Air Fair Outreach Plan
Big Bear Airport
Big Bear Airport Air Fair Outreach Plan
Big Bear City, CA
In 2014, the Big Bear Airport District (BBAD), a Special District general aviation airport outside Los Angeles County, had just completed a Strategic Planning process, and had hired Katie Franco to develop a corresponding communications plan that helped further the BBAD outreach goals. In addition to promoting the airport’s positive community impact and decreasing the region’s misperceptions regarding BBAD’s transparency, a major tent pole in the outreach plan was the airport’s biennial Air Fair.
The Board’s express goal for the Air Fair was to “promote the airport and aviation in the community.” This meant that there were several different audiences to reach: locals, out-of-town visitors that might fly in, second-home owners based in Los Angeles, and pilots and tenants. Each of these audiences would have a different reason to attend the Air Fair – whether because it was nearby, family-friendly entertainment, a perfect reason for a weekend getaway, or a chance to experience historic airplanes up close – and each of the audiences needed to feel compelled to attend. It wasn’t enough to inform people about the event; they had to experience it in order to truly appreciate the airport and its essential position in the community.
With an understanding of the BBAD goals and the intended audiences, it was up to Katie to determine the strategies, tactics and budget that would get the right messages out to the right people.
Katie worked with airport staff to develop and execute an ad budget. She also wrote the text for the airport’s standalone Air Fair website, press releases, editorial copy, social media posts and brochure copy. Day-of duties included media tours and social media management.
Six weeks before the event, advertising began in earnest, including special edition print publications, radio and digital ad buys. The airport was convinced to use a more strategic mix of digital as well as traditional advertising, and the results were incredibly effective.
- Media coverage was positive, and included recognition off-mountain—a significant achievement for the airport.
- The advertising program came in more than $2,000 under budget.
Most importantly, the free event drew more than 8,000 visitors, a nearly 20 percent gain over the last Air Fair in 2013.