Public Relations class
Bally Total Fitness is the largest and only nationwide commercial operator of fitness centers in the United States, with approximately 4 million members and 320 locations in 27 states and Canada. There are currently 5 in the Baltimore area. (Bally p.1)
Bally Total Fitness claim is to be committed to offering its members the best resources to help them achieve their personal fitness and health goals at an affordable price. Their diversity is apparent in the multitude of features they offer.
Bally clubs offer swimming pools, racquetball, aerobics, indoor tracks, extensive cardiovascular and free weight machinery and daycare.
In such a large corporation of both members and staff, Bally Total Fitness has regimented methods in which they handle public relation situations. The first of which are media relations. Media relations entail any situation in which the media interacts with any of the clubs. A good example of this is when a club or staff member is injured in a facility and the print or television media wants to do a story on the accident.
In this scenario the club staff are not allowed to interact with the media until a media release form is given.
This means no video or still pictures are allowed to be taken inside the club, nor is the staff allowed to comment about the incident until this procedure is satisfied.
The director of public relations for Bally Total Fitness is Mr. Jack Sells. He is the person responsible for initiating the media release form, which he would then fax to the club for a media event. Mr. Sells must approve all press releases before they are released.
Mr. Sells works out of Chicago, Illinois where Bally Total Fitness central corporate office is located.
From a public relations perspective, Mr. Sells identifies himself as the expert prescriber in PR for Bally total fitness. He operates as a consultant to define the problem, suggest options, and oversee implementation. But there are two men underneath Mr.
Sells. Frank Rizzo who is the regional supervisor, and Sol Rosenberg who is the club manager. Frank Rizzo would be defined as the problem solver process facilitator. He partners with senior management to identify and solve problems and Sol Rosenberg, would be the communication facilitator, because he is the person on the periphery between the organization and the environment who keeps two way communication going.
During the interview Mr. Sells informed me about some of the campaigns that he is working on now and some campaigns Bally’s has done in the past.
Right now Bally Total Fitness has a community-healing fund for Littleton, Colorado. For each donation given Bally’s will provide matching funds for a portion of the donation collected. This campaign is part of Bally’s stronger community’s campaign in which they support community service organizations in the communities in which they operate.
According to Mr. Sells, in the past year Bally’s stronger community’s campaign has contributed more than 6 million dollars in cash and donations to inner city schools, boys and girls clubs, and police and fire departments.
Bally Total Fitness will also be the title sponsor of the 12 city USTS triathlon series.
“Triathlons are a great test of personal fitness and that is why we are proud to be the prime sponsor of the event,” said Mr. Sells.
Another integral part of Bally’s success is advertising. I conducted an interview with the sales manager at the Greenbelt Bally’s location, Simon Says.
Mr. Says attributes much of Bally’s success to the clever advertising promotions that Ballys uses.
Mr. Says claims “Ballys gimmick is to get everyone to walk in through the door in order to see the product, regardless of age, gender, or financial demeanor.”
Bally Total Fitness saturates the television, radio, and newspaper markets with their advertising. These frequently run ads commonly offer low down payments to start a membership, such as $O to start, $1 to start, or $5 to start. It is this approach that is appealing to potential health club members. “It is estimated that every incoming phone call regarding membership pricing costs the Company $100.
00 to generate because of the costly spending on advertising,” claims Mr. .