January 24, 2011

Communicating in today’s multimedia environment often requires employing a variety of vehicles to reach the widest audience and effectively spread the word.

A year ago, Addison Airport Deputy Director, Darci Neuzil, was looking for new ways to reach more of the airport’s on- and off-site constituents when she met Robert Mark, CEO of CommAvia, an aviation-focused communications firm based in Chicago. “We were talking with him about how we can reach out to the community and tell the stories that the businesses here have to tell,” she said.

Their idea was to create “Addison Airport Radio”, which features a series of one-on-one, radio-style interviews with local business leaders and local government officials. However, these monthly segments, which typically run from five to seven minutes, aren’t broadcast over the airwaves. Instead, they’re distributed via “podcast” to iPod users who sign up for the service.

Segments also are posted on the Addison Airport website (www.addisonairport.net).

“We also have tenants who post them on their websites,” said Neuzil.

Segments have focused on local businesses based the airport, as well as companies that operate in Addison and nearby Dallas.

Ultimately, the goal is to educate the public about what business aviation encompasses, how it’s used and how it contributes to the local economy and quality of life. Sometimes, the best way to drive that message home is by telling real-life stories. For example, Addison Airport Radio aired a segment on a doctor who flies an aged Cessna 172 three days a week to open a medical clinic in a small town outside Dallas.

“That’s business aviation,” Neuzil said. “It can be a doctor flying a small piston airplane to open a clinic, which is something he wouldn’t be able to do if he didn’t have an airplane. Those are the stories we’re trying to get out.”

According to Mark, the segments are easy to produce with interviews usually conducted over the telephone. They’re inexpensive, as well, usually running at around $1,000 per segment.

“The production is something we do here in Chicago,” Mark said. “It’s kind of a turnkey operation for the airports.”