5 PR Lessons from the Easter Bunny

Not the chocolate one.

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All right, PR boys and girls: what (if anything) did you get for Easter?

Spring often sees good things on the horizon for public relations agencies and their media contacts. Thanks to the good weather, the egg hunts, or more ecumenical reasons, this three-day weekend often serves as a turning point of sorts for many in the profession.

easter bunny butt

So, for this week’s #5Things, we have… 5 PR Lessons from the Easter Bunny.

1. Evolution Can Be Good.

eostre-coloursmThe day in the Christian tradition is the celebration of the Son of God completing his work for mankind.

Understanding the Christian implications of the holiday makes the Easter Bunny’s presence all the more ironic — because it is all Pagan in origin.

The holiday owes its name to Eostra, the Germanic goddess of Spring and fertility, but it evolved over time to become one with the day celebrating the (re)birth of Christ.

The holiday evolved in a way that ultimately benefited both the church and the many businesses that see it to be a money-making occasion. In much the same way, PR constantly evolves to better address client needs using the ever-changing plethora of tools at our disposal.

In other words, change is almost always good…especially in such a fluid industry.

2. Know Your History.

Sculpture of Gaius Julius Caesar (13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC)Did you know that, when German immigrants (many of them God-fearing folk) settled in Pennsylvania in the early 17th century , they called the Easter bunny — a hare that laid eggs — “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws?”

Their kids would create nests so the Easter bunny would have a place to lay its eggs, which came out in different colors. Eventually, the nests turned into baskets and family used them to store gifts and candy.

History precedes anyone, especially those of us who work in a legacy business — and historical context is, in many cases, paramount.

To that point: while many claim that Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays created this craft, Julius Caesar initiated the world’s first campaign by publishing a biography and scheduling a “tour” of sorts to convince the people of Rome that he would be a good leader of state. It worked, and it serves as the industry’s definitive case study.

3. Find Meaning in the Message. 

easter_egg_trampIf any sort of campaign is to succeed, it must begin with a proven message.

Without words that people can believe in, your client has no talking points, your audience has nothing to share, and the media has absolutely nothing to quote.

We know Christians find spiritual meaning in Easter, but did you know that the act of  coloring “Easter eggs” is about 60,000 years old?

The Egyptians, Persians, Greeks and even Kalahari Bushmen all engraved ostrich eggs to tell stories of folklore. And nerds may know that the phrase “Easter egg” has a modern meaning, too — it relates to hidden symbols or messages planted in a pop culture mediums, and it came about in 1979 thanks to an Atari programmer who designed a secret room in the video game, Adventure.

There’s meaning in the message. You just have to find it.

4. Be Determined. 

peepsAny real PR outreach requires a good strategy, keen insight, and a truckload of moxie.

Picking up a phone and pitching can be challenging at times, getting turned down 100 times a day is discouraging, and, on top of that, many clients have their own ideas about what is “newsworthy.”

However, if you want to deliver the ROI, you can’t quit.

To that point, consider the marshmallow Peep. Very few people will admit to eating them, yet, they magically reappear in stores every April. Why? It’s a mystery spurred by determination.

The same principle holds for PR: the most persistent party often wins the prize.

5. Develop a Clear Goal. 

candy-easter-eggsAny kind of campaign defines success in its own way.

Be it awareness or sales, establishing a trend or spreading the word, PR is about creating something where there was previously nothing.

Halloween owns scary stuff, but what about candy? Easter isn’t just about dressing up to go to church…

According to the National Confectioners Association, more 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter. That’s enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide, so it’s safe to say that the holiday has established its own identity in the retail field.

Easter had a goal — and if you want to join, disrupt, or even take over a conversation, it’s essential to do the same.

Only when a goal is clearly established can you work your fuzzy tail off to achieve it.