahoo.com or phone at 630-415-6222. Brian Basilico is available by phone at 630-692-1431 or by email: info@B2b-IM.com.

About B2b Interactive Marketing Inc.:
B2b Interactive Marketing Inc. was established in 2001 and has produced hundreds of electronic marketing projects for businesses ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies. The award winning company provides a unique blend of traditional marketing ideas while integrating the latest tools and techniques to reach customers. These include websites, blogs, podcasts, social media, audio, video, CD-ROMs, interactive presentations and more. Brian Basilico, president of B2b, has been in the marketing business for over 30 years and teaches as an adjunct e-marketing professional at Waubonsee Community College, Elgin Community College and Aurora University. Visit b2b-im.com for more information or contact: Brian Basilico, 630-692-1431, info(at)b2b-im(dot)com

About Ride IV Reasons:
George Hood is an ultra endurance athlete, focusing his efforts on building awareness and raising funds for various non profit organizations. His current quest is to break the Guinness world record of 192 hours in stationary (spin) bike riding which was set during January 2009 in Belgium by Shirvani Merhzad. Money raised by Hood will go to Aurora-based Fox Valley United Way and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Hood served in the Marines and is retired drug enforcement agent. His previous world record best was 177 hours and 45 minutes in May 2008. To learn more about George’s attempt and his background, visit ridegeorgeride.org. The site includes a training calendar for the current effort plus a link to the Ride IV Reasons blog. Contact George: George Hood 630-415-6222 trainer4663(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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