I am never happier than when I am campaigning on my latest crusade, or sinking my teeth into a project. From taking on large organisations to organising blogger projects, please read below for some examples of the work that I have been up to.
#EndGreatRunHerbalife - April 2017
A keen runner and well known running blogger, I was horrified when the Great Run series announced that they had entered into a nutritional partnership with Herbalife in April 2017. Herbalife are an established multi level marketing corporation who promote weight management tools. The ethics of this company have been called into question on multiple occasions and in 2016, Herbalife agreed to pay the US Federal Trade Commission a $200 million fine, after the FTC said that Herbalife had cheated hopeful sales people out of hundreds of millions of dollars with a high pressure multi level marketing scheme. The premise of Herbalife, which is not available on the high street, is simple. They provide weight loss products and supplements, which aim to help you improve your diet and wellbeing. Products are available through distributors, who also give you nutritional advice. These distributors are rarely, if ever, registered dieticians or nutritionists and the plans encourage meal replacement shakes. Former Herbalife distributors have spoken of the pressure that they are under to sell, with former users speaking of the health implications of taking these harmful products.
It is no secret that I am very concerned about the ethics surrounding multi level marketing companies; it is also no secret that I do not believe in meal replacements, especially when the advice is given out by individuals who are not qualified to do so. Herbalife, in my view, were not an appropriate partner for the Great Run series, a company who have motivated and inspired hundreds of thousands of people to run, either through one of their races such as the famous Great North Run, or through their free, weekly runs called Great Run Local.
Utalising the power of social media, I set up a petiton and started a hashtag, calling for Great Run to end their partnership. Working with fellow blogger, Stephen Morrison, we generated enough interest on social media through blog posts and the hashtag #EndGreatRunHerbalife to convince nearly 2000 runners to sign the petition calling for an end to the partnership. Despite the radio silence from Great Run, we were delighted with the announcement on April 26 2017 that they had decided not to proceed with the partnership, owing to "feedback."
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and can be used effectively to generate change as outlined above.
UK Fitness Bloggers
In 2015, I set up the first bloggers network exclusively for fitness bloggers in the UK. A growing niche, it was clear to me that bloggers needed somewhere specific to their subject matter to discuss and share ideas, as well as good practice. This was set up as a Facebook group and has rapidly grown to 500 members, all UK based and blogging about the fitness niche.