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Environment and Resources 29 4.3 RESOURCE ASSESSMENT An effective marketing program must take into account the resources available. For small airports, the best approach to this subject involves (1) taking inventory of recent marketing activities, (2) assessing internal and external staffing and expertise available, and (3) assessing funding available. 4.3.1 TAKING INVENTORY OF RECENT MARKETING ACTIVITIES Marketing an airport successfully requires a variety of activities that might include networking and public speak- ing, effective writing of marketing materials, development and maintenance of an airport website, active com- munity involvement in local organizations, and so forth. Exhibit 4.7 shows a sample of a "current marketing activities" worksheet. The worksheet illustrates activities that require funding and those that can be done with existing staff. Although the inventory is a simple list of activities, costs, and resources, it should also prompt consideration of which past activities have been the most and least effective. Exhibit 4.7--Example of an Inventory of Marketing Activities for the Last 12 Months. Estimated Airport Funding/Staffing Marketing Activity Purpose Total Cost Expenditure Resources Air Service Billboard Expand Market $25,000 $2,500 Airport Budget, State Grant Airport Open House Raise Airport $10,000 $2,000 Airport Budget, State Grant, Awareness Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Volunteers Advertise in Economic Expand Market $2,000 $2,000 Airport Budget Development Magazine Speak at Chamber Remind Community None None None Luncheon about Airport Website Update Position Airport in $3,000 $3,000 Airport Budget, Chamber, Region, Provide In-Kind Services Public Information Young Eagles Program Community $500 $250 Airport Budget, Private Education/Outreach Donations Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc. 4.3.2 ASSESSING INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STAFFING AND EXPERTISE AVAILABLE Most small airports have no dedicated marketing staff; airport managers typically handle marketing along with many other duties. However, small airports have many options to pull together a marketing team using a variety of either free or reduced cost resources in the community. Professional advertising agencies should not be excluded because of budget limitations. Michael J. Henley and Diane L. Hodiak, authors of Fund Raising and Marketing in the One-Person Shop (Development Resource Center, 1997) suggest approaching advertising agencies or mar- keting firms in the community that are looking for projects that will allow them to use their creativity in new ways while supporting a worthy cause either for a discounted fee or as pro bono work. Ideally, the agencies involved would view the initial discounted or pro bono work as the first step in a process likely to lead to future business.

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30 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports There are a number of other local options to consider when looking for qualified resources to help. They include the following: Local colleges and universities (professors, students, interns, and employees) Economic development groups at the local, regional, or state level Chamber of Commerce City staff Members of the airport board or governing group Individual volunteers Local media Consultants Advertising agencies Networking with all of the above groups to find other available resources EXTERNAL STAFFING AND EXPERTISE USED BY SMALL COMMERCIAL SERVICE AIRPORTS Research in connection with this project included interviews with 12 small commercial service airports regarding their marketing programs. Not surprisingly, at most of the smallest airports interviewed, marketing was a function handled by the airport manager along with other responsibilities. Only the largest airports had a dedicated full-time marketing person. At one of these larger airports, Ft. Wayne, the primary air service marketing person was employed by the Chamber of Commerce, while the airport also employed a public relations person on staff. Among the smaller airports, only one reported having any marketing staff beyond the airport director. At Dubois Regional Airport in Pennsylvania, the airport employs a part-time marketing person. In terms of outside help, a majority of the airports interviewed work closely with the Chamber of Commerce or economic development group and/or make use of local advertising agencies. Also, five of the airports reported using outside consultants to assist in their marketing activities. Exhibit 4.8 shows a breakdown of the outside entities that help small commercial service airports with their marketing. Exhibit 4.8--External Resources Used by Commercial Service Airports. Number of Airports Using Each Type of Resource Local Chamber of Commerce Other airport staff Advertising agency Economic development group Outside consultant Joint partnership with private enterprise Airport marketing director Lobbyist Volunteers Others 0 2 4 6 8 10 Responses Source: Airport Marketing Survey 2008

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Environment and Resources 31 EXTERNAL STAFFING AND EXPERTISE USED BY GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORTS General aviation airports have fewer staff resources than commercial service airports. Of the 16 airports sur- veyed, 13 have no direct marketing staff members. They either do all the marketing work themselves or with some administrative support. As with commercial service airports, general aviation airports use a variety of external resources for marketing support. The most common are the local Chambers of Commerce, the economic development organizations, and the FBOs. These groups help fund marketing activities, staff events, and provide new business leads. Airports also often use resources at local colleges and universities for airport economic impact studies, busi- ness plans, and marketing plans. Exhibit 4.9 shows survey results. Exhibit 4.9--External Resources Used by General Aviation Airports. Number of Airports Using Each Type of Resource Local Chamber of Commerce Fixed based operator Economic development group Other Consultants Volunteers Ad agency Joint partners No one Lobbyist 0 5 10 15 Responses Source: Airport Marketing Survey 2008 4.3.3 ASSESSING FUNDING AVAILABLE In addition to evaluating internal and external staffing available, the airport manager or planning team should evaluate potential funds (and funding sources) available for marketing. How much does the airport need to cover from its own budget versus how much can be "raised" through other possible funding sources such as (1) grants, (2) donations, (3) in-kind contributions, (4) matching funds, and (5) cost sharing with other groups? Even though the details of the marketing plan are a work in progress, it is important to develop preliminary esti- mates so that the marketing plan can be properly scaled to available resources. In the case of Latrobe, a major issue for the airport manager was getting the public to understand what it would take to make a new service successful. Funding an educational campaign can be expensive; however, the air- port manager had already met with the business community and was assured that this group would contribute substantially to a well-designed campaign. This campaign relied in part on donations of advertising services and media time. In addition, the airport raised over $100,000 to be spent on the campaign and obtained a $600,000 Small Community Air Service Development Grant.