What does Shark Week have in common with PR? Surprisingly, a lot!


Do you know what week it is? Yes, it’s Shark Week – one of the holiest weeks, according to Stephen Colbert!

I’ve always been fascinated with sharks and might have been a marine biologist in another life, if I didn’t fear the ocean. But in this life, I work in PR.

As I watched the kick-off of Shark Week on Sunday, it dawned on me that there are a lot of common traits between shark species and PR professionals.

The All Star (The Great White): There’s a reason why the white shark is called a “great white shark.” It’s because it kicks a$$ at what it does. As the world’s largest predatory fish, it can travel long distances in search of prey. A great white named Lydia, tagged off the coast of Florida, was tracked for 20,000 miles while she was meandering the Atlantic Ocean until she reached the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Similarly, a PR all star is willing to go the distance when it comes to making an impact for his or her client.

This PR person knows the importance of strategy and proactivity to make the kill. Just like a great white proactively hunts for his juicy next meal, an All Star is always on the hunt for pitching the next big story.

The Indiscriminate Pitcher (The Bull Shark): Bull sharks aren’t picky eaters. They’ll attack anything that moves, just like an “indiscriminate pitcher” will pitch any reporter, even if he or she is not relevant! While bull shark attacks are usually successful, the indiscriminate pitcher isn’t, with most (if not all) of his or her pitches ending up in the trash.

The Forgettable One (The Whale Shark): Is a whale shark a whale or a shark? No clue – everyone forgets. But one thing I do know, is that you don’t want to be forgettable in PR. Building strong relationships, whether they are with media, analysts, clients or prospects, is crucial to PR. If someone can’t remember you, then you probably haven’t made a big impact.

I could probably keep going – tiger, hammerhead, blue, reef, blacktip, shortfin mako, etc. – but I’ll leave you with those three. Can you think of any others?

CultureNatalie Pridham