Those of us in the aviation
community know all there is to know about our local airport and general
aviation -- or at least think we do. But that doesn't mean our friends
and neighbors, our local, regional or state government officials, or
even our own family members share in that knowledge -- or even want
to. That's why it's so important to develop attractive information materials
that are appropriate for a range of audiences.
Many airports and state aviation
systems publish brochures or pamphlets that tell the aviation story.
instance, the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, in cooperation with
the Massachusetts Airport Management Association, produced a comprehensive
series of brochures about the airports in that state. These guides cover
a range of topics that are relevant to the Commonwealth's airport system,
as well as other subjects that are airport-specific. For example, all
guides review the environmental and economic benefits of the airport
system for the state and region as a whole. Then airport-specific topics
discuss how the airport preserves that locality's quality of life, illustrate
how federal and state funding for improvements create jobs and business
development in that community, describe the types of services provided
by a particular airport, and give an overview of its history and contributions
Arizona and New Jersey developed
brochures for a number of their general aviation airports that contain
information related to operations and economic impact. In Oregon, the
City of Corvallis partnered with the Economic Development Partnership
to produce a brochure about the municipal airport's industrial park,
entitled "Land Your Business Here."
Maps and charts
Many states provide aeronautical
charts that provide aeronautical information while accentuating the
value of that state's airport system and highlighting its business and
tourism opportunities. New York's chart is a good example, and it arms
aviation users with additional information about the economic benefits
flowing from the state's airports. See the state
resources sections to learn if your state has such a chart.
spans being what they are today, one of the best ways to reach out to
different audiences is through the medium that we all know and understand
-- television. A number of states have produced informative educational
videos that present brief, attractive, and compelling stories about
aviation's contributions. Virtually all of the videos that are available
through state aviation departments provide a broad overview of the airport
system in that state. They tell how airports of all sizes serve as on-
and off-ramps to a national and international transportation system.
And they make the point that aviation -- all of aviation -- generates
economic activity. Similar videos from aviation associations may focus
on the benefits of various kinds of aeronautical activities, or tell
how to reduce noise or improve the public's access to its airports.
These educational products
can be used on a one-on-one basis or for groups. They can be aired on
local access stations, mailed to interested parties, used as an introduction
to general aviation at public meetings and legislative hearings, and
for a broad range of other purposes.
Television, Radio and
Unfortunately, it's more
common for airports and local media outlets to pay attention to each
other when there's bad news to tell. Perhaps another municipal budget
is overspent and the airport is blamed; maybe new neighbors are bothered
by airport noise (forgetting that the neighborhood was in its infancy
when the airport was a World War II training ground); or a life and
death tragedy might be played out in an aviation mishap. Beyond hard
news reporting, or its sensationalism, aviation's positive story just
isn't a staple on screen or radio.
There are examples, though,
of how aviation tries to gain acceptance in the mainstream. For decades,
award-winning New Jersey writer and reporter Jack Elliott has made his
Sunday column an educational and informative favorite of readers of
the Star Ledger, the state's most widely circulated daily newspaper.
The stories aren't just designed to appeal to flyers and aren't just
a bully pulpit to rail against airport opponents. They combine human
interest, history, and education all rolled into one.
on our research we were hard-pressed to identify programs and columns
devoted to aviation's role in our everyday lives. It appears that's
a new frontier to be tackled by those of us who are pro-aviation. The
effort could help pave the way for accuracy and balance for the days
when an airport improvement project or other issue starts to make headlines.
Case Studies: News Clips;
Video Clips and paper Clips
See also: Related tutorials on press
releases and newsletters
on the Wolf Aviation Fund main site.
design. Easy-to-understand information. FACTS! These are the hallmarks
of good materials that inform people about the benefits of aviation.
For examples, turn to Information
Materials in our Resources Section