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News Release
FOR RELEASE - December 20, 2017
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

Mobile, Ala., Public Relations Workshop to Address Strategic Messaging

PRCA, PRSA members to receive special pricing and APRs will earn maintenance credits

2014 AAPA Public Relations Workshop participant being "interviewed" during crisis communications session.

Professional communicators face many challenges, none the least of which is communicating important information quickly, succinctly and strategically. To help public relations practitioners from all industries meet these challenges, including independent counselors and those who work in corporations, agencies and nonprofits, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), in collaboration with the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA), will bring its Public Relations Workshop to Mobile, Ala., Feb. 28-March 2.

The workshop will combine instructor-led training and panelist “case studies” sessions with interactive discussions and topic-specific exercises, focusing on three communications priorities: 1) developing concise, effective messages; 2) increasing community and stakeholder engagement; 3) employing successful communications tools and techniques.

The first of three instructor-led sessions includes a strategic messaging exercise, moderated by Judith Adams, ASPA’s marketing vice president (as well as chair of AAPA’s Public Relations Committee) and featuring Mobile-area PR professionals Kristi Tucker, communications director for aircraft manufacturer Airbus Americas, Inc., and Scott Posey, communications director for steelmaker AM/NS Calvert. They will help participants develop effective communications plans around scenarios unique to each table.

The second instructor-led session will focus on “best practices” in preparing for and communicating in a crisis. Scott Rye, director of Black Flag Communications, in Pensacola, and Drexel Gilbert, a Mobile-area motivational speaker, author and former television journalist, will guide the audience through a set of adverse crisis scenarios. From there, instructors Rye and Gilbert will divide the audience into small groups and assist each in selecting the best methods and tools to explain that group’s crisis “story.” The instructors will then perform a mock television interview with each group’s chosen representative, posing tough questions that reporters might ask in an actual crisis.

During the final instructor-led session, SAE Communications Principal Scott Summerfield will demonstrate his expertise in presentation skills training. Immediately prior to that, a group of panelists led by Sabrina J. Alexander, APR, owner of S. Alexandria Consulting in Mobile, will offer advice, ideas and case studies on successfully using social media to increase brand awareness, improve community outreach, boost stakeholder engagement and vie for the all-important “social license to operate.”

For more information about the workshop and the full agenda, go to Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) members will receive special, discounted AAPA pricing for registering, while those with an APR accreditation will also earn maintenance credits.

For more information about special pricing for PRCA and PRSA members, contact AAPA Public Affairs Director Aaron Ellis by phone (703-706-4714) or via email (

Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Inc. - World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.21 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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