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News Release
FOR RELEASE - April 18, 2007
Contact: Aaron Ellis, aellis@aapa-ports.org
703-706-4714

American Association of Port Authorities
1010 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-5700
www.aapa-ports.org

Port Communicators To Convene June 13-15 in Cape Canaveral

AAPA Seminar To Focus On Effective Community & Public Relations to Support Port Development

As trade volumes and cruise passenger counts continue their meteoric rise, public port authorities struggle to keep congestion in check, often necessitating expansion and/or infrastructure development.  In turn, affected communities may call for more say in how ports deal with cargo and passenger increases.  To address these myriad challenges, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will hold its 2007 Public Relations Seminar in Cape Canaveral, Fla., June 13-15, focusing on effective community and public relations to support port development.

“Without question, seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere—as well as the transportation connections that serve seaports—are under increasing capacity pressures, both from growing freight and cruise passenger volumes, and from the communities affected by this growth,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO.  “AAPA’s Public Relations Seminar will help port public relations practitioners with a program that educates, excites and engages them to enhance the way they interact with their communities.  Only by bringing key stakeholders together can ports develop the partnerships and resources they need to tackle today’s growing congestion problems.”

AAPA’s Public Relations Seminar will begin its first day with a strategic look ahead at the key issues important to ports, including the impacts of congestion and recommendations of what must be done to stave off traffic and economic gridlock due to growing passenger counts and freight volumes. After that will be a discussion on image branding, followed by a session to help port communicators better connect with audiences who are best reached through new and emerging technologies, such as podcasts, vodcasts, blogs and personal microsites. 

For the first day’s luncheon, a representative of the Panama Canal Authority will discuss how they ran a successful public referendum for the estimated $5.5 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. Later that day, seminar participants will be treated to a three-hour interactive exercise that will ask them to play various character roles in a situation where a hypothetical port deals with the unanticipated consequences of trying to “fix” a congestion problem without first consulting the community it serves.

On the second day, seminar attendees will interact with a panel of reporters from across the media spectrum to find common ground for getting favorable coverage of their organizations, such as features on property and infrastructure development, and trade, travel and environmental enhancement programs. Next will be a luncheon program aboard a Disney cruise ship, followed by a companion session in the afternoon—presented by a panel of cruise line and cruise industry experts—on communications challenges in the cruise and travel industry.

Friday’s sessions will include a workshop on community image and perception polling to learn how to query audiences about key port issues, followed by a session demonstrating how two major Southern California ports combined resources and talents to develop a comprehensive program to reduce air emissions from port operations in and around Los Angeles’ San Pedro Bay.

More information about AAPA’s PR Seminar is available at www.aapa-ports.org (click on the “Programs & Events” tab) or by calling AAPA’s Ed O’Connell at 703-684-5700.

WHO:             American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)

WHAT:           Seminar focusing on effective community and public relations to support port development

WHEN:           June 13-15, 2007 (Day 1, 8am-8pm; Day 2, ; Day 3, -)

WHERE:        Radisson Resort at the Port, 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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