Wacky Days by Tom Peric
The following appeared in today's Haddonfield Herald from in the
Philadelphia suburbs of New Jersey. John Kraljic
Haddonfield resident pushes 'Wacky Days'
By Martin C. Bricketto , Correspondent 03/04/2004
MARTIN C. BRICKETTO -- Tom Peric stands next to a stack of his book,
Wacky Days! in his office. How to create a 'real' holiday.
Fifteen years ago, Tom Peric was a Cleveland-based reporter in the
middle of a slow day. He opened his copy of Chase's Calendar of Events -
a national registry for holidays, saw that "National Epitaph Day" was
approaching on Nov. 1 (All Saints' Day) and decided it would make a neat
He eventually interviewed Lance Hardie, who founded "National Epitaph
Day" to suggest people think about what becomes the most important short
sentence of their lives and to promote the fact that he would write
anyone an epitaph for $5. Around Nov. 1, radio stations would call him
for interviews on the notion of epitaphs.
"I was fascinated by this guy," Peric said. "And this was before I was
interested in public relations."
Now - after a career-switch, marriage, the birth of a son, and a move to
Haddonfield - Peric is hoping Hardie's formula works for him. He
recently created "Publicity for Profit Week" in celebration of his book,
Wacky Days!: How to Get Millions of $$$ in Free Publicity by Creating a
"Real" Holiday and Other Tactics Used by Media Experts, which came out
"I'm convinced I can take this book to the airwaves," he said.
Peric is the president of Galileo Communications, a seven-year-old firm
in Cherry Hill that deals in editorial products and public relations
consulting. The journalist of 25 years started the company in Ohio with
a printer, funeral home, and furniture store as his initial public
Since then, he has accrued clients with stock on the New York Stock
Exchange and the 25th largest privately held company and 12th largest
investor-owned utility in the United States. He speaks at conferences
and teaches at the Haddonfield Adult School on public relations topics.
In 2001, he decided to put the tricks of his trade into book form.
"I'm convinced that everyone has a story that's newsworthy.
Unfortunately, people don't understand what makes news," he said.
The end result is a guide for small businesses and not-for-profits to
generate free publicity for their ventures. But to attract media
attention for his own venture, Peric needed a hook. He chose one of the
quirkier pieces of advice in his book - create you own holiday.
"One of the most unusual pieces that no one knows about is how weird and
unusual days that we hear about and celebrate come to be," he said.
And according to Peric, creating your own holiday doesn't take a
"It's shockingly simple," he said. "It's so simple you almost want to
All it takes is submitting your holiday to a registry like Chase's
Calendar of Events - a veritable bible for national holidays located in
every library across the country. It mixes the silly and solemn. "Dump
Your 'Significant Jerk' Day" is just entries away from "National Breast
Cancer Awareness Month" or "Black History Month."
"It would be like saying there were one or two yellow pages for the
United States." he said. "But instead of having to pay for an ad, you
can get in for free."
Creating your own holiday is just one of the PR tips in Wacky Days! that
Peric simultaneously recommends and employs. Following his own advice,
he started a toll-free number (866-WACKYDAYS) and website
(www.wackydays.com). Other tips in the book focus on writing press
releases, how to become an expert in your field, and what to do when
someone from the media contacts you.
But regardless of what happens with Wacky Days!, Peric said he is living
the American Dream. Of Croatian descent, he was born in an Austrian
refugee camp in 1951 and is the second oldest of nine children. He moved
to Haddonfield from Ohio in 1999. His wife, Cheryl Federline - a former
international trade expert Spanish teacher in the Woodbury School System
- went to the same grammar school that their 10-year-old son, Andrew
Paul currently attends.
"I think I always wanted to live in a small English village," he said.
"Haddonfield is my version of that."
©Haddon Herald 2004