Communication lessons from groundhogs—in the flesh and on film

Spring will come early in 2016, says Punxsutawney Phil, who did not see his shadow Tuesday. He and the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ are symbolic, but what can they tell us about communications?

Since 1887, Groundhog Day has aimed to inject fun and folklore into winter’s cold, dark days.

It if it weren’t for the suspense that surrounds the predictive power of Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow—or the perennial photo opportunity it provides news organizations each year—it’s doubtful we’d give the groundhog much thought.

Perhaps, too, it’s the day’s relentless hold over Bill Murray’s character (meteorologist Phil Connors) in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” that begs us to remember its significance.

The rotund rodent and the world-weary weatherman can offer a few lessons for marketers, PR pros and brand managers:

1. Work on your socialization.

Though it might surprise you, groundhogs aren’t actually skilled at predicting winter’s longevity. Instead, these furry creatures are experts at hibernating, burrowing underground and remaining solitary outside of mating season. These qualities are the antithesis of the skills that a communications professional needs.

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