Nicole Dunn is the CEO of Dunn Pellier Media, Inc; PR for the fitness, health and wellness sector.
Everything starts with a good public relations strategy. And in the wellness industry—valued at $4.4 trillion in 2020, according to the Global Wellness Institute—a solid PR plan can make your brand stand out in a saturated market. With the right media partnerships and a strong story, PR can give your wellness brand the opportunity to not only stand out in the crowd but also become a household name. But you have to work on it to stand out, as good PR doesn’t just happen overnight.
What is earned media, and why is it so powerful?
First, let’s get clear on what PR is and what it is not. PR deals with earned media, which includes exposure of your brand on third-party platforms that you don’t pay for. Think news coverage, blog posts, online articles, social media features or consumer-generated content. Earned media does not include paid advertisements or content on your own website or social media platforms.
Earned media has a special way of helping to position your brand among the best in the wellness media marketplace. Why? Because media coverage builds credibility around your brand. When consumers are exposed to your brand through their trusted local news station, a social media influencer they follow or a robust online product round-up post, your brand builds credibility more than if the consumer found you through a paid ad.
As the CEO of a PR firm that specializes in the wellness space, I’ve seen firsthand that to get the most out of positioning your brand for earned media opportunities, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind.
1. Build a strong story.
Your story is your message, and an earned media placement is an opportunity to share your message in a way that your audience can relate to. The story you tell for a specific launch or for your brand, in general, could include several elements. You can tell the origin story of the brand or one of its offerings—how it came to be and the journey of launching it—or you can use one of your experts on the team for press mentions speaking to the brand (nutritionists, CEOs, doctors, etc.). Alternatively, your PR story can speak to the brand’s identity, describing its essential qualities, mission and vision. Or, for an extra layer of authenticity, your earned media placement can tell customer success stories from organizations or individuals who have used the product and or endorsed your wellness brand through testimonials.
Regardless of the direction you take, be sure to have a clear message as you collaborate with a third-party platform. A strong story not only garners the attention of viewers but also gives the platform something to center their coverage of your brand around, thus making a PR partnership easy and effective for everyone involved. Remember that earned media means you are catering to the story the journalist is writing; they have a story they are publishing, and your story might fit into what they are working on.
2. Be different.
Have you noticed how many brands in the wellness industry have similar looks and messages? Consumers have likely noticed, too. From the serif fonts to the taglines to the excessive use of the color green, a lot of wellness brands begin to blend in with one another. The wellness market is home to a big crowd that is only getting bigger each day. Resist the urge to try to fit the mold of the industry. Following what has worked for other brands is not a guaranteed path to success.
Instead, reflect on what is unique about your brand and the people it serves. You can stand out in the crowd by letting your visual and written expression come from that unique place. When crafting your PR story, don’t forget the power of authenticity.
3. Consider imagery.
In my experience, media with images capture more attention and boost engagement. We’re visual creatures and tend to gravitate toward the articles, social media posts, customer reviews and news stories with strong images.
Additionally, images and video add a dynamic storytelling aspect. Imagery can communicate small details as well as an overall aesthetic that you might not be able to convey through words alone. As you choose and create images for PR pieces, be sure to use imagery that strongly connects to the story you wish to tell about your wellness brand. Most TV segments my company books include the producer asking for a strong video B-roll link from the client, which is another great asset to make sure you create for PR.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of social media.
The beauty of social media when it comes to PR is the prospect of your brand’s story getting shared and reshared—and maybe even going viral. When a post is reshared, users often add their own commentary or spin on the content. In this sense, one PR piece can be repurposed into many variations.
Social media is also a bit more informal than other media outlets. This gives creators space to have fun and be creative in their telling of how your brand contributes to their lives. It also gives consumers a lighthearted entrance point to your brand’s ecosystem and its offerings. Just like a PR campaign, a social media campaign is also something that takes time to build. Nothing is virtually instantaneous.
A PR campaign can give your wellness brand the opportunity to become a trusted and recognized brand in a bustling, overcrowded marketplace. A successful PR campaign is an investment and requires a skilled strategy and time to plant seeds and build relationships for fruitful placements and results. In the end, the brand credibility and recognition PR cultivates through media mentions build a brand legacy.
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