STOP Marketing an Acronym – FRTI

By Eric J Rouse

It’s been almost one year since the inception of First Response Training International. Has your local dive shop started a functional training program that provides CPR, AED, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogen, and Oxygen Administration awareness and education? I hope the answer is “Well of course they have and it’s awesome!!!” Salisbury Scuba in Salisbury, NC completed the Gap course at DEMA in November of 2018 and hit the ground running.  We wanted to share a few things that we found which helped get First Response Training International publicized and brought additional training/education opportunities to the dive shop and the community. 

Set Yourself Apart

What we mean is stop using acronyms (FRTI) and start informing customers about First Response Training International and how beneficial this education is to the diving industry. But don’t stop with divers; First Response Training was developed for everyone. We have set up a separate business name from Salisbury Scuba to offer First Response Training Courses. This has proven to hit a market in the community that normally went to another training agency. We all chose a business name related to diving for the dive shop. Be sure to also use a themed name for the First Response Training courses that are offered. Now you are marketing to two groups, those in the dive industry and those outside of it. 

Guess what?! With a market outside the dive industry, we have just opened another door to share the great experiences of diving and the underwater world. As a dive shop, we are always competing with other sports and social activities, which can make sparking an interest in diving difficult for folks that are not seeking out scuba education. If we make the dive shop a place for First Response Training, then we just opened our door to educate another group about how awesome diving has made our lives! 


This refers to being aware of your audience and local/state regulations. There are many companies, businesses and/or specific jobs that require their employees to be CPR, AED, and First Aid certified. With that knowledge, why shouldn’t we get their business? 

Specific industries, i.e. childcare & EMS, have state regulations on training, which may require a pre-approved training agency. Check your state’s requirements and if First Response Training International has not been pre-approved, then pick up the phone and contact the state regulating body to ask what it takes to get approved. The great folks at First Response Training will be glad to assist with providing all the needed information to the governing body. Persistence and patience may be needed when working with these agencies. I have learned that this persistence pays off and gets business in the door.

Once regulations, if any, are known, then all we have to do is make some calls, show your charm, and let folks know how much added value is received when trained through First Response Training. At this point, if we don’t know the value of our training agency, we need to stop, think about our life and call Brian Shreve or Headquarters!!! 

Social Media

In today’s life, most folks have some type of social media account. Your dive shop should have a social media account and should open a social media site for your First Response Training business as well. Post regularly and always share the posts from First Response Training International. This is a great way to spread the message about this wonderful training agency and your business. Social Media will ensure customers and their friends are aware of the type of training that is available and as stated previously, bring new students and customers in the door. 


Why do we want to market First Response Training and ourselves? Here is the “WHY” for Salisbury Scuba and the reason we exist. To have FUN providing education on diving, the diving industry, safe diving practices, and to have FUN with students and customers. If we can’t have fun, then we are in the wrong business! 

That same FUN goes into educating and training customers on how to handle what they never expect to encounter in life, whether with First Response Training or being underwater. Salisbury Scuba in-house research shows if customers are having fun, they will retain more knowledge from the training and they will continue their support of the dive industry.

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