At its core, public relations (PR) is about influencing, engaging and building relationships with key stakeholders across myriad platforms to shape and frame the public perception of your dive center or resort. PR encompasses a variety of strategies ranging from media relations and content creation to events, communications and even the manner in which you interact with customers in your dive shop.
Over the years, PR strategies have continued to evolve as new technologies emerge and people are exposed to more messages in more ways than ever before. It’s important to take a look at your PR strategies from time-to-time, refining and building as needed, to ensure they are adapting to the times and proving to be a successful use of your valuable time and resources.
If you don’t already have a PR strategy in place, adding these efforts can be a cost-effective way to further amplify messages that are important to your dive business and share your story with new and current customers. While not as easily controlled or repeatable as paid advertising and other forms of marketing, the earned media coverage that results from effective PR efforts is often perceived as more authentic and credible, and can build a deeper relationship with potential customers and your current divers.Exposure: PR is an economical way to potentially reach millions of customers – both future and current. Whether you’re announcing a new service or initiative via a press release, hosting a public event, taking part in an interview about local diving opportunities or sharing your staff’s unique stories with press, your PR efforts will increase awareness about your business via earned media without investing hundreds or thousands of dollars into paid advertising. Credibility: When a reputable media outlet talks about your business or references your insight (about learning to dive, local diving, ocean conservation efforts, etc.), you’ll gain recognition and respect as the diving experts. This perceived third-party endorsement not only helps keep your dive center or resort top-of-mind, people will also be more apt to trust your recommendations when they want to take a course, book a dive, plan a trip or purchase gear. Connection: PR should be viewed as an opportunity to build your relationship with new customers and your current divers. By sharing your story – or the stories of your dive shop and team members – with the public, you allow customers to get to know you better, develop a connection with you and build an affinity for your business. When this happens, you are better positioned to create lifetime customers who value and trust your business.
Don’t worry if you’re not ready to proactively implement a new PR strategy. With more than 9,000 pieces of earned media coverage in 2018 alone, PADI’s global media reach – the number of people exposed to coverage sources – exceeded 7.8 billion. PADI’s share of voice accounted for 89 percent of all press coverage mentioning diver-training agencies, further demonstrating the organization’s position as the leading authority in diving. Your business benefits from affiliation with the PADI® brand, giving you, your staff and your dive center further credibility as diving experts.
Moreover, about half of media coverage mentioning the PADI brand is generated organically out of general interest in our sport, the ocean and the marine life within. Journalists are often interested in writing about scuba diving and dive travel because these are exciting topics that will engage their audiences. Frequently, this coverage speaks about diving with specific dive centers or resorts. By adhering to PADI Standards, upholding top-rate business practices and preparing select people at your dive center to respond to press inquiries, you can help ensure that your business – and the local diving opportunities – are shown in the best light. Doing so will increase interest in diving in your area and drive divers through your doors.
PADI Instructors and Dive Centers are in a unique position to use their expertise and stories to inspire more new divers and buoy the entire dive industry. As the most respected dive professionals in the world with a passion for exploration, adventure and ocean conservation, your story has the power to generate excitement for diving. Tell it.
Visit the PADI Pros’ Site for additional insight about public relations for dive centers and resorts, tips for building a successful PR program, and how to leverage PADI programs and tools to support your PR program.