Every year for the past 20 years I’ve gone to the NY State Fair – one of the most enjoyable events of the year for me.


And every year I’ve picked up a bunch of publicity lessons from The Fair.


For example…


One thing I noticed about halfway through Fair week was that every day at the Fair they had what they called “Heroes of the Day”.




That caught my curiosity.


So I looked into who the heroes were on each of the days.


Turns out the “heroes” were local high school sports teams.




Oh cut it out.  That degrades the word hero.


But perhaps I’m too late on this one.


The word “hero” has already been watered down so much it means just about nothing.  Seems everyone is a hero for some reason or another.


Do you know what a hero is?  It’s someone who puts their life at risk, unexpectedly, without compensation, to help someone else.


A hero is the guy who jumps into the freezing water of the river to pull out a woman trapped in her car that went through the guard rail.


Now that’s a hero.


Let’s take all of the so-called heroes of today and put them at the edge of the water and tell them to jump in and get that woman.  How about that lacrosse “hero” honored at the New York State Fair.  Or the volleyball “hero”.  Or the soccer “hero”.  How many of them would risk their lives for another person or a higher good?


Very few, if any, would do it.


What does this have to do with publicity?


As with all my lessons, a whole lot.


Since the word hero has almost no value, don’t expect that word to pull a lot of weight in your press releases.  Reporters have become numb to the word hero.  They’ve been tricked so often they’re very wary of the word.  They know that people have abused the word hero, so they aren’t quick to respond.


Also, people using the word “hero” are at risk of losing their credibility.  If the person is not a true hero, the media people will remember that ploy in the future and either be slow to respond or not respond at all to that person’s press releases.


So, if you’re going to use the word “hero”, be very careful.  Keep in mind what a true hero is.


John Glenn is not now and never was a hero.  There were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who would have gladly taken Glenn’s seat in that Mercury spacecraft.


Here’s a good rule to follow to determine if a person is really a hero.


If the number of people who would willingly do what the “hero” did is enough to fill Yankee Stadium, this is nothing heroic.


Heroes are rare.  So should your use of the word in your press releases.


You can get full information about my complete publicity kit, which has helped thousands of people skyrocket their business, promote their products and literally alter their lives, at


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