Being A Better PR Agency Teammate: 3 Lessons I Learned Riding My Peloton Bike

Mar 16, 2022

Not too long ago, I was sitting in on our company’s bi-weekly Zoom meeting. As a fully remote PR company, I look forward to these meetings because it gives us a chance to unplug from work and really get to know each other beyond media pitches and byline writing.

My colleague Marcia Rhodes likes to open these meetings with ice breakers that force us to reveal more personal details about ourselves. This particular week we were discussing silver linings of the pandemic. Whether it was taking up a new hobby, a more flexible work schedule, or even washing our hands more, it was amazing to hear that we all could find positives in the pandemic’s difficult times.

I took a moment to share my journey with fitness, which led me to reflect on how it has impacted my professional life. In August of 2020, I found myself—like millions of others in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – prioritizing my mental and physical wellbeing. Enter Peloton.

Over 1,000 rides, 200 bootcamps, 250 strength classes, and 60 yoga classes later, the bike that goes nowhere has helped me prioritize my health during a time that felt so uncertain. Through the process of working on myself, here are the three lessons I have implemented as a teammate in the fast-paced world of public relations:

  • The importance of goal setting: I purchased my bike because I wanted to get stronger, improve my cardiovascular health, and perhaps shed a few quarantine pounds. By setting concrete goals, both big and small, such as exercising five times a week and executing 10 push-ups by December 2021, I have been motivated to strive for greater success.

Teamwork lesson learned: Set clear goals. In agency life, it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed trying to manage client expectations – which is why setting goals with your teammates to meet those expectations is important. My colleague Tara Stultz recently recommended setting goals for media placements and interviews when pitching media.

For example, my pitching goal might be to secure “one podcast interview with X trade publication for X client on how value-based care is addressing health inequities.” Having defined goals keeps the whole team accountable, motivated, and committed to crushing results for clients.

Wondering what goals to set this year as a PR or marketing professional? Check out this Amendola blog on resolutions for PR and marketing professionals. It’s never too late!

  • Remember that everyone is rooting for you: One of my favorite things about Peloton are the mantras the coaches have ingrained in my head. They not only get me through my morning workout, but I find myself using them in my personal life and in the workplace.

Here are some of my favorites:

“Your mind is your strongest muscle.” — Tunde Oyeneyin

“How do you do anything is how you do everything.” – Jess Sims

“You’ve made it through 100% of your bad days.” – Robin Arzón

“Allow yourself the opportunity to get uncomfortable.” –Alex Toussaint

Teamwork lesson learned: Our teammates want us to succeed! We all want to deliver the best press release, byline, pitch, but we can’t do it alone. I know my Peloton coach wants me to do my best, as do my coworkers. Get comfortable leaning on your team for help. As a team we all bring unique talents to the table, which is why I never hesitate to reach out to other team members when a pitch needs tweaking or a blog needs wordsmithing.

  • Be present: When I hop on my bike at 7:00 am I often find it difficult to focus on my task at hand—exercising. My mind has a way of thinking about everything else but. Did I send out the agenda for that call at 9:00? Do I have time to each lunch between editing that byline and jumping on a call at 12:00? Did I feed the dogs’ their breakfast? Did I fix that typo in the release that went out this morning?

Being present is one of the most difficult challenges for me to overcome. It is so easy to think about all the other things going on – and taking the time to be present with the task at hand takes PRACTICE. If I am not paying attention to my coach, I will miss an adjustment or a correction that could help me improve my form. The same applies with my team.

Teamwork lesson learned: Focusing on the moment matters. If I am trying to do ten different things while on a call with my team, chances are I might miss something. It’s not fair to my team or myself if I am not offering my full attention.

For example, if we only have 30 minutes to huddle on strategy for announcing a new product for our client, everyone needs to show up and be ready to rock and roll. And that takes some advanced planning, which is why it’s important to structure time with your team intentionally so that nobody’s time is being wasted—which goes back to goal setting! Focused attention and intentional listening go a long way in my workouts, as well as with my work with my teammates.

We can learn so much about ourselves through our hobbies. Whether it’s reading, gardening, exercising, maybe even underwater basket weaving, the lessons learned doing the things we do to unplug from work are making us better workers, teammates, and leaders and I challenge you to reflect on those connections.

Oh! And find me next time on the Peloton leaderboard at @Maddi3ATX.