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78 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A MEDIA CONTACT LIST Airports should establish and maintain a media contact list: A media contact list will provide a thorough and easy way to distribute your airport's media content over time. Include email addresses because this may be the main method for the airport to keep in touch with the media. People change jobs frequently, so it is important to keep the media contact list and all contact informa- tion current. Expand the media contact list as you develop new media relationships. THE HIDDEN COST OF EARNED MEDIA Earned media is known as "free" publicity in that there is no cost to place or run the publicity. However, there are some hidden costs involved when pursuing earned media opportunities. The most significant of these hidden costs is labor. Someone has to develop, maintain, and distribute the air- port's press kit, write the press releases, cultivate relationships with journalists and producers, and so forth. In small airports, that "someone" may be, solely, the airport manager. Hence, it is important to pursue earned media opportunities that are likely to yield results for the airport--where the airport's story is likely to be cho- sen by those who make decisions about what is newsworthy. To cut down on these hidden costs, look for volunteers who can provide assistance. Student interns looking to gain experience in public relations would be an excellent place to start. Consider partnering with other organi- zations in the community that share similar goals, such as the chamber of commerce. In this manner, the work that is required to generate earned media interest, such as cultivating relationships, can be shared. The Internet is also an excellent way to distribute press releases and press kits. 10.3 PUBLIC SPEAKING Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation Essential Tool $ Definition: Public speaking opportunities permit airport managers to tell their story in a public setting and are available in a variety of arenas including business, civic, professional, and educational, some certainly more formal than others. For this chapter, public speaking is discussed from two perspectives: (1) guest speaking at local events and (2) presentations at conferences or tradeshows. Public speaking engagements are one of the most effective and inexpensive ways that you can influence opin- ion and communicate a positive image of the airport to your stakeholders and the community at large. Public speaking is also a concrete way for airport managers to develop and maintain good relationships across many different organizations and groups. These relationships in turn can help the airport achieve its development goals, its air service objectives, and its revenue and funding objectives.

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Public Relations Tools 79 Public speaking is also an important vehicle for expanding your network of colleagues, friends, and champions of the airport. These relationships, cultivated over time, can be a resource of community leadership, financial support, and joint ventures to accomplish the community's and airport's goals. Speaking engagements are mostly a volunteer effort. It is important to let people know that you enjoy and welcome the opportunity to speak in public. If they know you are open and available, they will ask for your participation. Here is a list of local speaking opportunities: Chamber of commerce, Rotary, and Kiwanis club events Dedications and ribbon cutting events Educational workshops High school and college graduations Charity events Opening remarks at recognition ceremonies Chapter 12 contains a description of conferences and conventions that airport personnel frequently attend. These meetings include exhibit halls, social events, panels of speakers, and key note speakers. Participation on panels and organizational committees provides an excellent opportunity to increase your airport's visibility. There is a large (and often overlooked) body of material on becoming an effective public speaker. An effective speaker will be invited to speak more often just because he or she is interesting and engaging. Therefore, do not overlook the value of improving your public speaking skills. It is important for all public speakers to obtain objective feedback so that they can improve their skills. TIPS FOR VISUAL AIDS Make sure visual aids are visible to the audience. Keep visual aids content at a "high level" and easy to understand. Use creative and colorful visual aids, but do not let them upstage you. Use visual aids to enhance the content of the speech. Use visual aids to engage the audience and encourage participation. Visual aids are an important part of many presentations, and they assist the speaker in achieving a variety of goals including breaking the ice, engaging the audience, building rapport, getting the message across, and so forth. The most commonly used visual aids are computer-based presentation programs and flip charts. Many airport managers develop a basic presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint and customize a few slides for spe- cific audiences. USING POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS EFFECTIVELY Do not read the slides to your audience. Make sure the audience can see and read the text.