Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has come and gone, yet again. It returned this past Sunday, August 12th, for its 25th year in the making and officially ended last night. I speak from experience when I say this year’s lineup of intense shows were not ones to be missed. Each night featured one or two never-before-seen features ranging from the insightful “How JAWS Changed The World” episode down to the nail-biting “Shark Fight” episode.
This beloved and anticipated week returns every August and tends to capture devoted shark fans and even the most curious and intrigued viewers, thanks to a successful PR team in place. Each time the series returns, the Discovery Channel PR team kicks into high-gear, and this year was certainly no exception.
For Shark Week’s quarter-century milestone, Discovery Channel’s PR team launched its biggest campaign to date. According to a recent article in PRNews, although some brands don’t have the time or resources in place like Discovery may, there are five helpful and useful PR tactics you can clamp your JAWS on:
- Engage and Enable Influencers: By hosting a series of events, like a media-focused shindig at the Television Critics Association Tour, Discovery Channel drove word-of-mouth prior to the premiere.
- Embrace Partnerships to Extend Your Reach: Discovery teamed up with TOMS shoes, Georgetown Cupcake, Oceana, PEW Environment Group, Shark Savers, Bolt Barbers and Volkswagen to expand the Shark Week event beyond TV and online to people’s everyday lives.
- Don’t Underestimate the Appeal of a T-Shirt: Discovery created special 25th anniversary shirts for consumers, media and even employees, as well as 1980s-designed press kits to celebrate the series.
- Give Them More of What They Want and Make It Social: In early July, Discovery launched its very own Shark Cam—a live stream of video from a shark exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium, generating buzz and furthering engagement. Discovery didn’t stop there. Through a digital and social media campaign, including live on-air tweets from viewers, Discovery is telling the story of Shark Week through a number of unique platforms.
- Remember Your Neighbors: Discovery Communications, the parent company, is a major presence in the Washington, D.C., area, and gave its Shark Week promotion a local spin. The 446-foot inflatable shark named Chompie (picture below) made its return to the exterior of to its headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.; the company hosted a free local screening prior to Shark Week; and engaged nearby businesses by scheduling visits from mascot Chompie Jr. and introducing #ChompieAttacks along with local partner California Tortilla.
**Photo Courtesy of PRNews