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PARC wins Australasian Leisure Management Award

alm award

Peninsula Leisure’s crisis response secures industry communication and marketing award.


The response by facility management company Peninsula Leisure to an October 2017 crisis has been recognised in the third Australasian Leisure Management Communication and Marketing Awards.

Named as the recipient of the 2018 Crisis Communications Award, the award recognises Peninsula Leisure’s team for successfully managing a crisis at the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC) that posed a significant disruption to business.

A critical malfunction within the pool infrastructure led to the closure of PARC’s 50 metre pool, learn-to- swim pool and aquatic playground for eight weeks prior to Christmas.

While the impact was evident in post event customer surveys, a 79% positive rating from 950 respondents was recorded with the mean response as ‘extremely satisfied’ (10/10) when asked how Peninsula Leisure (PL) handled the closure.

The crisis commenced when a malfunction was first detected on Friday 13th October 2017 through scheduled early morning inspection. The anomaly was immediately reported to the pool duty manager and operations manager.

After initial inspection, the Chief Executive Tim Gledhill and General Manager Simon Beqir were notified of a potential crisis and within 30 minutes the crisis management team – consisting of Gledhill and Beqir along with the facility’s operations manager, marketing manager, digital marketing coordinator and swim school manager – convened to determine the immediate actions.

These were:

  1. Initial assessment: An expert pump engineer was engaged to investigate the issues.
  2. A holding statement was formulated to notify staff and customers of the immediate pool closure during the investigation phase. By the afternoon the investigation revealed that the malfunction was critical and the crisis would soon escalate with a closure for several days, possibly weeks imminent. An approved holding statement was posted on social media notifying customers of events with Gledhill and Beqir assuming the roles of media spokesperson and backup spokesperson.
  3. Crisis communications planning: Within 24 hours the marketing team got to work formulating a Crisis Communication Action Plan.
  • A crisis phone line was set up, speaking points and release statements for media were prepared and enquiries on social media were responded to.
  • Gledhill notified senior stakeholders: the PL Board, Frankston City Council and PL’s Chair.
  • Staff were notified on the communications platform (OneLan) with instructions to refer enquiries to the crisis media contact number. Staff were instructed to not comment on social media during this time.
  • All PARC members were emailed.
  • Centre signage was developed for casual users.
  1. Business continuity: Beqir held meetings with area team leaders to understand the scope of interruptions to business and continuity planning: birthday party bookings were rescheduled, schools were notified, all learn-to-swim, aquatic and complete members were emailed and telephoned.
  2. Contingency planning: As the crisis dragged into the second week, a contingency plan was developed to divert customers to a nearby outdoor seasonal facility. The Pines Forest Aquatic Centre was opened one month early with free entry for PARC members. PARC’s gym and spa remained open. Fees were suspended for swim members.
  3. Ongoing communications: The communications team implemented updates each week of the crisis for eight weeks. Approved messages, were delivered to staff, members, casual users, stakeholders and media. Management ran a series of face to face meetings for members to keep them informed.
  4. Recovery: The crisis was finally resolved on Dec 10th. Re-opening messages were delivered via email, social media, staff were thanked through OneLan while door signage announced ‘We are open’.

The recovery plan targeted each customer segment with:

  • Media advertising in local papers with editorial thank you message.
  • A free breakfast for aquatic members and follow up community BBQ.
  • Personal postcard thanking members with a free coffee.
  • Summer on us campaign for new members: ‘Join now and don’t pay until 22 Jan’.
  • Group Exercise: 24 Classes of Christmas to encourage consistent participation.
  1. Satisfaction surveys: Post-event surveys were delivered to members and casual users. Questions addressing staff handling of the situation (speed, level of detail, solutions) averaged 7.9/10 with the mean response as ‘Extremely satisfied’. PARCs transparency and willingness to engage with members was a key contributor to satisfaction.


Announcing the Award, Nigel Benton, Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, stated “receiving an Award for dealing with a crisis may seem like a barbed compliment, but, this Award is emphatically not such a thing.

“It is inevitable that a crisis will occur in any business or organisation and what this Award seeks to do is recognise how communications are handled when that happens.

“At worst poor communications management of a crisis can have a massive negative impact on a business while, at best, as we can see with how Peninsula Leisure handled this challenge, can generate customer satisfaction and enhancement of and confidence in a brand.”

Being presented for a third time this year, the Australasian Leisure Management Communication and Marketing Awards recognise excellence in communication and marketing in all sectors of the leisure industry – aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues – in Australia and New Zealand.

Beyond announcement of the recipients, the Awards will be presented in a series of one-on-one meetings over the coming weeks.

For images and more information contact Nigel Benton, Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management on 0411 551 731, E:


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Our car park is looking good 😎

Months of work have finally been completed and our safety upgrades and landscaping works mean the carpark is looking fresh.

We hope it will look even better when the 500 new plants mature. 

#PARCFrankston #carparkupgrade
An update on the Allianz Swim Club participants! 🏊‍♀️💙 

We love seeing everyone embracing the joy of learning to swim together. From mastering the torpedo to perfecting the streamline position, every achievement is a triumph. 🌟 

We're nearly through the program and have already completed a vital water safety session – a testament to their dedication. 🤝 

Let's celebrate the progress of each participant and look forward to the growing confidence in the water! 🎉

Have you tried our new treadmills yet? They’re super cool 😎 

We’ve also added new bikes, cross trainers, ski-ergs and assault bikes. 

Come and check them out. 

#PARCFrankston #newcardioequipment #fitness
👶🏻 Do you know someone who was born this year?
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Are you a local family looking for a living tribute to the area? 

Rotary’s Annual Birth Tree and Family Garden project invites you join this year’s tree and plaque, celebrating the newest members of our growing community. 🌳

Join this year’s Birth Tree for an investment of $50. For this, you will receive a timeless tribute of your loved one in the form of a tree and plaque, but more importantly, $45 of every contribution goes straight back here to PARC and PINES to help more children build confidence in the water.

Find out more via our link in bio. 

#PARCFrankston #rotarypeninsula #rotaryfrankstonpeninsula #community

At PARC we believe in the strength of togetherness and community, and that's why we're excited to introduce you to the incredible world of Small Group Training. 

Small Group Training is not just about sweating it out; it's about achieving your health goals with the support and camaraderie of like-minded individuals in your small group. In our blog we look at the top 5 benefits of Small Group Training… 

🥳 More Motivation and Accountability 
🕺 Meet New PARC Friends 
💸 More Affordable 
🍏 More Inspiration and Content 
🔥 More Energy 

Read the blog and learn more about Small Group Training. 

#PARCFrankston #smallgrouptraining #personaltraining
We have your Christmas gift inspo sorted! 🎄🎁

We also have loads of gift ideas from bathers, goggles, sporting apparel, 1:1 personal training vouchers, up front memberships, gift vouchers and more! 

Did you know you can purchase our memberships online? It's so easy to give your loved one a present that will improve their wellbeing. Simply visit our website to see our different membership options.

Visit PARC to see our retail range, or let our friendly team help you purchase a voucher for your special someone. 

#PARCfrankston #GiftofHealth #christmas #giftgiving

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