Tag Archives: Airport

Paper Airplanes – Taking Flight with WMAA

Last week the West Michigan Airport Authority (WMAA) which runs and maintains the Tulip City Airport off of 58th Street between US-31 and I-196, sent out an Informational WMAA Brochure on the airport.  It appears that the brochure was sent to all addresses in Holland, Holland Township (maybe because they did vote down a millage), Zeeland, and Park Township.  The collateral contained information about Tulip City Airport like latest developments, testimonials, and messages and identifying WMAA board members.  The  collateral also included something different and unique (which is why I am blogging about it), three paper airplane templates and folding instructions.  This in my mind is a smart move, and a value added bonus.

If you recall, back in November 2008 there was a millage on the ballot regarding whether or not to approve an tax increase which would help support the airport.  It was quite a bitter dispute between both sides, and even though the millage did end up passing, lot of people were left unhappy.  One of the main arguements for proponents of the millage was that the airport creates jobs for the lakeshore community, because local business such as Herman Miller, Haworth, Gentex, Johnson Controls, Tic Tock Studios, and Trendway use the airport to bring customers into Holland, which would lead to more sales, therefore creating more jobs.  Of course this is a difficult example to quantify exactly how much revenue each business has generated as a result of the airport.  But it is understandable that many residents of this area, which has/is experiencing high unemployment. are frustrated with this statement when they find themselves or others they know without work.

As you can imagine, the airport is still a pretty divisive subject in the area, and it is my thought that this marketing piece is one that could help the WMAA earn some brownie points, at least with the kids.  Not to mention actually communicating and detailing what some of the intiatives and current activities are for the airport so that people can see what the millage is actually doing for the airport.  Though I would have also included some information on their “A Ride in the Sky” program, where pilots fly customers over the area, I saw a billboard a few years back on this and I remember a big $50 on it (this is going on my “To Do List”).  I wonder if the airport was used in the wooing of LG Chem to Holland, if so it seems like that would be a massive oversight, it would have fit perfectly with Lakeshore Advantage’s Randy Thelen’s quote, and be a direct example of the airport leading to job creation.

One other thing, whenever I receive some sort of direct mail piece at work or home, I wish that somewhere on the collateral it would identify the company that created it, even if it was created internally.  I want to know who the clever firms are, who is doing interesting stuff, it can be their showcase.  Anyways through some sleuthing (they were mentioned as helping the WMAA craft a communication strategy) I was able to determine that The Image Group in Holland created the brochure, and confirmed it via Twitter (plus Google).  I liken it to an artist who signs their work, and why not – inquiring minds (well maybe it is just me) want to know.

If you want to create airplanes -download the Informational WMAA Brochure here.

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Timing is Everything – Thoughts on the RAAWM Press Conference

On Wednesday January 27th, 2010, Dick DeVos and his PR firm Wondergem Consulting held a press conference to discuss a major initiative for air travel in West Michigan, the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan (RAAWM).  From what I gathered through twitter ( hashtag #grairserivce) it was a successful press conference which was cleverly done, and certainly was good news for area residents looking for better flying options.  But one thing that was off was the timing.  First off another more famous person was holding a press conference at the same time- Apple’s Steve Jobs for the iPad.  Now, the RAAWM press conference would not have garnered global attention, but still the local Grand Rapids and West Michigan audiences might have had their attention diverted because of the iPad event.  I am sure that the media spotlight and social media buzz surrounding RAAWM might have been greater had they not had their announcement at the same time as the iPad.

Here is my second issue with the timing of the announcement, the organization’s website, www.raawm.org, is not fully functioning and does not contain any relevant information. Here is link (RaaWM) to a pdf image of what the website looked like on 1/27/2010 in case it gets changed, and hopefully it does soon.  But why would you hold a major press announcement without having everything ready to go?  I had read the Grand Rapids Press story on the announcement then I quickly gooogled RAAWM to get the real scoop and I was quite disappointed to find nothing of value on the website.   So once again timing is everything.

RaaWM (link to pdf image of raawm website on 1/27/2010)