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2010 AAPA Public Relations Committee Meeting

June 15, 2010
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Traveling from as far away as the Caribbean and California, more than a dozen members of AAPA’s Public Relations Committee met in the Saint John Port Authority’s beautiful new Marco Polo Cruise Terminal on June 15-16 to discuss use of social media tools and networks, cooperate on seaport industry awareness messaging, share best practices, hear from a panel of media experts and participate in a recorded, interactive media training session, all with the goal of helping participants enhance the communications programs they employ at their ports and raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of seaports.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Stephen Campbell, Chairman, Saint John Port Authority
  • Capt. Al Soppitt, President and CEO, Saint John Port Authority
  • Marilyn Sandifur, Port Spokesperson, Port of Oakland

Update on AAPA's Awareness Initiative

Presentation on the status of AAPA's "Seaports Deliver Prosperity" Awareness initiative, including examples of how member port authorities are using the initiative's messages to raise awareness and support for their local activities and issues, while demonstrating the benefits and value of the entire seaport industry.

Aaron Ellis, Communications Director, AAPA

Using Social Media as a Tool in the World of Ports

Heather Campbell, Social Media Consultant, Heather Campbell Communications, Saint John, NB, Canada

Show 'n Tell -- Part I

  • Marilyn Sandifur, Port of Oakland -- discussing Port of Oakland's first-ever 2010 MegaRegion Summit and the real-time survey performed by the port during the event, including a 5-min. video produced for the summit.
  • Shannon Blanchard, Saint John Port Authority -- discussing Saint John Port Authority's Breakbulk Website Project.
  • Dona Regis, St. Lucia Air & Sea Port -- discussing St. Lucia's Jazz Festival and how this Caribbean port is using its major national festival to improve its corporate communications.
  • Judith Adams, Alabama State Port Authority -- discussing the issues and challenges presented to the Port of Mobile in handling the effects of the Gulf of Mexico (BP) oil spill.
  • John Roby, Port of Beaumont -- discussing his port's $15,000, 9-minute promotional video and how the port is using it to showcase the port's unique advantages.
  • Jenna Doucet, Belledune Port Authority -- describing the location, general description and culture of her community and seaport in northern New Brunswick. 
  • Art Wong, Port of Long Beach -- discussing his port's Community Advertising Campaign.
  • Art Wong, Port of Long Beach -- discussing his port's community relations initiative titled, "Investing in Jobs, Investing in You"

Media Panel

Saint John radio and newspaper professionals and an Internet blogger compare and contrast their work as journalists

Moderator: Bill Eaton, Public Relations and Government Affairs Manager, Saint John Port Authority


  • Eric Marks, Opinion Page Editor, Telegraph Journal (newspaper)
  • Gary MacDonald, News Director, Acadia Broadcasting (radio)
  • Shawn Peterson, Principal (Internet blogger)

Show 'n Tell -- Part II

  • Betty MacMillan, Saint John Port Authority -- discussing her port's "Cruise Saint John" stakeholder engagement project, which has helped cruise business at the Port of Saint John increase 114% since 2000 and become the port authority's second largest revenue generator, providing a yearly economic impact of $30 million to southern New Brunswick.
  • Argentina James, Port of Houston Authority -- discussing how the Port of Houston is using strategic communications to help address a sound issue in a neighboring city to one of the port's marine terminals.

Telling the Maritime Story: Producing a TV Commercial and Promotional Video from Fundraising to Distribution

An information-rich presentation on the art of video self-production, how to keep costs low and value high, and how to use both the traditional distribution medium of television as well as social media sites such as YouTube.

Debra Colbert, Waterways Council, Inc., Washington, DC 

Interactive TV Media Interview Training

Faux TV Reporter/Interviewer:  Marilyn Sandifur


  • Aaron Ellis, Communications Director, AAPA
  • Felicia Griffin, Corporate Communications Manager, Port of Houston Authority
  • Michelle Hundley, Community Relations Manager, Port of Houston Authority
  • Argentina James, Public Affairs Director, Port of Houston Authority
  • Dona Regis, Marketing and Product Development, St. Lucia Air & Sea Port
  • Art Wong, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Information, Port of Long Beach
  • Jenna Doucet, Marketing Director, Belledune Port Authority
  • Paula Small, Executive Assistant, Corporate Secretary, Saint John Port Authority