Get to Know Your PADI Regional Manager

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Although most of you talk regularly with your PADI Regional Manager, have you ever wanted to know more about them? We asked each of your PADI Regional Managers to answer some questions to help you get to know them a little better!

  Conny Jeppson – Philippines

Name:  Conny Jeppson.

Region: 25 – Philippines.

OW Cert Location: Sweden.

Number of Years Working in the Dive Industry: 11 years.

Bucket List Dive Site: Galapagos.

Highest PADI Rating:  Platinum Course Director.

What do you love most about diving?: Sharks, large fish but also to spend time looking for the small critters.

Andy Auer – West Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

Name: Andy Auer

Region: 26 – West Thailand , 87- Vietnam and Cambodia.

OW Cert Location: Playa del Carmen Mexico.

Number of Years Working in the Dive Industry: 21 years.

Bucket List Dive Site: Isla Guadalupe Mexico – great white shark.

Highest PADI Rating: PADI Course Director.

What do you love most about diving?: That with each dive you are able to travel, meet amazing people and always learn something new!

Neil Richards – East Thailand 

Name: Neil Richards.

Region: 86 – East Thailand.

OW Cert Location: Egypt Sharm El Shiek.

Number of Years Working in the Dive Industry: 16 years.

Bucket List Dive Site: Wolf and Darwin Islands Galapagos.

Highest PADI Rating: Course Director.

What do you love most about diving?: The feeling of being at one with nature, out of my natural element and the anticipation of true wild experiences.  

Neil Davidson – Malaysia & Singapore

Name: Neil Davidson.

Region: 12 – Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

OW Cert Location: Fremantle, West Australia.

Number of Years Working in the Dive Industry: 8 years.

Bucket List Dive Site: Would love to dive the Galapagos Islands, the marine life looks amazing there!

Highest PADI Rating: PADI Master Instructor.

What do you love most about diving?: I love the peace and quiet of diving, as soon as you descend you’re in your own little world with only the marine life to focus on.

Jen Clent – Indonesia & East Timor

Name: Jen Clent.

Region: 29 – Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

OW Cert Location: Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand.

Number of Years Working in the Dive Industry: 15 years.

Bucket List Dive Site: Too hard to choose one! Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, Antarctica, Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

Highest PADI Rating: PADI Course Director and Examiner.

What do you love most about diving?: Getting away from technology and everyday noise to the peacefulness of the underwater world. Seeing amazing creatures in their own habitat going about their day and learning more about how we can protect our blue planet.

Free PADI Master Scuba Diver Application in 2019

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Help your students join the elite group of divers who have earned their PADI Master Scuba Diver rating, through both significant experience and scuba training. The PADI Master Scuba Diver rating signifies an experienced diver who has spent a lot of time training underwater in a variety of environments. Any diver who has logged 50 dives or more, has their PADI Open Water Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and PADI Rescue Diver certifications, as well as five PADI Specialty Course certifications, can apply for this prestigious rating.

Encourage your divers to set themselves a part from the rest and aim for the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating – something fewer than two percent of divers will ever receive!

In 2019, when your students apply for the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating through a PADI Dive Shop in Asia Pacific, their application fees will be waived.  

Download the 2019 PADI Master Scuba Diver Voucher (Asia Pacific).

Inspire your divers to earn the black belt of scuba diving and earn their PADI Master Scuba Diver rating today. Contact PADI Asia Pacific on customerservice.ap@padi.com for more information.

* Offer only valid in the PADI Asia Pacific region.

How a Blog Can Help Your Business

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Written by Sheridan Hatcher, PADI Marketing Executive

Blogging is not a new concept – it’s been around for many years. In fact, the first year that we introduced ‘Blogging’ as a presentation topic at our PADI Business Academies in Asia Pacific was back in 2013. At the time, I could comfortably say that next to no PADI Retail & Resort Members were engaging in blogging and majority didn’t really understand what a blog was and how it would help their business.

What is a Blog?

A blog is simply an online newsletter, sometimes traditionally named ‘News’– when set up correctly, it is housed on your website domain or on a sub-domain. It is the place where you can write relevant articles related to your dive centre or resort to not only retain your current customers but also to hopefully acquire new customers. Blogs are also considered the middle ground between your website and your social media channels.

Why Write Blogs?

There are two main reasons to adopt blogging as part of your digital marketing strategy.

  1. To increase your website presence – blog articles add to the size of your website as they add additional pages that include important keywords in which you hope to rank on within Google and the other search engines. Adding a blog article to your website also aims to keep your website updated with fresh content – something that Google favours within their algorithm.
  2. Customer acquisition and retention – by posting relevant content that suits your target audience, the articles that you add to your blog can help to attract new customers and also keep your current ones informed, therefore assisting you to retain them with the aim to have them continue their PADI scuba diving education with you.

How Often Would I Need to Write a Blog Article?

When deciding whether you have the time to start a blog, you need to consider that you need to have the resources and time to write a blog article that is of a decent length (approx. 500-600 words) at least once a month, continually throughout the year. Of course, the more articles that you post each month the better however this of course depends on what your PADI Dive Centre/Resort can handle.

But I Don’t Know What to Write About!

