How Can We Protect More of Our Oceans?

For more than two decades, scientists have been telling us that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the keys to long term ocean health. While some debated their worth early on, today there’s little dispute. As reported by Smithsonian Magazine, MPAs with full protection have four times as much life (biomass). Species grow larger and reproduce proportionately more. MPAs and the areas around them recover more quickly from environmental damage, and (along with fishery management) have higher fish catches — so much so that commercial fishing comes out ahead despite the loss of fishable area.While established as big wins for everyone, global governments arenot on track to meet a U.N. goal to have 10% of the world’s ocean under full protection by 2020. Officially, we’re at just under 6%, but some say it’s really under 4% because some declared MPAs have no enforcement and nothing’s changed.

Moreton Bay Hope Spot Anemone Fish – Photo By Chis Roelfsema

But thanks to Hope Spots, we can help catch up and get ahead of the curve. Hope Spots, if you’re not familiar, were conceived by Dr. Sylvia Earle, with coordination and oversight by Mission Blue, a not-for-profit organization Dr. Earle founded to unite people and organizations for this cause. Hope Spots are unique marine areas identified as particularly distinct due to the diversity of species found there, the habitat’s importance for reproduction, threats from human activity, community economic needs or any other attribute that makes a location central to marine environmental health.

The idea is to conserve and preserve Hope Spots by leveraging public perception and attention so they receive appropriate protection (not necessarily becoming MPAs, and some Hope Spots are already MPAs). As you’d expect, the PADI organization formally partnered with Mission Blue in 2017, adding the weight of 26 million+ PADI Diver voices to the Hope Spot cause. Thanks to Dr. Earle, Hope Spots are a conspicuous example of how one person with a great idea can inspire millions to unite across borders and cultures for a common purpose.

Global Hope Spots map. Photo: Mission Blue

Today, there are almost 100 existing and proposed Hope Spots, and they are important, even though preserving them will not, in itself, halt global climate change, clean up the oceans, stop overfishing, etc. These bigger problems call for big, broad and deep social changes (that are not impossible), but we still need Hope Spots for several reasons:

  • By creating areas with proven biological productivity, they help us buy time addressing some of these challenges. For example, Hope Spots won’t solve overfishing, but by providing areas in which fish reproduction functions unchecked, we prop up fish populations as we sort through the management issues.
  • Hope Spots help preserve biodiversity. Some scientists see this as helping the ocean bounce back with as many species as possible as we make positive changes. Others, accepting that some change is permanent, see biodiversity as central to marine ecology. That is, some coral species tolerate heat better than others; having a diverse genetic supply of such species may be important in a warmer ocean.
  • Hope Spots are inspirational and visible. Hope Spots draw attention. They remind communities just how close and personal ocean threats are, but that we can (and must) act to offset them. As a source of local pride, Hot Spots inspire area divers and ocean advocates to speak up for and fight for them. Mission Blue, PADI and other supporters use social media to highlight Hope Spot stories to make and keep them in the broad public eye.

As a diver, you can support the PADI organization, Mission Blue and others united behind Hope Spots. You can nominate a Hope Spot, and you can participate in events promoting/protecting a Hope Spot (many led by PADI dive shops or instructors, and may tie in Project AWARE as well). Of course, you can contribute to Hope Spot funding – check out mission-blue.org. If you live near or visit a Hope Spot, talk about it in person and on social media – especially with those who may not be aware of it. Finally, get involved with Project AWARE and your local PADI dive operation to make every dive count. Millions of people like you and me passionately preserving, conserving and restoring the ocean is the best hope there is.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Continue your PADI Pro journey for 2019

Being a PADI Pro means teaching the world’s most respected and instructionally solid system in diving, transforming people into divers and changing their lives forever.

Renew your membership by signing up for PADI Online Renewal by 15th December 2018, and you’ll save at least 20% on your annual membership.

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PADI Online Renewal will ensure you’ll maintain access to a wealth of PADI membership benefits including:

  • The ability to teach or assist PADI courses and programs around the world
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PADI announces its 2019 Shows!

PADI has been busy planning its 2019 events schedule and is excited to announce that it will be exhibiting at the following shows:

Salon de la Plongée (Paris, France): 11 – 14 January – PADI Village.

BOOT (Dusseldorf, Germany): 19 – 27 January – PADI Village.

