Creating a Media Pack
By Kelly Hosking
For a fitness instructor or personal trainer, becoming better known on a local or a national level can have a wide range of benefits from increased work opportunities to a larger number of class participants and personal training clients.
If you would like to raise awareness of the services you provide and establish your professional profile then you should consider developing a comprehensive media pack.
Before you begin to collect together your information, you must begin by deciding exactly what it is you want to achieve by raising your profile.
For example, if you run classes in a small area and would like to attract more participants to the sessions, it makes sense to contact your local papers and radio stations. However, if you are about to start a workshop series aimed at fitness instructors, you would gain more by establishing a relationship with the fitness press.
Why develop a media pack?
A media pack is a great tool for communicating just who you are and what it is you do and should reflect the standards that you aim to achieve in your day-to-day fitness business activities. Your media pack can be sent to your local or national newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations and should let people know that you are innovative, creative, busy and successful.
After all, if you don’t tell the world about your talents and skills, you can’t guarantee that they’ll be discovered.
A well-prepared media pack followed by a series of press releases can prompt a tremendous amount of interest in the work you do. Not only are your participants always thrilled to see you in the paper, it begins to create the impression that you are the one of the leading fitness experts in your area.
The more the photos appear, the greater the impression. Establish your reputation for professional standards>
Your media pack should enhance your image by being thorough, informative and professional. It should give a journalist the confidence to approach you whenever there is a fitness or lifestyle issue that they are planning to feature in print.
The front sheet of your media pack should specifically say “For expert comment in your publication, telephone …….”. Remember that editorial is much more powerful than advertising - it is read more frequently and makes more of an impact on your potential market.
If you currently spend money advertising your classes or services, consider changing your approach and generate more interest by appearing on a regular basis in the papers that matter. Invest some time in you media pack.
It could make the difference between YOU appearing in the paper or another rival instructor. Increase your work opportunities and income You may find that your media pack and press releases will result in work opportunities that you have not previously considered.
For example, earlier this year, a press release was received at the Fit Pro office from Sarah Palmer of TRAX fitness, giving information about her new Internet site.
This lead to her being commissioned to write an article about the Internet for Pro Link magazine - you may have seen it in Pro Link April/May earlier this year. Another article is due to appear in Fitness Network magazine in December.
You will notice that each article in both magazines includes a profile of the writer together with the contact telephone number. In Sarah’s case, her original press release let the editorial team know about her skills and talents.
As a result, her profile and her work opportunities have both increased. How should you develop your media pack?
Once you have decided want you want to achieve by sending your media pack out and who will be receiving it, you can then choose the appropriate material to be included.
1. Use a presentation folder Always bind your media pack in a presentation folder - you can find a variety of packs at a high street stationers or you may like to take your pack to a print shop like Kall Kwik or Prontaprint where it can be bound with a spiral comb.
2.Your Curriculum Vitae Your media pack must include information about yourself and your professional development. You might include a CV but remember that it should be more punchy than the one you’d use when applying for work. It should be brief and informative, encouraging the reader to contact you for more details. However, if you have already established yourself in the fitness world, you could include a Professional Profile, outlining your experience as a presenter, lecturer, consultant and journalist.
3. Professional photograph You should try to include a professional photograph in your media pack which will help the journalist become familiar with you as a person in addition to your information. You don’t have to spend loads of money on a studio shoot - you may know someone who is keen on photography and would be happy to take a film of black and white or colour photos.
Just decide what message you want the photos to portray - and pose and dress accordingly. Do you want to look like a fun and zany fitness instructor or a professional and knowledgeable personal trainer?
4. Latest press release Your media pack should include a copy of your latest press release to give the journalist an idea of the projects or events you have recently been involved in. The next article in this series will examine how to write a press release.
5. Press cuttings If you have appeared in a newspaper or magazine recently you can also include copies of these in your pack. You should prepare a press cutting by carefully cutting out the feature and the title strip of the newspaper or magazine, including the date, and pasting them both onto to one page. Photocopy this page, making sure that you use good quality photocopies. Similarly, if you have written any articles in magazines, include copies.
6. Flyers from events If you have been involved in any events or charity workouts, include copies of any flyers that promoted the event. Choose examples that are professionally printed and of a high standard - remember the image you want to portray and use the contents of your media pack to highlight this.
7. Customer comments If you are promoting yourself as an instructor, personal trainer or presenter, use any customer comments or letters that you may have received. If possible, collate them onto to one page and photocopy the finished product.
8. Cost Finally, work out how much your media pack will cost by calculating the cost of the folder, photograph, photocopying, leaflets etc. and set aside money on a regular basis to cover these costs.
You should regard your media pack as a business expense and an investment in your career. Once you know the true cost of each pack, make the decision to send it out wisely and make sure you follow up each pack with personal contact and press releases to make the investment work for you.