When Halloween approaches, we all enter the debate on what is the best and worst Halloween candy. Here at Baker Public Relations, staff favorites include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups , Snickers, Gummy Bears and Starburst (the pink ones to be clear). On the other end, the candy that we all remember being left at the bottom of the trick-or-treat bag included varieties such as Sugar Daddy, Circus Peanuts, PayDay and Milk Duds.
Are these candies really that bad, or are they just in need of a little image building? Image is the perception that people carry towards an individual, organization or brand. While creating a favorable image takes a long time to build, a tactical public relations strategy can help with this process.
When we onboard any client, an analysis of existing image is evaluated and the desired image and action plan is then outlined and executed.
These image building steps may include:
- Draft and implement PR strategy
- Execute messaging session and choose suitable messaging
- Select media outlets and ultimately target audience
- Disseminate information to reach target audience
The number one role of public relations in image building is to start dialog with the brand’s approved messaging and in doing so, remove the myths, bringing the best face of the brand to the forefront.
We do this by implementing tactics such as:
Telling stories. Storytelling is at the core of who we are as publicists. We know how to package information into amusing and meaningful narratives that will connect with an audience. For example, did you know Circus Peanuts were created in the 1800s and are one of the original “penny candies?” Also, according to the General Mills blog, Lucky Charms were created in 1963 by General Mills employee John Holahan after he developed the original prototype based on Cheerios cereal pieces and chopped up pieces of his favorite candy – Circus Peanuts. Who doesn’t want to buy a bag of circus peanuts and try that right now?
Third-party endorsements. In order to have a positive image, a brand must be credible. The essence of good PR is having someone else talk about your brand. Third-party endorsements through the media, testimonials or other influencers are often very effective. Do you know someone who loves Sugar Daddys? Get them on camera for a video testimonial that you can share through social media. With a bit of a budget, execute a social media influencer campaign. Maybe there is a famous endurance athlete that uses PayDay to refuel while training (Skittles did this with NFL running back Marshawn Lynch). Or pitch media on allergy free candy. Milk Dudes are free of peanut, tree nut, egg and gluten. Who knew!
Like any public relations campaign, building a brand’s images is not something that can be changed overnight. Image building takes time and is consistently worked on for month’s maybe even years on end. So this year I’m certain we can expect the Sugar Daddys of the world will still be left at the bottom of the bucket, but with a little PR assistance, that could change.