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American Council on Exercise – 2 Bronze Bernays Awards of Excellence in Op-Eds and Executive Communications

Bernays Winner Awards of Excellence in Op-Eds and Executive Communications

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) called on Mixte Communications and Warner Strategies to help advance its mission through tailored media relations to boost its reputation as an informed physical-activity advocate, specifically relying on its executive leadership as the preeminent voice in exercise and behavior-change science.


Our Objectives:

As an ongoing client, our goal was (and still is) to highlight ACE’s executive thought leadership – primarily Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, president and chief science officer and Graham Melstrand, vice president of engagement. ACE wanted to use its media relations strategy to clarify its core mission to the public and lift it from stories on how to tighten up specific muscle groups into feature stories that showcase its expertise.


Here’s how we did it:

  • Drafted timely tip pitches each week that touched on relevant exercise science advice
  • Pitched bylined articles featuring the exclusive voice of ACE’s leadership
  • Monitored news and responded accordingly
  • Drafted op-eds on timely subject matters
  • Organized quarterly meetings with ACE leadership team to ensure media efforts were synced with their priorities

When COVID-19 upended the fitness industry, ACE turned its attention to supporting its certified professionals and the fitness industry as a whole. Mixte turned its attention to repurposing tools and content the organization created to directly support its large network of certified professionals. Rather than trying to create a new PR plan that could anticipate rapidly changing needs, we worked with the team to be in the moment with an eye always open for opportunity. While not a sexy task, this nimbleness allowed our team to be a critical resource connecting ACE to journalists moving at a fast pace to cover a rapidly changing set of safety protocols that fluctuated from state to state.


The Outcome:

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ACE is established as a leading voice in the health, fitness, and behavior change industries – with ongoing media placements and a defined voice/leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also helped the organization face its own whiteness with a thoughtful approach to Black Lives Matter, including social posts and strategies, a donation to an aligned organization and ongoing consultation on its diversity and inclusion effort. While it wasn’t a part of this particular award entry, we encourage you to check out these two most recent dialogues around race in the fitness space: Health equity during COVID-19 and Diversity and Inclusion in the Fitness Industry.

In addition to the fitness space being heavily saturated and the pandemic demanding we be quick and nimble with our messaging, we created timely tie-ins that explained the science behind the expertise of ACE’s CEO and included human interest stories to secure coverage – including this COVID-19 toolkit.


PRSA honored us with the following 2020 Bernays awards:

  • Bronze Bernays Award of Excellence winner in “Editorial/Op-Ed Columns” category:  Mixte Communications & ACE for “Positioning ACE Executives as Experts in Exercise Science”
  • Bronze Bernays Awards of Excellence winner in “Executive Communications” category: Mixte Communications & ACE for Positioning ACE Executives as Experts in Exercise Science

Did this spark your interest in improving your digital marketing in 2021? Inquire about Mixte’s digital marketing and PR services by contacting: or 619-732-0789

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