At least that’s the thinking of Lisa Simone Richards, who has launched Vitality PR & Communications, a Toronto PR and marketing communications agency dedicated to working exclusively with health, fitness and wellness entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“It’s a demographic that’s growing, so if I can establish myself from the get go, perfect,” says Richards.
Richards has a background that combines PR, corporate communications and fitness, having worked at Veritas Communications, ASC Public Relations, Booty Camp Fitness and Merrithew and as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, fitness model and bodybuilding competitor.
“I know the industry very well. I know all the editors, I know the fitness trainers, the different organizations. I’ve lived and breathed this stuff. It’s not just like ‘oh I can do PR for your tech company. Just teach me about tech.’ I know fitness.”
While many boutique agencies work with lifestyle clients, there are few agencies that restrict themselves to only health, fitness and wellness brands, she notes. But the health, fitness and wellness sectors are becoming increasingly important to people.
She notes many people are leaving their corporate jobs to follow their passion projects to open a gym or studio, but few have the resources to afford a 12 month retainer with a PR firm.
“It’s so expensive to sign up with a PR agency. I wanted something that was affordable for the newcomers to the market.”
She’s offering shorter four-month retainers to clients or 90 minute consultations for $350. Clients can bring in their five biggest marketing and PR challenges and Richards advises them how to tackle those challenges. “It’s an affordable way to figure out how to do your own PR.”
Richards started her firm as a side venture last year while working at Merrithew. But, a few months ago, “once it became sustainable, I took it on full-time.”
Her clients include Sports Specialist Rehab Centre, CORE Strength & Conditioning Studios, Diva Girls Fitness and the American fitness and wellness author Shirley Archer.