Briana August 2, 2011 | 09:19:51

What We Can Learn From Shark Week

It’s baaack! Discovery Channel found a good thing when they decided to dedicate a week’s worth of programming to shark attacks. That was 24 years ago, and now Shark Week is more than just hour-long shows about sharks.

Shark Week has become must-see TV every summer. It’s also a brand of its own, and part of popular culture.

In public relations, we are constantly looking for ways to help build a brand into a household name. That got me thinking about what we can learn from Shark Week. After all, they’ve certainly come a long way. Here are a few key takeaways:

Know when enough is enough. Shark Week is a week-long shark-a-thon, but is only held once a year. That leaves for enough hype and anticipation, without its becoming a tired subject.

Keep updating. This year, iPhone and iPad users can download the Shark Week Live app for continuous coverage. Social media mavens can also follow the brand on Twitter (55,000+ followers) and Facebook (250,000+ Likes). The Facebook page is pretty interactive, and this year includes a Shark Week Photo Frenzy.

Find ways to reach new audiences. Popular SNLer Andy Samberg was brought on board this year as Shark Week’s Chief Shark Officer. As the official “host” for the week, you can watch Samberg in various clips and promos all week.

Make sure your message stays top-of-mind. The PSAs won’t let you forget that Shark Week is really about shark conservation. Shark Week partners Oceana and PEW Charitable Trusts are dedicated to protecting sharks and oceans.

Happy Shark Week, everyone!

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