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Committee Mission

The Public Relations (PR) Committee shall develop industry-wide objectives, strategies, messages, programs and activities that raise awareness and appreciation of ports, their value as economic engines, and the vital role they play both internationally and locally. The Committee shall propose, develop and share communications best practices, as well as communications tools, values, research and training activities among committee members and within the AAPA membership/AAPA committees and partners. 

Committee Priorities (revised January 2020)

  • Port Messaging/Communications – Utilize marketing, publicity, social media, and media relations opportunities, such as Ports Day, to raise awareness and appreciation of port industry programs, projects, activities and facilities, including economic, environmental and security benefits. Develop a new AAPA-administered annual award to recognize a member port for superior achievements in raising public and policymaker awareness and appreciation of ports.
  • Stakeholder, Shareholder & Supporter Engagement – Throughout the year, target policymakers and influencers, community residents and civic groups, businesses and business associations, port customers and tenants, port goods and services providers, and individuals and organizations allied with ports, to help increase perceptions of ports as economic engines, jobs stimulators, environmental stewards and contributors to homeland security.
  • Communications Tools & Effectiveness – In time for Ports Day, update AAPA’s port industry messaging awareness “kit” and make it available for committee members to utilize. Throughout the year, provide best practice exchanges, shared information and information resources, innovative communications tools and communications measurement techniques to ensure port communications effectiveness.

Committee Roster

Lighthouse Awards

AAPA’s annual Lighthouse Awards program recognizes the best practices in the port industry across various disciplines. Sponsored by the AAPA Public Relations Committee, the Communications Awards, a category of the AAPA Lighthouse Awards Program, has recognized excellence in port communications since 1966. Entries for the competition are judged by an independent panel of experienced communications professionals on situation analysis and research; identification of audience, goals, objectives, strategies and tactics; quality/clarity of content and style; skillful use of copy, photography, design, layout and graphics; and evaluation methods used to determine communication's success.

2024 Meeting Schedule


  • Wednesday, February 7, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 11, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 4, 3:00-4:00 p.m.


  • Monday, June 10 at Port Administration Conference in Miami
  • Monday, October 28 at Annual Convention in Boston