Wellness PR expert Ariadna Bakhmatova, who moved into the industry from a corporate background and set up her own consultancy, shares her top 7 observations of the industry and its development over the years.
When I decided to leave the big corporate PR world and become a wellness PR consultant over 6 years ago, it was still a niche market. Being passionate about the industry, I loved the idea of being specialised in this relatively new, trendy topic. The journey has been fantastic so far, and seeing this market grow and develop quicker than strawberries in June has been a tremendous experience.
Here are my top 7 industry observations within Wellness PR
- It’s no longer enough to just be a “wellness PR”; the market is developing and segmenting, and you can’t have one contact media list for your yoga pants client, a meditation app and a raw breakfast bar; PRs have to develop niche skills and contacts.
- Equally, it’s not enough anymore for a wellness PR just to know the difference between Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. Clients are looking for the consultants who are not “purely passionate about wellness” but know and understand the key aspects, trends, names of the industry, and have some basic understanding of the science behind holistic health.
- Over the past few years, the competition has grown dramatically in all the segments of the wellness market, making it harder and harder for the brands to cut through the clutter. Being a top quality organic raw granola or a yoga & surf retreat is not enough on its own anymore; you need to add a lot of dedicated marketing effort to your product to attract attention.
- Great news is that even mainstream publications are now interested in reporting on various aspects of wellness, from yoga to mental health – the Daily Mail is a great example of that. Five years ago my media list was mainly containing the likes of Natural Health and Healthy magazines. These days you can plug in your wellbeing story into practically any publication – to prove that, I had a request for a wellness press trip from “Renewables Investor” magazine the other day!
- Instagram influencers are new journalists: it’s only in the last couple of years that I have started receiving a lot of requests from instragrammers for press visits to wellness destinations that I work with. They expect the whole trip to come for free, and in return offer a couple of Instagram posts. Separating the real influencers who can indeed bring some value to the client from the fake ones has become part of my job.
- According to Google Keyword Trends, the word “wellness” was searched around 10 times a day in the UK 5 years ago. In February 2017, it was 100. The word “Wellbeing” has grown three times in popularity over the past five years. “Detox”, on the other hand, has been having a regular spike around January every year. The most popular terms in the industry are being used to everyone’s personal taste and preference, without clear definitions – take “detox” for example. It’s been so overused and abused that my recent pitch of a detox powder kit to the media has received nothing but caution and mistrust, and replies like “I don’t believe in detox” – like it’s a new religion! Effective promotion of a detox product needs the right approach and a certain angle today.
- The fastest-growing and trendiest wellness market segments seem to be: all things organic & holistic skincare & beauty; organic & fashionable activewear; wellness retreats (mainly yoga, fitness, wellness spa, and meditation); all things mental health; healthy food (particularly raw and superfoods) and correct nutrition. On the rise are also: technology for wellness; healthy drinks with added value, and ultra-effective natural boosters/supplements.
Book a consultation with Ariadna to discuss your business or brand. Soul Seed Travel works closely with Ariadna’s Thread to provide PR and online digital campaigns to retreats and wellness resorts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.