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News Release
FOR RELEASE - May 10, 2005
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

AAPA to Simulate a Seaport Crisis & a Land-Use Development Controversy at its Galveston Seminar

Port Association Workshops Will Test Abilities Of PR , Marketing & Business Development Pros To Communicate Under Pressure

ALEXANDRIA, Va.  (May 10, 2005) — The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the organization representing public ports throughout the Western Hemisphere, will test the abilities of communications, marketing and business development professionals to think strategically and communicate under pressure at its Public Relations and Maritime Economic Development seminar, to be held at the San Luis Resort, June 7-10, in Galveston, Texas.

In a seaport industry seminar replete with topics ranging from economic development turf wars to avoiding environmental sand traps, AAPA’s Joint Public Relations & Maritime Economic Development Seminar will feature two highly interactive sessions for participants both in and outside of the maritime industry.  “Crisis at the Port of River City” (Tuesday, June 7, 1-5 p.m.) and “Where Do You Draw Your Line? Waterfront Land-Use Development Decision” (Wednesday, June 8, 9 a.m.-1:30pm) are geared to help communications and economic development professionals alike test their critical thinking skills and acquire a new perspective on working proactively with allies, activist groups and the media.

In a tabletop workshop, “Crisis at the Port of River City” will feature a series of unfolding emergency communications challenges at the fictional town of River City.  Participants will be bombarded with new information every few minutes over the course of the 2 ½-hour drill.  Afterward, they will have time “debrief” in order to assess their performance and complete an after-action review of what they would have done differently under actual conditions.

The following day, a tabletop workshop titled, “Where Do You Draw Your Line? Waterfront Land-Use Development Decision,” will feature a meeting of the fictional Port of Sim City Board of Commissioners.  The five-member board of both elected and appointed officials will entertain a staff proposal to develop a hotly-contested waterfront property into a new container terminal.  Workshop participants will be assigned membership into various citizen groups, ranging from a longshore labor union and a civil liberties organization, to a wildlife conservation society and an environmental advocacy alliance.  Once assigned, participants will attempt to create partnerships and synergies with other groups having similar interests in the hope of persuading the board of commissioners to approve their preferred plans for property development.

“Our participants’ hearts will be racing and their minds will be working in overdrive to effectively deal with the pressures being thrown at them in these two nail-biting sessions,” said Kurt Nagle , AAPA president and CEO. “These two workshops will set the stage for the rest of this provocative seminar, which will conclude late Friday morning, although participants can take either of the workshops separately from the rest of the seminar if they prefer.”

For more information on AAPA’s Public Relations and Maritime Economic Development seminar, click on /Programs/PastList.cfm?navItemNumber=760.  In an effort to reach out to the larger communications and business development community, members of the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, the Propeller Club of the United States and the Gulf Ports Association of the Americas will receive AAPA’s “Member” rate for participating.

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