DIVE MENA Expo (Dubai, UAE): 26 February – 2 March.

EUDI (Bologna, Italy): 1 – 3 March – PADI Village.

PADI will also have a presence at these shows:

Moscow Dive Show (Moscow, Russia): 31 January – 3 February.

Duikvaker (Houten, Netherlands): 2 – 3 February.

DykMassan (Stockholm, Sweden): 16 – 17 March.

Additional 2019 shows will be added as they are confirmed. Check in regularly for an updated list.

We hope you’ll join us at one or more of the shows. If you’d like to partner with us in one of the PADI villages please contact your Regional Manager for more information.

Creating Advocates

Written by John Kinsella

It’s a damp and dreary morning, the traffic is horrendous and it’s backing up for a long way. Perfect. Clutching a handful of flyers promoting a two-for-the-price-of-one Discover Scuba® Diving (DSD®) experience, we move carefully between the rows of cars, making eye contact with the bored looking drivers. Most roll down their windows, curious no doubt about our colorful one-piece wet suits. We smile, hand them a flyer and give them a brief explanation: Forget about all the traffic, now’s the time to learn to dive. By the time we made it in to the dive shop at nine, the phone was hopping off the hook. It was the single most-effective promotion we had ever run.

For years, we made a point of finding out why new divers came in to the shop. Before the advent of high-end dive management software such as EVE, we kept a simple spreadsheet with the diver’s name and a couple of words describing how they heard about us and why they signed up. We tallied this up every month and, with only this one exception, every month the dominant reason was referrals. Running around in rush-hour traffic in wet suits, it appears, is the exception that proves the rule.

That was 30 years ago, and I doubt we’d get away with it today. So that leaves referrals squarely at the top of the list. And, to drive the point firmly home, during a recent Open Water Diver course, every single one of eight new divers was there because a friend or colleague had personally recommended the course. This is a great example of Word Of Mouth Marketing (or WOMM) at its best.

The importance of advocates – those people responsible for word-of-mouth marketing and referrals – for your business crosses all borders. PADI® Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recently published a white paper titled, “Analysis of the UK Diving Industry.” This report summarizes the key findings of a comprehensive survey of PADI Dive Centers across the UK. It also offers advice, based on those findings, to help dive centers boost their business.

In the Marketing to New Divers section, the white paper points out that new divers are the lifeblood of your business. They are not just current customers, but future customers as well. It goes on to identify two pools of new divers: DSDs and potential trade.

For DSDs, the advice is to:

  1. Use the Discover Scuba Diving Participant Guide and system correctly.
  2. Include structured time during the experience to explain the benefits of full training and how to complete this.
  3. Give participants an incentive to sign up immediately.
  4. Make sure participants know that they can complete the skills from Confined Water Dive One during their DSD – they have already started the process.
  5. Incentivize your staff. The white paper notes that “Passionate PADI Professionals will convert students to the sport – be sure to support them and reward them for success.” If you can’t rely on staff to recommend your Open Water Diver course, and if you don’t help them do so and make it worth their while, you’re missing a cornerstone of new business development.

For potential trade (new business), the white paper advises to:

  1. Use the PADI logo.
  2. Make sure to use the dive center’s Facebook page effectively.
  3. Be innovative – reach out to your local community.
  4. Use your students – word of mouth is still the best way to attract new divers.

The white paper notes that “Personal recommendations are powerful recruitment tools.” Incentivize former students by offering them rewards for bringing you new trade. Examples include a free gift for each student they recruit; discount on their next course; or a discount on the course they persuade a friend to join.

Make sure to use tried and tested methods of creating advocates for your business and reap the rewards.

New, improved, 2019 PADI Show Support Pack

This year we’ve upgraded your Show Support Pack, to further assist 100% PADI Dive Centers to convert customers. Feel the power of the PADI Brand with more show support than ever before.

2019 Show Support Pack contains:

  • NEW design PADI 3.5m Beach Flag (with Pole & Base)
  • 100 PADI recycled pens
  • 50 PADI Stickers
  • PADI Course Brochures – Go Dive, Keep Diving, Teach Diving

Show Support Packs are a benefit available to 100% PADI Dive Centers. We invite you to complete the 2019 Show Support Pack Application*, return it to Amber Swan-Hutton and, once approved, the goodies are yours!

