So Business Continuity Awareness Week 2012 came and went (in March, in fact). Sponsored by the BCI (Business Continuity Institute), this annual event brings together BC professionals and other interested parties for a week of events and presentations. However, the risk of emphasising a special week once a year is that people then think the pressure is off for the rest of the year. The BCI is aware of the issue; on the BCAW website, it points out that like “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, that BC awareness has to be a day-in, day-out exercise. The answer may be in some nifty viral marketing.
As a “product”, BCAW seems to push a number of the right buttons. The main theme this year was time, and the unspoken but possibly unjustified feeling of many organisations that they will be able to handle disaster if and when it happens, rather than taking the time upfront to prepare for business continuity. Other noteworthy aspects concerned the 2012 Olympics, supply chains, lean Six Sigma and even applying BCM to the global economic crisis, as well as the Internet Business Continuity Management game, called BC24. The trick is now to build up mindshare with persistency, so that people think about it more over the year, and not just within one week.
Compared to conventional publicity and advertising, BCAW lacks an effect of repetition. Advertisers also know that besides repeating their message, one of the most powerful levers to get inside prospective customer’s heads is to be approved and recommended by people to their friends and colleagues. Combining the two, so-called viral marketing uses information and even online gimmicks to get people to spread the word among themselves. The BCI already has BC24 (see paragraph above), which could be the basis of a fun yet educational gadget that people could then email to others.