I cringe when I encounter messages promising “bikini bodies” or “perfect abs.” These messages capture attention and get clicks, but what are the repercussions?
Being in health and fitness pr, and supporting those in the wellness industry, I am opting for a different approach.
I believe we have a responsibility to our clients, and our culture, to share messages of self-love and empowerment.
Changing your message can be initially difficult, but I urge you consider the lasting impact of what you’re promoting. What cultural ideal are you perpetuating?
By implementing some of the ideas below, you’ll build a community of followers who want to make lasting change for their health and wellbeing. These followers will be loyal, and likely advocate your services to others.
Health and Fitness PR Messaging Alternatives
Frame Working-Out as Self-Care
With self-care as a motivating factor, we can teach others to continually take care of their bodies versus striving for a superficial end-point. By taking a self-care approach, you help discount the notion that we must go to unhealthy extremes to look and feel a certain way.
Create Goals That Go Beyond Looks
Help your clients create goals that go beyond physical appearance. You could focus on achieving a personal record, improving flexibility, or trying a new recipe. These goals aren’t directly tied to physical appearance, but provide a tangible accomplishment.
Sadie Lincoln, CEO and co-founder of Barre3, intentionally infuses this type of messaging in classes. Instead of saying, “do this to get a small waist,” her instructors will say, “this will help you lift a box.”
Check out the Barre3 The How I Built This episode for other great ways Sadie is fighting against fitness industry norms.
Share Messages of Gratitude
I love when I’m in a yoga class and the instructor reminds me to be grateful for what my body can do in the present moment. I believe this message of gratitude can, and should, extend beyond the yoga mat.
By leading with a message of gratitude, we can teach others to be kind to themselves now and in the future.
Focus on Community
Osielle, a Seattle-based women’s running store, does this beautifully. Their mission is to “make great product, improve the sport, and build the sisterhood.”
Their commitment to building the sisterhood comes through loud and clear in the stories shared on the company blog and social media channels. These stories offer a raw look at what it means to be a runner and how community can help overcome mental and physical battles.
Consider ways you can build a community that inspires others to achieve their goals while supporting others in doing the same.
Health and Fitness PR Ethics
If you’re a health and fitness business owner, please be sensitive to the fact that your messaging matters.
I encourage you to stop and think about what you’re selling. How will your Instagram post impact someone’s psyche?
Shifting to a message of empowerment and worthiness may initially result in a decline in the number of “likes.” But, aren’t we in the business of helping others create lasting change rather than boosting our own egos?
Changing your messaging can be challenging, but I’d argue it’s necessary if we want to have an honest and ethical practice.