May 4, 2020
Now more than ever, it is essential for regional business aviation group members and local aviation advocates to stay engaged with their contacts and keep channels of communication open. “Physical isolation does not mean an end to professional engagement,” said Phil Derner, NBAA’s Western regional representative, during the association’s most recent NBAA News Hour webinar.
That interaction includes two-way communication between NBAA regional representatives and members, noted Derner. “We love hearing what everyone is experiencing from the front lines, because then when we interact with government officials, we can give them an accurate idea about what going on,” he said.
Take advantage of the extra time that you might have at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to reach out to new individuals, suggested Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s Northern Mountain Region representative. “Here’s a chance for NBAA members and regional group members and others to start a relationship with their state aeronautics officials, local legislators, airport directors and others,” said Ivey.
“NBAA has resources to help you reach out to your elected officials, and your regional representative can help you with your messaging,” she continued. “I would encourage people to take this time to really engage at the local level, which is something everybody can benefit from.”
Brittany Davies, NBAA’s Northeast regional representative, noted that many regional groups have a website and use a variety of social media platforms. Someone with skills in this area could be particularly helpful as a volunteer to groups during the pandemic, according to Davies. “Your organization may want to increase its digital engagement, and they may very well need extra help doing that right now,” said Davies.
NBAA has just released a timely online resource for use by regional aviation groups and others, “Increasing Your Organization’s Digital Engagement.” Davies noted that the new guide covers such topics as how to host online events, email newsletters, social media and webinars. “This new guide is ideal for assisting regional groups in getting in front of a broader community,” said Davies.
Steve Hadley, NBAA senior director of regional programs and Southwest regional representative, discussed the ways that NBAA’s regional reps are using software tools and intelligence from sources, and engaging with contacts to keep up to date about legislative activities as well as local actions affecting business aviation. He encouraged NBAA members to engage with or join their regional group, and noted that for the groups, retaining and adding new members is still doable through online resources.
“If you are not engaged, please engage,” declared Hadley.
“Constant contact is paramount,” agreed Kyle Eiserer, president, APEX Executive Jet Center and vice chair of NBAA’s Local and Regional Group Committee. He suggested additional forms of communication while so many people are isolated at home, including text messages and phone trees. “People still enjoy the phone calls,” he said.
For individuals who don’t have a nearby regional business aviation group to get involved with, Eiserer noted that NBAA has many online resources to get one started. “You don’t have to have 100 people,” said Eiserer. “Feel free to start your own group.”
Davies added that NBAA’s regional representatives can help, noting that a new group in the Delaware Valley region is not linked to one state or city. “Connect with us and we can help you populate the group,” said Davies.
This webinar, titled “Engagement at the Regional Level Despite COVID-19,” is just one in a series of educational opportunities NBAA has planned for the coming weeks. Learn more, register for upcoming webinars and view recordings of past webinars on the NBAA News Hour site.