Public relations advice from Punxsutawney Phil

Today is Groundhog Dog. Whether or not the furry creature see his shadow, you can still learn a thing (or six) from him.

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To mark this ground-breaking holiday, here are five tips PR pros can learn from Phil and Groundhog Day:

1. Take your time.

Don’t launch a campaign unless all systems are a go. No one wants to end up in the hole, so stay in the shadows until your strategy is performed, the necessary tasks are taken care of, and a back-up plan is in place.

2. Give a face to a brand or idea.

Phil is the furry face of Groundhog Day; people have come to know and love the holiday because of this brown creature. Creating a mascot for a brand can give it a personality and build recognition. Really, who doesn’t smile when Phil shows up on television? Mascots usually generate positive, happy feelings, which may help build awareness, loyalty, and profits.

3. Test the air.

Not sure whether a product or message is going to take off? Do a pilot program, or introduce it slowly to a small, select group to gauge interest. If attitudes are feeling a bit chilly, pull back until you can make the necessary tweaks to help ensure a warm reception.

4. Speak the audience’s language.

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