On-Message Feature Stories for Les Mills

For some clients, the result of a campaign all about the quantity of coverage and achieving maximum reach. For other clients, its less about the numbers and more about the people reading it. The age-old quality vs quantity debate.

Quality vs Quantity

As an agency, we maintain that both have a place in the world of results. If your brand is a charity that needs masses of audience-engagement through a huge reach, to get people hyped and involved in an event or activity; reach / quantity may be your ultimate target. But if your brand already has an established global following but requires incredibly bespoke, on-message features which dive very deeply into the science of its messaging, it will be quality that wins the debate.

The latter is exactly what we were briefed to achieve for Les Mills’ newest research study into the power of core workouts (CXWORX from Les Mills) for runners.

Les Mills is a fitness brand with global audiences that understand its offering; high quality group exercise programmes. However, what people don’t always know about is the science and research underpinning each programme that Les Mills creates. Les Mills’ brief to us was to achieve feature-length pieces of coverage in target publications. This means that a small brand mention in a box-out on a news page would not cut it. What Les Mills wanted in this instance, was in-depth analysis which encompassed the brand’s core values, goals and tone.

As PR professsionals, we understand that we can craft a story and sell this to a journalist, but ultimately, it’s up to the journalist and editor to decide how much airtime / column inches that story gets. Or is it?

To achieve this objective, we focused on three key areas:

Relationship

A PR professional is only as good as their relationship with the media.

A lot of time, energy and experience has taught us that its more than just knowing which journalist writes for a publication. It is about understanding what motivates that journalist’s writing, how has the slot they write for evolved and developed, what has the magazine featured recently that makes your story relevant? If a journalist really feels like you connect with their writing style and goal, they are more likely to give you their time and consideration. You could have the perfect news story or statistics for the magazine, but if you don’t understand how the journalist would write about it, you won’t get very far with them.

At Action, we have formed incredible relationships over the years and one such bond is the one we have with fitness titles. For this research, we decided to focus our attention of securing high-quality fitness coverage with titles and journalists that share the clients’ enthusiasm and core message: to create a fitter planet. 

Interest

We work with journalists to bridge the gap between brands and consumers. What is important to a PR is the brand. But what is important to the journalist is the reader. So, with that in mind, a good PR will go above and beyond to understand a journalist’s readers.

This ensures that you’re pitching stories, angles, stats and brands that will resonate with the readers. If a journalist feels you’re pitching them something that not only appeals to them as a journalist, but also to their readers, you’ve got your foot in the door. Understanding who those readers are, their motivations and interests will make it easier for you to craft a story or angle that will appeal most to them. in layman’s terms – put your feet in the readers shoes.

In this case, the journalists really understood why their readers would find the research and data important – because it would help them run faster, better and safer. As a fitness-enthusiast or those looking to positively impact their fitness journey, this data spoke directly to their needs and would be exactly the reason they would pick up this magazine from the newsstand (or via online links!)

Beyond the words

Most importantly, a good campaign or news piece will have a call to action; something that immediately allows readers to apply that message. This means creating content that will allow them to put the magazine down (believe it or not) and physically become involved in the story.

For this particular research and data we presented, we worked with our client to create bespoke physical programmes, expert interviews and key workouts for the magazines – so that the journalist and their readers could read the data and expert insight and immediately start doing the activity. This included key moves to include in a workout with exclusive commentary from the lead instructors and researchers at Les Mills on how to do the moves, how they improve ones running and other important information to consider.

We provided a series of bespoke images to the journalist, access to the lead researcher based out of Penn State University in the US and trial codes to Les Mills on Demand so the journalists could try the workouts for themselves. Due to our amazing relationship with the journalist, they also shared a proof with us before it went to print and we were able to help source the perfect images to fit the page.

The result?

A beautiful 6-page feature in Women’s Fitness Magazine, hitting on all the key messages Les Mills wanted to see.

In short; a ‘perfect’ on-message feature is achieved through tailored curation, delivery and execution. Make it simple but make it interesting to each individual – and you’ll get the airtime your brand craves.

If you have news, data, campaigns or events you would like feature length coverage for, get in touch via info@action-group.co.uk and we can offer consultancy, support and results.

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