Gyms group in pitch for image overhaul

The Fitness Industry Association (FIA) – the trade body for the health and fitness sector – is planning to draft in its first PR agency as it bids to revamp the image of gyms in the media.

The organisation is staging a pitch for a PR contract that will span consumer, trade and crisis PR support in addition to public affairs.

It is set to hire an agency to raise its profile with consumers and the national media in a bid to enhance the public’s perceptions of health and fitness clubs and leisure centres.

‘The national press paint a very negative picture of “gyms”, while actually health clubs are far more than gyms,’ said FIA comms director Andree Deane, who is handling the pitch.

‘We want to hire a PR agency so we can be more proactive about our image,’ she added.

Eight PR agencies have so far submitted applications for the account, and pitches are due to take place on 18 November.

The winning agency will be expected to target regional, trade and national media, as well as corporate investors and the body’s members, and develop a three-year PR strategy.

The brief also includes responsibility for public affairs, government relations and coming up with consumer research to support upcoming campaigns.

The association is currently attempting to raise awareness about its Commit to Get Fit campaign, and plans to target teenage girls during the second phase of its On the Move 2010 campaign next year.

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