Five PR lessons learned from Peeps

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Easter is here and that means the return of Peeps. Beyond being cute and beloved as an Easter treat for more than 60 years, the multi-colored, marshmallow candies shaped like chicks (or bunnies) have achieved a cult-like following unlike many other brands.

Love them or hate them, Peeps can teach you quite a bit about promoting your brand. Here are a few of the PR lessons that can be learned from Peeps.

Be different

Plain and simple, Peeps offer consumers an alternative to the influx of chocolate and jelly beans the Easter holiday is known for.

Be like Peeps. Offer up something a little different.

By putting a twist on your regular PR pitch, you’re more likely to get media coverage. Figure out how you can package your brand a little differently and you’ll achieve your end goal.

Think before you speak

Minimal in design, Peeps have only one distinct feature—their eyes. They have no mouth and therefore, no tongue. For this reason, I like to believe that if Peeps could talk, they’d think before they spoke.

Apply this tactic to your PR efforts. Think before you speak to the media.

Before reaching out to the media, make sure you have answers to any questions that may be asked related to your brand. If the media does have questions for you, make it your goal to respond within 90 minutes. Any longer, and someone else may answer on your behalf, which could hurt your brand’s image.

Be determined

Have you ever actually met anyone who admits to eating Peeps, much less liking them? Very few people do, yet they magically reappear in stores around Easter.

Why? It’s a mystery driven by determination. The same principal holds true to for PR.

As overused as the analogy has become, PR is a marathon, not a sprint. True PR outreach requires not only a solid strategy, but Any real PR outreach requires a good strategy, but also perceptiveness and moxie.

It can be challenging to pick up a phone and pitch. Being turned down multiple times a day can be discouraging. However, if you want to be successful, you cannot quit.

Before you know it, you’ll see your persistence pay off.

Have fun with it

Imagine, if you will, living life as a bold-hued, sugary marshmallow. How much fun would that be? Tons, I think.

Mimic the Peeps and have a little fun to further your PR efforts.

In the health industry? Go ahead and look and act healthy, but also have fun with it. In the tech world? Stay busy innovating, but don’t forget to have a little fun and get creative with things. Have a passion for fashion? Even Victoria Beckham has fun with it—just don’t ask her to smile.

Yes, there is a time and place to be serious. However, that time isn’t all the time.

Find your…Peeps

While some companies dream of having their products achieve the household, brand-name recognition that Peeps have, much of the brand’s success has occurred without any of its own doing.

The first Peeps contests were the ideas of people without any direct tie to the brand’s parent company. In fact, the first Peeps diorama contest was held by a newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota.

It was such a hit, many other organizations across the country now host community competitions that award prizes for the best dioramas featuring Peeps. To further encourage outside collaboration, the brand hosts a contest section on its website where it lists all kinds of Peeps challenges.

A great PR play would be to do the same with your brand’s champions.

Every industry has heavy-hitters, from Hollywood celebrities to regular people. Find out who they are and reach out to them. Are they using your product in a unique way? Is there an interesting story of theirs waiting to told?

You’d be surprised what the creativity of others can drum up and how quickly it can help build buzz for your brand. All it takes is time to look around and then promoting and supporting their efforts.

What other PR lessons can be learned from Peeps?

Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage or signup for exclusive Hearsay content.