But even I had to stop and take notice when I heard Jim Trelease tell his story on NPR’s The Story hosted by Dick Gordon.
I tell clients that PR has long shelf life. Trelease is the perfect example of the long-term impact that public relations can have.
A single newspaper column changed his life forever in 1983.
A few years earlier, Trelease had published a brief guide to encourage parents to read to their children. It was clear from his interview on The Story that he saw his handbook as a small effort to encourage positive behavior.
And then it happened.
Dear Abby heard about the handbook from a reader, and she endorsed the Read Aloud Handbook in her column.
Not only did the column ignite sales – to date the handbook has sold more than a million copies – it changed Trelease’s life.
As a result, he embarked on a speaking career, encouraging parents to read to their children.
And in 2010, he is on NPR talking about a 27-year-old Dear Abby column, introducing the Read Aloud Handbook to a new generation of parents.
Now that’s shelf life.
If you have your own tales about how good PR positively changed an organization or an individual, we’d love to hear them.