WSL Profiles Five Seasons Sports Club Duo

One of my clients, Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, received prominent mention in the current issue of West Suburban Living Magazine, a classy publication that focuses on, well, the western suburbs of Chicago.

It came about in November, when managing editor Brittany Ashcroft asked if I had any candidates for a profile on individuals who “use more unique exercises and routines to stay fit.” Through nominations provided by Dawn Hanson, the club’s fitness director at the time, I hooked up the magazine with John Monacella and Lisa Scafido.

They are featured early on in the piece by Laura Otto, which you can read by clicking on the images below.


Reprinted with permission. West Suburban Living Magazine Jan./Feb. 2009.

Keeping Your PR Eye On The Calendar

Of all the similarities between being a journalist and being a publicist, one of the most prominent ones is the need to keep your eye on the calendar.

Mine says that today is Jan. 16th, which means, among other things, that it’s well past time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day-related story ideas, whether you represent a client or toil in a newsroom.

I touched on this timing truth in an Inside Edge PR post two weeks ago.

On another front, if you don’t have a Super Bowl-related pitch ready to roll, it’s time to go into the two-minute drill. Yesterday, as I was speaking with Don Riley, the new fitness director at Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, a thought popped into my head–how can we tie in his expertise with the big football game on February 1st?

The answer came quickly, and simply: offer simple fitness and nutrition tips that TV spectators (aka “couch potatoes”) can implement as they “watch 22 players desperately in need of rest,” as the late, great football coach Bud Wilkinson has been quoted.

More to come in a future Inside Edge PR post.

PR Resolution: Give Media Plenty of Lead Time

If it’s January 2, then that must mean it’s time to start seriously brainstorming some Valentine’s Day story suggestions.

Though the romantic holiday may seem way off on the horizon–a full 43 days away–a recent story in Pioneer Press newspapers reaffirms that it’s never too soon to start planting story seeds with the media. In late October, I sent a news release to print and television media about the fitness transformation of Wayne Arner (pictured, with son Tommy).

Arner is a member of Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook, a client of Inside Edge PR for the past two years.

At the time, I was trying to be as timely as possible, in the wake of Arner’s competing in a national triathlon championship. You can read about him, and my initial PR approach, in this Inside Edge blog post on Oct. 27, 2008.

Of course, Arner’s dramatic weight-loss is a timeless story–and is especially timely as an inspirational and educational New Year’s Resolution piece. And that’s just what Pioneer Press staff writer Mary Graham did in a recent story bearing the headline “Man of Resolution.”

Graham also wrote a sidebar to the Arner profile that included input from Drew Surinsky, who has trained members at Five Seasons Sports Club, as well as Marie Pearson, the club’s group fitness director.

A remarkably versatile trainer in her own right, Pearson is the one who first tipped me off to Arner’s story and offers important tips for anyone seeking better fitness.

Wayne Arner: From Huff & Puff To Buff

By my calculations, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas consume precisely three days of the calendar.

But somehow it all translates into a two-month comfort-and-junk food fest, when people tend to pack on some additional pounds. (OK, I’m projecting from my own experience–it’s my seasonal pattern, anyway!)

So it was with great admiration that in developing a news release on his triathlon journey, I recently interviewed Wayne Arner, a member of Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook. It began in September 2006, when he tipped the scales at 206 pounds and resolved to dip his toe in the water, literally, at the Five Seasons’ indoor pool.

Since then, via these two photographs, you can see the distance his fitness has traveled: above, with his daughter, Annie, in 2005; and below, in a national triathlon championship in Oregon last month.

For anyone who has ever huffed and puffed after, say, swimming only a brief distance, as was the case with Wayne two years ago, let this news release serve as inspiration.

And this sidebar release, drawn from insights shared by Five Seasons Sports Club Group Fitness Director Marie Pearson, is your caution.

Tennis Player Outreach Nets Coverage

I had a post on Friday regarding my media outreach about a 12-year-old tennis player named Jordan Belga who trains at Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook, Ill.

On Saturday came this Daily Herald feature, which included an interview with Jordan’s coach, Five Seasons tennis pro Jacek Dabrowski.

It doesn’t always work out so nicely. In this case, fortunately, the Daily Herald opted to devote some attention to the club where Jordan has developed his game to the point of being rated No. 1 in the nation. Of course, it helped that when the reporter spoke with Jordan, he talked about Jacek–among other things, sharing that he texted his coach upon learning he’d gained the top spot.

One last note, and something that publicist Peter Shankman taught me through his book, Can We Do That?: Sharing Jacek’s number with the media is important, but sources must be coached to be responsive.

When Jacek tipped me off to Jordan’s No. 1 ranking on Thursday, I reminded him to be ready for phone calls from unfamiliar phone numbers (the media)–and to pick ’em up, if at all possible.