Your pack will be shipped to you with your next Sales order, or delivered to the PADI stand for you to collect if PADI is exhibiting at the same event.

* Complete and submit the PADI Show Support Pack Application with evidence of attendance at your Expo at least eight weeks prior to your Expo.

Selling Scuba as a Festive Gift

give-the-gift

Consumer behaviour and trends show that people increasingly prefer experiences over things. Your business should be capitalising on this by offering scuba diving to new and existing customers. But how?

In the Retailer and Resort Association Digital Marketing Toolkit, there are two sets of assets available to you: Discover Scuba Diving and eLearning. Despite the difference in promotion, the implementation is the same. Decide which promotion best fits your business model and then follow the formula below for a synchronised multi-platform campaign.

  • Alert your customers with an email. Use the specific campaign email header from the toolbox. Make sure your subject line and snippets are written with Open Rate in mind. You want to make sure as many customers as possible open the email and then click through to the specific promotion.
  • Users should be directed from this email to a specific landing page or blog post. Make sure you’ve implemented full width website image and blog post image for consistency.
  • In addition to this, update your social media channels with the optimised imagery. Update your Facebook cover, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and Twitter posts. Keep in mind the “80-20” rule for Facebook social media posts. You want to keep 80% of your posts engaging and fun, with the remaining 20% of posts being sales orientated. Don’t spam your customers with sales.
  • For full integration, use offline materials like posters to promote in-store & in local hot spots.

Digital Toolbox

Before implementing the marketing plan, make sure that the promotion fits with your business. Discover Scuba Diving is perhaps considered more affordable and in line with gift budgets, therefore you’d expect to see a higher uptake. With this in mind, be sure you have your conversion tactics in place. The aim here is not to sell 10 DSD gift vouchers over the festive period. The objective is to sell 10 PADI Open Water Diver courses, using DSD Gift Vouchers as a new diver acquisition tool. Emphasise that the Discover Scuba Diving experience counts towards the full PADI Open Water Diver course and consider taking deposits before even entering the water.

Using eLearning, you will know from the outset that your trainee divers are engaged and willing to take diving further. This will enable you to already sell the Advanced Open Water during Open Water training. The uptake of eLearning may be less than DSD gift vouchers, but the rewards could be greater.

PADI Digital Core Courses Expand Reach

As part of PADI’s ongoing mission to expand independent study materials and enhance the PADI digital product suite, we’re expanding the number of language offerings for the PADI Open Water Diver, Freediver™ and Enriched Air Diver educational course materials. Making the PADI eLearning experience accessible to even more students across the globe.

Scuba diving is a sport/hobby/obsession that bridges borders and cultures, bringing people around the world together to enjoy the underwater environment. But people around the world have different needs and, more importantly, speak different languages.  PADI accounts for this when creating its eLearning products.

The PADI organization is making it easier for PADI Divers to access learning materials, with a digital suite of core courses that are easy to purchase, download and use. Now, these materials are offered in more languages than ever before too – further demonstrating that PADI truly is the way the world learns to dive.

What’s new?

  • PADI Open Water Diver – Open Water Diver now available in seven new languages: Czech, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish.
  • PADI Freediver – Along with the existing English, the popular Freediver program is now available in 10 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, with Korean, Thai, and Russian soon to follow.
  • PADI Enriched Air Diver – 22 languages: English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, with Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Indonesian, Thai, Hebrew and Polish soon to follow.
  • Advanced Open Water Diver: Coming soon!

Important to note: The PADI Library app will reflect these changes. If divers have automatic updates turned on in their device settings, the app will update automatically.  If not, they will need to make sure they update their app.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, be sure to update your eLearning preferences in your account to reflect the courses and languages you support.

Keep an eye out as more updates to the eLearning experience are coming soon.

Business Development Opportunities using Emergency First Response Distinctives

Does your local marketplace have a need for additional first aid training that is not immediately available through the current suite of EFR courses?  As an example, is there a local regulatory first aid requirement that businesses or industries require?  You may think the EFR program cannot cover these gaps in the market but by using the Emergency First Response Distinctive Speciality route, these gaps may be filled and your first business may indeed grow.

So how does the EFR Distinctive Specialty route work?  Once you have an idea for your EFR Distinctive Speciality simply download the EFR Distinctive Template, and use it to write your own Distinctive Specialty.  The template makes writing your course a very simple process for you.

