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Whether you love or hate Shark Week, there’s no denying its influence. Now in its 30th year, the annual hyperbole bonanza draws millions of viewers and has been likened to the Super Bowl.
For most Millennials and all of Gen Z, everything they know about sharks may have come from Shark Week. The author of a recent article in Fortune writes, “I once asked a class of 125 undergraduates how many had watched [Shark Week], and just about every hand went up. I then asked how many had ever actually seen sharks in the wild. Just a few hands were raised. For my students—and most Americans—this means that the overwhelming majority of our exposure to sharks is through Shark Week.”
Join PADI®, Project AWARE® and thousands of shark fans around the world by spreading a positive message about our finned friends during Shark Week 2018. Here are a few ways to show your support and chum for new customers:
- Shout Out for Sharks
Post shark-positive articles on social media throughout Shark Week and encourage your followers to show their support for sharks by re-sharing to their social channels. Here are a few of our favorites:
Don’t forget to use #SharkWeek in your Twitter and Instagram posts.
- Petition for Shark Protection
Sign and share the #DiversforMakos petition to help end uncontrolled mako shark fishing in the Atlantic. Dive centers with customers in the United States can also promote the petition to ban the sale of shark fins in the U.S.
- Offer Shark Certification Cards
Issue a limited-edition silky shark certification card to students who earn a certification during Shark Week. When processing the certification in the Online Processing Center, choose the Project AWARE card option. If you are not a 100% AWARE partner, a donation of $10 per student is required. Proceeds benefit the shark conservation efforts of Project AWARE.
- Host a Scuba Diving with Sharks Travel Night
Shark Week is the perfect opportunity to promote shark diving experiences locally, or on your next dive trip. Host a Shark Week watch party preceded by a shark diving presentation, or schedule a shark diving info night and promote it during Shark Week.If you have shark diving in your area, check out Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice from Project AWARE. If you have an active travel program, reference the guide to ensure you’re working with a responsible operator.
- Promote the Shark Conservation Diver Specialty and Project AWARE
Any certified diver age 12 or older can enroll in the AWARE – Shark Conservation Diver Specialty, and the certification counts towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver® Rating.If you’d like to offer something for nondivers, host a Project AWARE fundraising event. The fundraiser can be an athletic event where participants raise money (a “Finathon”), or it could be a donation challenge.
Set a goal and choose a fun incentive if the goal is met. The reward could be a stunt such as a staff member agreeing to wear a shark costume and hand out shark candy in a public place, or it could be a picnic or happy hour for fundraising participants.
- Post/Host Shark Trivia
Put together a list of 8-20 surprising shark facts. Use them as a daily trivia question to draw engagement on social media, or host a shark trivia night at a local pub or via Facebook live. Here are some question ideas to get you started:What is the largest shark on the planet?
True or false, “The Cookiecutter Shark”is real
How big is an average Megalodon shark tooth?
Check out the articles below for more fun shark facts:
Megalodon Shark Facts
- Reward Customers Who Speak Up for Sharks
Issue a Shark Week challenge to customers and social media followers to share shark facts, sign up for a class or event, and donate to Project AWARE. Incentivize participation by giving away novelty items such as shark bite socks or a shark coffee mug to people who do all three. Or, buy random inexpensive items to create a sharky grab bag and invite shark challenge participants to come by the store and draw for a random prize.
Shark Week offers an unprecedented opportunity for shark lovers to cut through the hype and speak up for shark protection. Mark your calendar for Sunday, 22 July and spread the good word about sharks while promoting your business at the same time.