Monday, November 12, 2007

Fitness Article Fixes

Do Your Fitness Articles Need These Fixes?

Here are three simple problem-solution scenarios to make your health and fitness articles grab more attention, and help you excel at educating and inspiring your readers.


Problem: Burying the article’s lead in the second, third or fourth paragraph.

The most compelling, tell-me-more information, or a scenario that readers can relate to, should appear in the very first, attention-grabbing paragraph.

Solution: Avoid warming up with superfluous info or chit-chat at the beginning of your articles. Comb your piece’s first draft for the most relevant lead sentences (they’re usually buried a few paragraphs from the top), then rework them to fit front and center.


Problem: Introducing fitness terms or concepts without defining what you mean (even if they seem straightforward and commonplace to you).

Many fitness pros offer the following generalized tips, but readers might not understand specifically what to do:

  • Work out more intensely

  • Drink enough water

  • Eat sensibly

  • Be active every day

Solution: Offer one or two concrete examples so that your tips make sense to readers. For example, explain that working out more intensely means aiming for certain feelings and physical responses based on the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale.


Problem: Writing an article that ends up being one huge block of text.

It’s no use writing articles that no one reads because they look so unappealing. Your job is to make the article’s language and format as inviting as possible.

Solution: As you pen the piece, consider how to logically organize your information, then add relevant subheads to break up the text. Doing so makes your writing more enticing and informative for readers.

For 50 pages of in-depth guidance on how to write health and fitness articles that get the results you want, check out ANATOMY OF AN ARTICLE from Active Voice.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Publicity on TV

A TV Producer’s Perspective

I’ve known my friend Phairis since high school. We both studied acting, which is how we met. Now we both work in the media – she’s a TV producer, and I’m a magazine writer.

Phairis’s daughter is the same age as mine (almost 2), and one time, while we ambled along with our strollers, we chatted about what so many fitness pros want to know: How to get the media’s attention.

She and I have seen our share of good, bad and ugly pitches. And since I’m here to offer info from media insiders like Phairis and me, I asked my friend to let you in on her perspective.

Phairis has the qualifications to tell it like it is, too: She’s the former producer for the EARLY News with Deborra Hope on Global TV and the current associate producer for Global National, a nightly national newscast from a major Canadian broadcaster.

Here’s what she graciously agreed to share with you …

DON'T give me a sell job.

You're not pitching an ad or a commercial. Give me FACTS about what it is you do, or what it is you sell. People love facts. They want to learn more.

If you can tell me something I don't already know or can't get from another source - and you can do it in an entertaining way - your chances of getting publicity are far greater.

DO personalize your pitch.

For example, pick a show on a local TV station and find out who the producer is. Send that person an email. Then follow up with a phone call. Nobody likes getting mass emails – that’s an easy way to get your press release tossed in the recycling bin.

DO watch what's in the news and make your pitch when it's appropriate.

If a celebrity is suffering from a health problem or a new study comes out that’s related to your product or service (even in a small way), that's a great time to send out your pitch.

DON'T take it personally if you're turned down.

Next time, do some research about the media organization you're pitching to and really tailor your media package. Also, be sure to include the basics: who you are; what you do; where you do it; when you'll do it next; why I should care and how I, as the producer, can get in touch with you.

Marketing Beyond the Benefits

Writing Promotional Signs That Get Results

Posting signs around your gym or training studio to market your programs, events or specials can increase registration numbers and interest in your services or workouts.

Fitness pros often create a sign that focuses on the features of their offer instead of communicating the benefits in a way that makes sense to fitness consumers. This is a mistake.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you offer 35-minute training sessions for your clients. That, in itself, is a feature. It doesn’t necessarily communicate any value to the fitness consumer.

The benefit to your clients is that a shorter-than-normal session saves them time and perhaps allows them to work out on days when their schedule is too tight for a longer gym visit.

Now, how could you communicate the benefits of your time-saving sessions in a way that’s even more meaningful to your target audience?

Well, perhaps part of your target market is new moms. When my daughter was under a year old, I would have been sold on the chance to squeeze in a decent workout AND maybe a post-exercise shower before my baby started fussing in the gym’s daycare. That would have been the benefit of 35-minute sessions to me.

With the scenario above, moms like me are happy. Babies are happy. And as the trainer, you’re happy, too, because your ability to communicate real-world benefits to your target clientele pays off.

When you promote benefits that resonate with your clients and prospects, you capture their attention, which is the purpose of your sign (or other marketing piece) in the first place.


More guidance on how to write marketing material for special events and programs in the fitness industry: Profitable Fitness Events for Managers and Trainers.