To give you some food for thought, examples of EFR Distinctives include:

  • Primary and Secondary Care at Music Festivals
  • Diabetes Awareness and Treatment

Once you have written your EFR Distinctive Speciality, email it to us for review.

A Training Consultant will work with you to answer any questions you have and provide feedback, should your outline need revision.  Once you and your Training Consultant are satisfied with the Distinctive Specialty, the Outline, and application, will be submitted to a review panel for consideration.

It’s that simple.  EFR Distinctives are an excellent opportunity to add something unique, that prospective clients need or want, to your business model and will support your business plans for your EFR business growth.

Marketing your Emergency First Response Courses

Think back to your first CPR or first aid course and answer these three questions:

1) What made you enrol?

2) What made you choose that particular course?

3) Did you take other courses or go back for a refresher course from the same instructor or facility?

Chances are your answers are all very different, which makes a couple of important points. First, people have a wide variety of reasons for wanting to learn CPR and first aid procedures. This could range from wanting to know how to care for a family member, to being required to take a course by an employer. The second point is that in many regions there are a lot of training choices. Most people don’t have to look far to find a course that fits their schedule and budget. When training is easy to find, you need to figure out how to make your courses stand out. You need a marketing plan to keep your EFR courses full. Decide who your potential participants are and carefully craft your marketing message to appeal to each group. You also need to arrange your courses in a way that is convenient and attractive to potential participants.

Let’s break this down into three simple steps:

  1. Potential participants: everyone is eligible to complete first aid training, so the potential market is huge. Start by researching who may need CPR and first aid training in your local area to help you focus on specific groups. This training is often required for certain roles, such as child care, life guarding or commercial driving licenses. Also look towards anyone involved in organisations such as schools, universities or youth groups.
  2. Developing a contact: you can reach out to these groups through various mechanisms – direct email, letters or phone calls can all be effective. Try to identify the decision maker as a point of contact and speak to them personally (in business this may be the human resources manager, whilst in a sporting club it might be the chairperson or coach)
  3. Highlight the benefits! Make sure you emphasise the huge advantages offered by your EFR courses. For example, the fact that you can offer dedicated paediatric first aid courses, AED training or separate secondary care. EFR course are based on internationally recognised medical guidelines and that you can offer flexible learning options.

Be ready to follow up your contacts with additional communications and information.

For more details on how to market your EFR courses, don’t forget to refer to your EFR Instructor Manual (page A20) or contact your EFR Instructor Trainer for guidance.

Promote Domestic Success with a “Third Space” Dive Store

Analyse the competition to your dive business and what are the results? Is it the domestic high street suffering? Is it spending power? Are potential consumers preferring to spend their weekends sat in trendy coffee shops rather than learning to dive?

These may indeed be valid concerns, but your biggest threats they are not. Your largest competition is from the customers themselves. At this point in time, customers are the savviest they’ve ever been. They are careful with how their money is spent and with whom they spend it. Customers need experience, content, validation, reassurance and personalisation. They crave lifestyle improvement. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past to modern consumers – you are both now embraced in an emotional one.

With this in mind, create a “third space” dive store. A place away from home and work where customers are at ease. If your dive store promotes a transactional environment, the customer is presented with two options: buy something or get out. However, the “third space” environment would allow a customer to sit down and chat with a coffee – and a word of warning, people drink more coffee than ever so don’t skimp on the quality of beans! In this environment you can reassure the customer that scuba diving is the embodiment of lifestyle improvement. Through PADI’s Pillars of Change you confirm that scuba diving is an experience-rich investment worth paying for.

Embrace the millennial thought process to ensure domestic success. Consider these two Facebook advert messages for example:

  • 10% off the PADI Open Water Diver course with ABC Diving. Find out more!
  • ABC Diving are recruiting ocean conservationists! Visit us in store to protect our ocean planet!

The first message is purely transactional and wide of the mark with how experience driven customers think. Promoting this message within your domestic market would serve to only confirm the savvy customer’s fears – you’re another business trying to make some quick cash.

Now consider the second message. You’ve moved away from transaction and now focus on relationship building. Now you’re recruiting. Now you’re appealing to emotions and creating an environment away from home and work where customers can find gratification through purpose. This now goes beyond selling a dive course. This is selling a lifestyle and a possibly also a career change.