My career shift from journalism to marketing hasn’t been so much of a transition as it has a broadening of my skills and interests. I still write original editorial content; it’s just not the only thing I do anymore. One of my roles at Twinlab, the company where I currently serve as marketing coordinator,
is public relations – something that I volunteered myself for when I realized that the role essentially didn’t exist. Admittedly, part of my motivation – as a former writer at a New York-based men’s lifestyle magazine – was to regain that sense of living in the now. Or rather, the two-months-from-now.
Earlier this year, Twinlab inked a deal with legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who you may also know as the face of Twinlab’s new pre-training supplement, Power Fuel. (And if you don’t, I need to work harder!) Back in May, Ray came with us to the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, to launch his new product, and I was tasked with planning a media session at the adjoining hotel and inviting select media that could potentially result in coverage of Ray and, hopefully, Twinlab, and, double hopefully, Power Fuel. PR 101.
I had never set up an event like this before, but I had been to many. Granted, all of my experience was from the other side of the fence, but I remembered all the things that made certain events effective and memorable, and I carefully began coordinating the event and reaching out to editors of publications across the country.
Well, ladies and gentlemen (and Mom), today is an awesome day. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the first time that you can check out a sneak peek of Maximum Fitness’ Sept/Oct issue featuring the legend himself, Ray Lewis, on the cover, along with an eight-page feature (eight!) including explicit mentions of both Twinlab and Power Fuel! I’m totally stoked, and glad I can finally talk about what is now the successful result of weeks of planning, including setting up a photo shoot at Ray’s home in Boca Raton, FL.
One of the reasons I’m so happy about this is because I know what it’s like to deal with a company that wants you to write about them. Nearly all of my athlete interviews at Men’s Fitness took place at sponsored events. Chuck Liddell: Reebok. Jimmie Johnson: Samsung. Blake Griffin: Subway. Each and every time this happens, there’s a nagging publicist dead-set on getting you to mention the label attached to the goods. But the reality is that once the interview is done, you don’t owe anyone anything. I’m not saying that I never personally gave credit. I mentioned Subway in my interview with Blake, and I even dedicated a whole blog post to Reebok’s awesome event that allowed me to meet and train with The Iceman and NFL stars DeMarcus Ware and Jerricho Cotchery. Healthy relationships, in my view, are the key to a long and successful career.
Maybe it’s karma. Maybe it’s just knowing how editors (read: people) like to be treated. Either way, it’s score one for Twinlab, and I couldn’t be happier right now.