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2007 AAPA Public Relations Seminar

June 13, 2007
Cape Canaveral, Florida

This seminar is a PPM® Required. Learn how today’s savvy port communications professionals are using research and evaluation, audience segmentation, strategic planning and “new” media to effectively tell their port’s stories. Explore the myriad challenges and issues that port public relations departments now face and how are they are addressing those challenges. Get the scoop on the latest port communications strategies for the 21st century.

Public Relations Committee Meeting

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Kurt Nagle, President & CEO, American Association of Port Authorities
  • John Valls, Marketing Manager, Port of Corpus Christi
  • Tom Goodson, Commissioner, Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners

What’s Down the Road

The speaker will set the stage for port communications issues to come.  Topics include goods movement, Panama Canal expansion, Suez Canal, trucking issues, challenges to ports re traffic congestion and freight mobility, what is being done at the federal level, and what is being done to avoid economic gridlock from freight congestion.

  • Bob West, Global Insight, Inc. (fka DRI-WEFA)

Communicating Your Message Via New and Emerging Technologies

This session will address the latest and coolest in Internet communications to connect with your key audiences and engage them like never before.  You’ll learn about some of the most cutting-edge strategies and tools available to improve efficiency, build traffic and drive favorable results to your web site.

Bringing the Brand to Life

This session will highlight the Canaveral Port Authority’s innovative branding initiative, including clarifying the port’s image and priorities and training employees on how to incorporate the brand into their jobs and their contacts with the public.


Keynote address on how the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) generated support for the public referendum on the $5.5 billion Panama Canal expansion.  This will appeal to members throughout the hemisphere interested in generating support for their referendums.

Interactive Exercise on Community Relations and Port Development

The exercise will involve a hypothetical port development issue.  A panel will role play different port staff and show the internal decisionmaking process as a port responds to community concerns, addresses erroneous information in the media, takes part in a contentious Town Hall meeting and holds a mock press conference. Audience members will participate by assuming the role of the media, concerned local residents, community environmental advocates and/or business interests.

  • Audrey Murphy, Director of Public Involvement, HNTB Corporation
  • Shuronda Robinson, Manager, Public Involvement - Austin, HNTB Corporation

Greetings From Port Canaveral

  • J. Stanley Payne, Chief Executive Officer, Canaveral Port Authority

Media Roundtable

Professionals in TV, radio, trade, travel, and print media will discuss how to get coverage and respond to questions about media views and coverage of port development as an economic engine to communities.

  • Beth Kassab, Aviation & Tourism Reporter, Orlando Sentinel
  • Eric Kulisch, Associate Editor, American Shipper
  • David Waters, Brevard Bureau Reporter, Central Florida Channel 13 News 

Luncheon Program

Transportation to Disney ship for an early lunch and presentation on integrated cruise travel and tourism communications as it pertains to Disney Cruise Line.

  • Rena Langley, Director of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line
  • Christi Erwin Donnan, Media Relations Manager, Disney Cruise Line 

Communications Challenges for the Cruise Industry

Cruise line and cruise association communications professionals will discuss their unique PR and outreach issues, ranging from mass illnesses, missing passengers, sailing delays and redeployments. These issues are oftentimes exacerbated by passengers using cell phones and emails to communicate their own version of events with friends and family…and sometimes directly with media. Panelists will discuss how they handle these and other issues, including what media they are using to communicate with their customers and the public, and how they partner with their communications counterparts at cruise line home ports and ports-of-call.

  • Jennifer de la Cruz, Director of Public Relations, Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Ms. Langley
  • Christine Fischer, Director of Public Relations, Cruise Lines International Association

Do You Want To Be A Port Authority? Interactive Port Trivia Game

Workshop on Community Image & Perception Polling

This workshop will highlight a case study involving community perceptions of the Port of Portland, OR, as well as provide interactive, hands-on training for participants on  questionnaire design and survey sampling,  based on physical, geographic and psychographic traits of target audiences.  It will also provide a deliverable tool in the form of a guidebook for participants to take home.

Clean Ports Session: Analysis of a Synergistic Environmental Project

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan - How to "sell" it to your stakeholders when a) the media doesn't believe you...or doesn't care, b) The community is suspicious and c) Customers are skeptical.  Learn about the newest and most ambitious clean air program from a communications point of view!

  • Mr. Macias
  • Arley Baker, Director of Public Relations & Legislative Affairs, Port of Los Angeles