Call us crazy, but we started Luup in the middle of the pandemic. Sure, it was scary — but we knew publicists and media alike needed us. Part of our goal is to become your go-to resource for improving your day-to-day routine, growing your business and crafting creative pitches. While you don’t need us to tell you that pitching during the COVID-19 crisis is a whole new ballgame, we are hopeful our insights will help you — and your clients! — see success.
With our series highlighting the ‘new normal’ of various beats within the public relations industry, we know you will have that lightbulb moment you need. First, we investigated the world of beauty, and now we are excited to share the wellness trends every publicist should know about. As president and founder of Slater Public Relations, Terri Slater explains, since the onset of COVID-19, pitching and coverage in the wellness have taken on a completely different complexion — and become that much more competitive. “The pandemic absolutely dominates the health and wellness space, so the need to leverage this to obtain coverage for clients – experts and brands – is paramount,” she continues. “Being creative and seeing how you can position alongside the pandemic is crucial.”
Here, publicists offer their insider insights:
Wellness isn’t just physical.
Instead of limiting the definition of wellness to merely physical attributes, media director at Crowe PR, Sarah Kinsella, recommends expanding to mental wellbeing. As she puts it, this is not the era of The COVID era of cut physiques and washboard abs; rather, we’re in the age of meditation, mental breaks and deep breaths. Part of effective PR strategies is pitching well-rounded ideas focusing on the mental state. “I can be advice from experts, apps/exercises that aid in relaxation or products that promote a healthy state of mind,” she continues. “The more you can back up your pitch with data and first-hand experiences, the better. People are more connected now than ever, and being able to relate to a personal story only furthers your brand’s credibility and increases your chances of breaking through the noise.”
Personalization is vital in wellness pitches.
Making your pitches specific to the journalist has always mattered, but the director of the east coast division of DRS and Associates Jocelyn Hutt says it’s mandatory. Like publicists, media are people too, and they’re feeling heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and pressure. Hutt says it’s worthwhile to invest in key relationships that could lead to placements. The best PR strategies, after all, are human-focused. “What works for one person might not be appropriate at all for another,” she adds.
Personalization goes a step further, and also relates to products that can be customized to the person. Think: supplement kits, meal delivery services, and so on. Most people are home, thinking about their health, and curious to find innovative ways to improve their daily lives.
You have to make your client newsworthy.
To snag a top-tier publication during a crazy time, Nicole Pomije, founder of NB Talent Services, says it’s the publicist’s job to make their client newsworthy. Wellness trends aren’t always obvious — but you can help to create them by viewing your products or experts through a revised lens. As Pomije puts it, very few writers want to write about sheets, but they may be interested in angles around helping your body recover at night and how to upgrade your home during the lockdown. These types of newsworthy connections may not be instant — so remain patient. “If the editor does not want to cover your story right now — don't get frustrated. Keep the door open and ask if they mind you reaching out again in a few months,” she continues. “PR is all about relationships, and you never know how the relationship might evolve or how they might want to cover another one of your clients.”
More people are interested in meditation than ever before.
If you can somehow tie your client to mindfulness, you have a vast opportunity to grow your clips. As the founder of White Handed PR, Marla White, explains, meditation and manifestation are some of the most significant wellness trends to come out of the pandemic. Everyone needs a way to disconnect their minds, and everyone is hoping to conjure up some good vibes. “These practices can help calm the anxiety and stress many are experiencing from working from home and teaching their kids via distance learning,” White continues. If some of your PR strategies can focus on these avenues, craft a pitch to create a story around making some much needed time for yourself.
There’s still room for wellness travel topics.
Arguably, one of the hardest-hit industries is travel. Many people are shying away from jet-setting with closed borders, fewer flights, and the risk of infection in airports. While they may be going on a road trip, there is an added layer of preparation that was never there before: protecting yourself and your loved ones. As Kinsella explains, wellness trends around sanitary measures or easing nerves while on a trip are popular right now. And if journalists are tasked with rounding up places to venture to, necessary information around wellness and medical precautions will also be part of the story.
“As cities begin to reopen, travelers are beginning to venture out again, but they are approaching travel a little differently now,” she continues. “They are looking for destinations and experiences that let them explore the outdoors, connect with nature and create more meaningful interactions — ones that truly fill them up. With this in mind, when pitching travel destinations or places to explore, it is important to highlight any relevant wellness aspects — whether it be yoga on the beach, a secret hike in the mountains, a garden escape or other similar experiences.”
Pet adoption rates are skyrocketing.
Pets fall in the wellness category since they boost our happiness, provide security, require us to go on walks and breathe fresh air and become our snuggle buddies. President and CEO of Pantano Media & Marketing, Shay Pantano, says the quarantines and lockdowns had many people adopting new pets to combat the isolation. And with this came new topics such as the best workouts with dogs to how pets can help with emotional health.
Consumers have more time to think about their diets.
Most people have gone through stages when it comes to diets in the pandemic. At first, comfort eating was popular. Then, how to stop snacking when you’re spending 24/7 indoors. As being on ‘lockdown’ is just life now, most are concerned with healthy eating habits. As publicist Jamie Werner explains, whether it’s including more superfoods into your daily diet or cutting back on processed foods, wellness trends around what we put in our bodies are popular. “Food brands who are offering healthy alternatives have an excellent opportunity to speak to basically everyone,
She continues. “After all, cooking at home has become entertainment and can bring more joy into our daily routine.”
Don’t be afraid to expand the topic range.
If you’re feeling stuck and like you aren’t getting anywhere with a client, Pomije says to consider expanding their topic range. For example, if you are pitching a doctor, get a full list of potential expertise they are comfortable chatting about. A dermatologist could speak to skincare, of course, but what about being a small business owner? Or a female in a male office? “You want to get their name out there in the media, and while they might be a practicing doctor, they may have other expertise as well,” she adds.
What wellness trends are you seeing? Get in touch and let us know!