The Brief

We were taken on to support Xercise4Less as their first entry into PR, in their initial start-up phase. From the offset this was a brand keen to differentiate, with a strong brand character and the brief was to communicate this, along with the business acumen of its founder, and the ambition to be a challenger brand within the industry.

As well as receiving regular PR coverage, local, regional and national, the brief also centred around winning awards, something which further added to the brand credibility.

 I can wholeheartedly recommend Jo as a PR Director who gets under the skin of a business and works to really bring a brand to life!”

Jon Wright

Founder, CEO, Xercise4Less

The Strategy

The PR strategy was hooked around the following key elements:-

  • Showcasing the brand character and fun identity of the brand, to align with core audiences and creating a sense of community with members
  • Telling the story and sharing the ambitions of Jon Wright, to evoke confidence in potential investors
  • Announcing the roll out of new sites, promoting the brand in advance of new launches and often running community charity events
  • Entering awards to provide 3rd party endorsement for their innovation
  • Attracting interest from the business world for potential collaborations

Media relations, social media and community events were at the core of the above, along with award entries.

Regarded as ‘the people’s gym’ we worked with the branding agency on the business’s positioning and in our early press releases the media picked up on this description – ‘the people’s gym’ has now stuck and is a great illustration of what X4L is working to achieve – making fitness available and accessible to everybody.

One of the techniques used to bring the brand to life was the creation of colourful character ‘The Colonel’ – an expert in disguise who advised on fitness routines and health and wellbeing. The Colonel was placed in a number of regional magazines, with his own column, something unique to the industry.

Featured Media

Xercise4Less had regular monthly coverage in the local areas where they had sites, and this was further supported by national trade press through profile interviews and updates on business growth, along with national media articles covering the business expansion, investment and partnerships.

The Results

PR was without a doubt fundamental to the rapid growth of the Xercise4Less brand, with the high profile through media exposure helping the business to attract investors, funders and partnership opportunities with the likes of Tesco. They won numerous awards over the years, which also further supported their story of being a challenger brand, in a hugely competitive industry.

From being a single unit in Castleford, X4L attracted over £30m investment and funding and has been featured in the Sunday Times’ FastTrack 100 2 years running.


PR should be seen as an investment in the business, from a strategic point of view and Jo has many years of experience that she brought to my business. I hugely value her input along with her commitment to working towards our business objectives.Having worked with Jo and the team for 4 years these are things I really valued:-

•Energy, passion and excitement for our brand

•Enthusiasm and creativity channelled to get people talking about our brand

•A true commitment to going the extra mile to ensure we got the best possible coverage

•Great media relationships

•Value for money

•Fun, easy, working relationships

•Honest, straight talking advice, and always being there to help

As well as receiving regular PR coverage, local, regional and national, Jo and the Chocolate PR team also helped us win many an award, something which further added to our brand credibility.

Jon Wright

Founder & CEO, Xercise4less

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