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For Successful Public Relations, We Dropped the Veneer of Perfection and Rolled Up Our Sleeves

Follow along to learn how this PR firm supported a major health and fitness nonprofit with honest and transparent dialogue

Key Takeaways from This Read on PR in the Health & Fitness Arena

  • Honest and transparent conversations between a PR agency and its clients lead to better results
  • Have your PR team report back why a reporter declines to cover you and find solutions to overcome this objection together
  • Know what specific things you should measure to understand how you’re moving the needle on your goals
  • Rely on proven processes to solve PR quandaries


The right public relations relationship begins with values

A nonprofit with global reach that works to improve physical-activity levels, American Council on Exercise (ACE) wanted to build its reputation around its 2017 rebrand. Historically known as a certifying organization with a focus on the fitness industry, the organization wants to be known for “getting people moving” through its programs, certifications and partnerships that prevent inactivity-related diseases with a mindful approach to sustainable health, behavior change and preventive healthcare.

As you can imagine, Mixte loves ACE’s mission and this challenge to help the organization connect with and positively influence behavior change within everyday people across the country. This is our sweet spot.

Myriad strategies go into our approach to support ACE’s national public relations, and an honest, transparent dialogue with our client around challenges and solutions has always been at the center of our planning and brainstorming. These regular and open dialogues were pivotal in developing a safe space with the internal teams at ACE; they strengthened our five-plus year relationship with the fitness and health organization. In the past year, two particular initiatives have owned the spotlight for these debrief sessions, giving us opportunity to implement new ideas, fail, generate new approaches and ultimately find success in extending the organization’s brand through public relations.


Relying on proven processes to move PR problem solving

But how do we flex our strategic muscle yet be vulnerable in the right moments with an industry leader like ACE? It takes listening and relationship building that earns trust. One way we get there is by following Mixte’s foundational four-part public relations process that, albeit simple, leads to great results.

Mixte’s Secret Sauce 

Mixte has fine-tuned a unique way of doing things. We call it our Secret Sauce, a four-step scalable and proven process that has led to communications plans and media strategies that make a difference.

  • Listen: In this human-connection phase, we download with you to understand the business and mission, your service and its why.
  • Analyze: With fresh information from you, we obsess over what we’ve learned and the challenges that you’ve presented. Most importantly, in this phase, we begin to prioritize strategies.
  • Report: Setting expectations and ensuring alignment is central in this important step where we report what we’ve heard and where we’d like to go.
  • Activate: It’s time to jump in and tell your story. Depending on the priorities that we set, the activation phase will be uniquely yours.

The key is that we revisit that approach for every single challenge, or, like we prefer to say, opportunity. It’s not enough to do a thorough new client onboarding process. It’s not even enough to do a yearly public relations planning process. We find ourselves relying on this fundamental public relations process to ensure we fully understand the situation and have identified the most effective, efficient plan of attack to get results that our clients need for each challenge put before us.


Bridging the gap to new audiences

In the last fiscal year, our goal was to build ACE’s new brand with communities across the U.S. to get more people moving. We narrowed target communities to:

  • Populations uninspired by and without access to health/fitness
  • Potential exercise professionals and health coaches
  • Populations concerned with healthy aging

While the amount of media that we manage for ACE is massive (a media report includes more than 6,000 placements), the real results show in the feature stories that push ACE as a leader in these communities.

We tracked these stories against the measureable objectives set in the plan:

  • National media stories that reference ACE as “the leading health and fitness nonprofit”
  • Placements in media outlets that reach diverse populations of color
  • Placements that reach non-ACE certified professionals in the health industry that could potentially become health coaches
  • Desk sides interviews in New York that result in larger story opportunities
  • Placements on ACE-certified health coaches
  • Recurring columns in relevant media outlets that reach target audiences

While we met or exceeded many of our objectives, there is always room for growth. We aim to strike a balance between meeting measurable objectives and taking an integrated, holistic look at our performance. What we learn from media and why they decline to cover ACE is important info for ACE to know, and sharing that dialogue with the internal team helped with their other marketing strategies as well.

This is the value of a true extension-of-staff PR team, and it’s an approach that has proved successful with our clients, time and time again.

Please hit us up if you think you’ll benefit from this same sleeves-rolled-up approach: email us at or call (619) 732-0789 to learn more.

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