Tag Archives: Park Township

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.


Park Township – SkatePark

I live in Holland, and on my way home from work I always pass by the following billboard for Park Township’s Skate Park.

Park Township SkatePark Billboard

It confuses me, in part because of its location at the corner of Harrison and 16th Street

This area is south of the lake in Holland, and Park Township is on the north side of the lake. Park Township is building this “professional designed” skatepark next to their doggie park. They are looking for donations and I question how many residents of the City of Holland would donate money for the cause or even care ( I don’t, I just want to understand their advertising strategy).

City of Holland already has a skatepark in the downtown area. The only scenario I could think of is that you really dislike having skateboarders in the downtown area, and by donating to the Park Township skatepark, less skaters will frequent the Holland skatepark. Perhaps I am ignorant on the matter, but are skateparks destination spots?  Well ones with dog parks adjacent to them definitely area.  How far do kids travel for these parks? It seems like most kids at the skatepark are under 16 so they either live relatively close by or get a ride to the park (using skateboards as an effective long distance travel option does not seem plausible). With the dog park next door this could be a destination for families.  Parents and dogs visit the dog park, and the kids go skate at the skatepark. In my opinion, Park Township would have more success advertising their skatepark donation cause in their own township or in places which are heavily trafficked by a variety of people, some of which may be Park Township residents.  In getting bigger donations target business owners, or corporate relations employees, and forget the whole billboard idea.  It looks like they have already received donations from the local corporate community (as you can see on their awesome website). Perhaps they should look at my press list posting and get the word out through the local media, to generate some additional awareness and donations.  In fact searching on the Holland Sentinel archives there is no mention of Park Townships skatepark plan.

Plus the website has no continuity with the billboard, they seem totally unrelated. In general the website does not look so good (kind of like my blog).  The little skateboarder graphic walking aimlessly not only looks stupid but is also symbolic of the Park Township’s skateboarders meandering meaninglessly with skateboard in hand, because there is no skatepark.  Just maybe if we raise enough money, he will actually have somewhere to go.

It will be interesting how this all plays out, maybe there will be a rivalry developing between the competing skateparks, and having a professionally designed skatepark would be a competitive advantage over Holland’s park.

Lastly, they also chose to advertise by the Zeeland Hospital which is about 10 miles away from the proposed park- Location of the billboard. Why?

Anyone know if they have any more billboards out there?

Update: They fell short of their intial goal to raise $300,000, but they still plan on going ahead but have since scaled back the plans.