Being in the scuba diving industry, we are extremely lucky as we have so many topics that we can write about! Our industry is fun and exciting and ever-changing so the list of topics that you could write about is endless! Some examples include –

  • Hints/tips on becoming a better scuba diver
  • Fascinating facts about marine life
  • Promotion of PADI courses
  • Environment and marine conservation/Project AWARE
  • Top lists
  • Local dive sites
  • Equipment reviews
  • Promotions/events happening at your PADI Dive Centre/Resort
  • Staff/Instructor profiles
  • Instructor Development Courses/Go PRO nights

When deciding what topics to write about, always stick to the 80/20 rule – 80% consumer focused and 20% brand focused.

Breakdown of a Blog Article

So you’re now interested in blogging and see the benefits that it can provide your business however you just aren’t quite comfortable in knowing how to write an article – no problem, below you will find the items that make up a decent and attractive article for the reader –

  1. Blog Title – use keywords to explain what your article is about (approx. 65-70 characters including spaces). Make sure it explains clearly what the reader will be informed of if they read the blog article.
  2. Headings/Sub-headings – using headings is a great way to break up your content, making the article look more attractive to the reader.
  3. Content – needs to be informative and include keywords and keyword phrases however ensure it’s written in natural language for the reader, not for the search engines.
  4. Imagery & Videos – add attractive images/short video clips to attract the reader and also use them to break up the text within your article, so it looks more pleasing on the reader’s eye.
  5. Humour – if you can, add some humour into your writing. This can also help to build/add personality to your brand/content.
  6. Links (internal & external) – hyperlink any keywords within your articles back to relevant pages on your website to help flow traffic back/through your website or alternatively link out to external websites to provide the reader additional information/resources.
  7. Call to Action – add one to the end of your article to provoke an ‘immediate action’ – this can assist to encourage the reader to seek more information, contact you, make a booking etc.

As you can see from explanation the above, blogging is a valuable tool that can assist your dive business in order to improve your search engine ranking, acquire new customers or retain your current ones – plus, it’s not that hard! Enlist the help of your dive staff to help lighten the load – have brainstorming sessions to come up with topics/keywords that can be blogged about and use a social media editorial calendar so that your staff are clear on when their article is due to be posted online. Plus, before hiring new staff, make sure you add blogging as part of their role – in the end it’s only going to help your business and save you time!

For additional information or assistance in setting up a blog, please contact your PADI Regional Manager today.

Membership Renewals for Inactive PADI Pros

Diver - Scuba Diver - Instructor - Topside

Written by Mark Wastall, PADI Regional Training Consultant.

“The strength of the team is each individual member, the strength of each member is the team” – Coach Phil Jackson.

It’s the time of year when PADI Membership renewal is on a lot of inactive dive professional’s minds. The PADI Regional Training Consultant team receive hundreds of questions regarding renewals from members across the Asia Pacific region. Let’s have a look at some of the common questions we get asked.

Q:  ‘I didn’t renew last year, do I have to re-sit my Instructor Examination?’

A:  No, we understand how hard the dive professional works to earn their status along with the time and dedication involved in becoming a respected PADI member. We also understand that sometimes life just happens, opportunities arise and diving can occasionally take a back seat. There is no reason you should be punished for that by having to start over again. Retraining varies depending on the circumstances and can be undertaken via several means.

Q: ‘I have been un-renewed for several years but have remained in the industry, is this taken in to account?’

A: Yes, again we appreciate that job roles can change and maybe your chances of teaching are reduced. If you have been running a dive store for a few years for example, this would be reflected in the retraining required.

Q: ‘How long can I be out of status before I have to re-sit by Instructor Examination?’

A: As previously mentioned, we do all we can to avoid this from happening. You would have to be out of status and away from the industry for a considerable amount of time before that would happen. Even in the event that you are required to complete your OWSI/IDC and IE again, we may be able to help with some of the costs involved as a thank you for coming back to us. It’s never too late!

So, if you want to take advantage of the many opportunities you have as a PADI professional once again, what are your retraining options if you have had a lapse in your membership?

The first option is to view a free Online Member Forum or attend a Live Member Forum in your area. Either of these will take around an hour of your time and are simply an update on PADI news, products, courses and standards. The next level would be a Status Update with a PADI Course Director, auditing an OWSI/IDC or an Online Status Update. To find your nearest Course Director, use the new PADI Dive Shop Locator. The Online Status Update will also include a Digital Product Suite (5 top of the range digital eLearning products) along with a digital PADI Guide To Teaching and digital PADI Instructor Manual to bring you back up to speed. If you have been out of status for too long to qualify for any of these options then it’s time for IDC/IE.

Once you have access to the PADI Pros’ Site, it’s a great idea to review the Training Bulletins that you will have missed since being away and to download the latest Instructor Manual to keep yourself familiar with the latest skills and standards. We have similar levels of retraining for PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, EFR Instructor and PADI Freediver Instructor. It really is that easy to get back to what you love doing! Give your Regional Training Consultant a call and come back to the PADI family.

For more information on renewing as an inactive member call +61 2 9454 2888 or email a PADI Regional Training Consultant.