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Research generating PR for SonicYoga.com

Research generating PR for SonicYoga.com

SonicYoga.com challenge

The Stunt:

Soon after launching his Manhattan-based yoga school in 2001, owner Jonathan Fields teamed up with Adelphi University to run the first-ever study on determining how many calories yoga burns.

Knowing that the idea had media appeal - in fact, Fields also owns a marketing firm called Creative Vibe which he started in 2003 - in 2002 he sent a note to several top fitness magazine editors in New York City, explaining the concept of the study and offering an exclusive to whatever editor reached him first and agreed to do a story on the study. Within a week, Self magazine committed - and even asked to be in the study.

What happened next:

After the article was written, an editor at Self called Fields and mentioned that it was a shame the studio didn't have a yoga instruction video to go with the article. Fields instinctively said, "Oh, we do have a video. It's in post-production, and it'll be out by the publication date."

He quickly made up a name for the video and a price so the editor could add that information to the article, then he hung up and turned to his partner and said, "We need to make a yoga video very quickly." They put together a video, which sold out after the magazine hit the shelves. Since then, they've made four more videos.

Lesson learned:

There's something to be said for thinking big and on the fly. Fields could have been extremely embarrassed had he not been able to quickly produce a workout video that actually was generally well reviewed. And certainly another lesson to take away from this is that when you're small, teaming up with big names - Adelphi University, Self magazine- can make you seem bigger to the public than you really are.

But maybe the best lesson is to emulate Fields' confidence. As Fields puts it, "If you want to be in the news, make news. You don't need connections, you don't need a publicist, but you do need to think way outside the box." Having said that, Fields cautions, "Even in the throes of wild creativity, there's a sound business reason, beyond publicity, to do what you want people to notice. Integrity is paramount."

AJR
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