It’s hard to be a representative for a product or brand if you don’t believe in it and use it. So, though it may not be required, it’s only good business sense. That’s what Gabby Etrong Cohen, PR vice president for SoulCycle, believes. She commented recently about her five-days-a-week biking schedule, “Being connected to the brand is very important. I was always into fitness, and this is fitness in a bottle.” She’s been at SoulCycle since 2010 when the company had only five employees. But she has previous experience in PR with travel companies and hotels.
For brands, it doesn’t hurt to make it easy for employees to actively engage with the product. Workers at SoulCycle have access to free cycling classes, and can take a “ride” once during each working day. And since there are cycling studios connected next door to each of their three offices, it’s a breeze. Those corporate offices are in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC. But they’ve built their brand, so they now have a total of 60 studios found in 10 states.
For Cohen, she usually does her cycle class at the beginning of her day and frequently is joined by other PR experts or sometimes members of the press. That means she’s working, she’s working out, and she’s networking – the perfect choice for a busy PR person – lots of multitasking while accomplishing goals. Classes last 45 minutes, allowing time to clean up and grab a cup of her favorite morning brew before arriving at the office riding an energy high.
SoulCycle is just one example. Could you image a PR specialist for clean energy and green causes tooling around full-time with no passengers in a gas-guzzling SUV, or a travel and leisure PR specialist never leaving the confines of the city where they live? If you don’t believe it, it’s hard to be convincing about the value of what’s offered.
For PR specialists just starting out or working as an intern in a PR firm, if it’s not already known, allow time to find a good fit. When you love what you do, it will be a lot easier to rise in the ranks and the added bonus, it feels like being paid to play.