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Shark Week

By Greg Koontz, President, Koontz-Bryant, P.C.

So here I am, sitting on the beach looking out at the beautiful surf and just starting our regular summer vacation in the Outer Banks, and I get a text message with this link to a scary video of professional surfer Mick Fanning, in South Africa surviving a shark attack at a professional tournament. (Click on image to see video)

With all the media coverage the last several weeks about the shark attacks up and down the NC coast, it seems a little different as I sit on the actual beach and look out into the ocean. It has been quite the topic between family members about whether or not they were going to be brave and go swimming or just stay out of the water. Several weeks ago during the peak of the shark “bites,” we also got to watch the Discovery Channel’s much anticipated “Shark Week.” We now have a great deal of information on every type and aspect of a shark’s life and what they choose for prey.

It has absolutely amazed me how big this week has become over the years (now up to 28). I think sharks are pretty scary to everyone because you can’t see them, they come out of nowhere, and their bite can be devastating if not fatal – and yet here we have this super successful series of shows. Could it be that this is so popular because we are drawn to watch things we fear? I think there is more to it than that.

Shark Week does an absolutely great job of focusing our attention on sharks through a targeted combination of education and marketing! They have taken a subject that, prior to Shark Week, was rarely talked about in the media unless there was a new Jaws movie or something horrible took place. Today, people talk about Shark Week in anticipation all year long and previous episodes and trailers are frequently shown to ramp up the hype. There is also the Discovery Channel Store which has all kinds of things you can purchase to support shark week and help you remember all year long. They have done a great job all around educating the public on the subject of sharks and marketing the subject effectively on various media.

So how does this relate to our business lives? I can think of many opportunities both within and outside our organization where the combined approach of focused education along with marketing on a specific topic will help the target audience to better comprehend and appreciate the issue at hand. How many times have you been a part of implementing a program internally and it seems like everyone else just doesn’t get it, or try to explain to a client a complicated permit or approval process? Could a focused education program on these topics and some tactical marketing help get everyone on board? I think so!

Surf looks good and I think will go swimming. I am curious: Did you watch the clip on the Mick Fanning, and will you be swimming in the ocean this summer?

Email Greg Koontz to share your views on Shark Week.