Working on your behalf, the Pool Industry Promotions (PIP) committee aims to give the industry greater visibility, as Sallie Leslie-Golding, PIP's PR & Marketing Manager, explained.

Working on behalf of the British Wet Leisure Industry

The BSPF (British Swimming Pool Federation) was formed in 1999, and members include BISHTA, SPATA, SPATEX, PIP, and the STA, creating a unified voice for the UK wet leisure industry to allow better dialogue with the government and other relevant organisations that have an impact on our industry. 

To promote the wet leisure industry and encourage positive, impactful PR, PIP (Pool Industry Promotions Limited) was established in the mid-1990s with an emphasis on PR and Marketing on behalf of the industry as a whole. Today's committee has representatives from both the pool and hot tub sectors, providing a combination of experience in all parts of the industry. Knowledge and opinions are freely shared with a common interest in driving the industry forward. 

Chaired by Dyfed Thompson-Smith (AstralPool UK) and supported by the current committee members: Mark Ramsden (CPC), Jeremy Chalke (Spruce Pools), Neil Dalziel (Aquaflex), Alex Kemsley (Waterstream), Phil Gordon (Jim Gordon Associates LLP), Jon Herbert (Rockingham Swimming Pools), Arun Sarna (Hot Tub Suppliers) and John Hall (Jetform Swimming Pools) and I manage the PR and Marketing functions with assistance from Chris Hayes (BSPF's Managing Director).

Pool Industry Promotions (PIP)

While promoting the industry (as a whole) is the ultimate goal, there is great value in encouraging businesses to join BISHTA and SPATA. By encouraging companies to join the trade associations, this helps raise the industry's profile so that consumers can shop with confidence in the knowledge that trade association members are working to nationally recognised standards and a Code of Ethics. This, in turn, builds a stronger industry with a more effective voice, filtering out those companies who may be unethically trading and selling sub-standard products. The trade associations aim to raise the profile of member companies to the forefront of consumers' minds to provide trust and peace of mind.

Typically, the committee meets quarterly and once a year; the PIP strategy is reviewed to set plans for the coming year. The work programme incorporates items such as traditional and digital PR (Trade and Consumer), media monitoring, contact with press and media, case studies, factsheets, the PIP marketing toolkit, exhibitions and events, website development and performance, e-newsletters, social media, market research, advertising, partnerships and campaigns. With funding coming from SPATEX, the UK's only dedicated pool, spa and wellness show, and contribution from BISHTA and SPATA members.

#everydaycation campaign

What objectives does PIP want to achieve?

Every relevant household has an awareness of the benefits of wet leisure products.

Everyone likely to choose to buy a pool, hot tub, etc., is aware of the benefits of working with BISHTA and SPATA members. There is a range of long and short term goals that PIP has set to achieve the above objectives, and they include:

Working with members to build and develop media interest stories

To gain consumer press/media coverage through the British Pool & Hot Tub Awards (and the EUSA awards) through the winners and case studies as well as trade press coverage that can be used to build trade profiles. To embrace messages that demonstrate the relevant purchasing decisions made by end-users.

Building specific consumer media relationships 

Building on our press/media contact list and refining them to have more one-to-one press/media relationships with those that influence end-users. 

Achieving increased and broad digital media coverage

To harness digital opportunities to widen our PR reach - Developing our press/media contacts and press communication. 

Online Presence Management = Growing our online profiles

Raising BISHTA and SPATA profiles through continued development of our websites, SEO, digital and social marketing with end-users. Growing our social media channels and increasing our website's performance, including the 'everydaycation' campaign website.

Amplifying our Trade profile through participation at national events

Where possible, participate at national events or shows that fit with our target audiences. This could be via industry shows and events that attract our target audiences, e.g. home and garden design, landscaping, holiday park, health and wellbeing. 

Promoting the Wider Water Leisure Industry

Ensure that the PIP committee always has on its agenda to discuss ways to promote the wet leisure industry (as a whole). 

In June 2020, the PIP committee launched the #everydaycation campaign. As we are all aware, the surge in demand for wet leisure products through 2020 was outstanding; this can be attributed to 'lockdown' and people spending more time at home, focusing on their homes, gardens, and lifestyle, and in most cases, many people having a holiday budget that could be repurposed. But the great weather in the UK also had a significant influence, with all of these creating the 'perfect storm' for the demand for wet leisure products. 

However, strategically, although there was a surge in demand for wet leisure products, PIP grasped the opportunity to promote the UK pool and hot tub industry nationally and have an influential voice through the press and media. The success of the #everydaycation campaign was highly evident from the results achieved, and PIP continues through 2021 and beyond to grow the #everydaycation message.   

"The PIP committee provides a valuable resource to help me in my task to meet the strategy set out above. The committee offers a wealth of experience, making the perfect sounding board to check my ideas and plans' legitimacy. However, there are also times throughout the year that I turn to the wider membership of BISHTA and SPATA to source further ground-level knowledge and expertise. We have a great group of people out there who are as passionate as I am about promoting our industry, and it makes me very proud to be part of it!".

As a committee, PIP works to give the industry greater visibility.  If you would like to share your feedback, suggestions, and ideas to help PIP achieve its strategic goals, or if you would like to know how you can put actions into place to support the goals of PIP and drive consumer awareness, please email [email protected]