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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Public Affairs. Briefing for U.S. State Department Communicators Ken Capps, APR Vice President of Public Affairs April 2009. Public Affairs Mission. Build credibility for Airport mission by promoting assets and successes

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Dallas fort worth international airport public affairs l.jpg

Dallas/Fort Worth International AirportPublic Affairs

Briefing for U.S. State Department Communicators

Ken Capps, APR

Vice President of Public Affairs

April 2009

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Public Affairs Mission

  • Build credibility for Airport mission by promoting assets and successes

  • Fortify DFW’s industry-leading position by promoting thought leadership

  • Create local support and advocates through community outreach

  • Improve transparency through communications innovation

  • Protect DFW’s reputation through crisis and issues management

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Media Relations


Story Placement

Press Releases

Media Events

Community Relations

Owner Cities Program (Signs/Banners)

Scholarship Programs

Educational Events

Public Contact (Tours/Fairs)


Annual Report/E-Newsletters


Daily Media Clips

DFW Public Affairs: How We Do It

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Why We're Successful

  • Long-standing credibility with news media – local to international

    • Former journalists who understand deadlines

    • Quick turn on stories, photos, facts

    • 24/7 response

  • Strategic Thinking and Planning

    • Anticipate stories and trends

    • Collaborate and partner easily

    • Prepare contingencies

    • Big, bold programs that support strategy

  • Outreach to Community and Constituents

    • Relationships with key business and community groups

    • Focus on aviation and education initiatives

    • Serve as epicenter of Dallas-Fort Worth joint efforts

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Our Mantra

  • Quick communication is essential

  • Be strategic in response

  • Be transparent

  • Protect sensitive details

  • Be consistent

  • Demonstrate empathy, customer care and Airport professionalism

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Our Key Rules

  • All media requests for information and interviews go through Public Affairs

  • DFW executives prepped by Public Affairs for all interviews

  • Public Affairs staff present at all interviews

  • All media releases and advisories sent by Public Affairs

  • No hiding behind “No Comment”

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Department Awards & Recognition

  • Public Affairs is honored by the South Central Regional Chapter of the International Association of Vehicle Theft Investigators for its support and dedication to their 2007 Conference

  • Ken Capps, Vice President of Public Affairs for DFW, is named to ‘Final Four’ of PR Week PR Professional of the Year 2008

  • The Airport’s 2007 DFW Annual Report ‘The Very Best for Our Passengers’ wins a Bronze award in the 2008 League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Spotlight Awards’ “Print, Video and Web Communications” competition

  • DFW Public Affairs wins the 2008 LACP Magellan Award for Crisis Communications during the MD-80 grounding

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Strategic Communications Platform

  • International Focus

  • Regional Economic Benefit and Impact

  • Industry Thought Leadership

  • Support every DFW Department’s business efforts

    “We are a business, not a bureaucracy.”

DFW CEO Jeff Fegan; British Airways CEO

Willie Walsh; and DFW EVP Joe Lopano at the

Heathrow service announcement in London

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International Focus

  • U.S. - E.U. Open Skies Agreement

  • London Heathrow Service

  • KLM/Amsterdam Inaugural

  • Shanghai Airport Authority Relationship

  • Founders Plaza Grand Re-Opening

Shanghai Airport Authority announcement in China

DFW CEO Jeff Fegan and Olympic

Medalist Carly Patterson and the

Founders Plaza Grand Re-Opening

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Regional Economic Benefits and Impact

  • International Air Service and Cargo

  • DFW as “Airport City” – Commercial Development

  • Airport Business Opportunities – M/WBE

  • Sustainability/Environmental/Energy

  • Natural Gas Exploration

Bill and Adelpha Callejo at the first Chesapeake

Energy ‘spudding’

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Industry Thought Leadership

  • Editorial opportunities

  • Speeches

  • Presentations

  • Talking points and interview messaging

  • Support every Department’s business efforts

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Community Outreach

  • Owner Cities Sign/Banner Program

  • Welcome Home a Hero/R&R/USO

  • Friends of DFW – former Board members

  • Community Educational/Outreach Events

  • International Essay Contest

  • Holiday Helpers

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Communications Innovations

  • Use of blogs and website for reputation management

    • Communicate directly to public

  • Expanded new media capabilities

    • PAD website assets and capabilities – podcasting

    • Web releases for irregular operations – communicate directly with passengers

  • DFW Communiqué

    • Sent to targeted DFW CEO list

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Reputation Management

  • Weather delays

  • MD-80 inspections

  • Executive and Board travel

  • Executive compensation

  • Valet Parking controversy

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Public Affairs Deliverables

  • Annual Report – CD and Online

  • Quarterly “Dashboard” Reports to Board

  • Board Briefs

  • Weekly Activity Report to CEO

  • Business Diversity Development Department Annual Report

  • Annual Executive Media Books and Coverage Summary

  • Executive Communications

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“Other Duties As Assigned”

  • Media Assists

    • Fallen heroes (police officer, firefighter, troops)

    • Olympian Nastia Liukin

    • Film production requests

  • Respond to passenger/general public communication

    • Airport Switchboard

    • Forward complaints for resolution

    • Respond to web queries

  • Host high level, international government and business leaders

    • Canadian Advanced Leadership Program delegation

    • Singapore Air Force and Airport Operations team delegation

    • Uruguayan Airport officials

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FY 2008 Highlights

  • More than 35 events held

  • Media Coverage

    • Broadcast: 4891

    • Electronic: 4378

    • Magazine: 382

    • Newspaper: 5097

    • Other: 2512

      TOTAL: 17,260

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Issues, Challenges, Opportunities

  • Highlight DFW success in tough economic times

  • Engage critical reporters

    • Fight fire with facts

    • Keep Board informed

    • Keep advocates and stakeholders informed

  • Focus messaging around new strategic plan

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What's Ahead

  • Delivery of DFW Annual Report – “Connecting the World”

  • Madrid Inaugural

    • New service on American Airlines

    • Departure ceremony

    • Media events – DFW and Madrid

  • Host International Consul Corps for DFW business briefing

  • NBA All-Star Game and Super Bowl communication planning

  • Manage/mitigate continued media scrutiny of executive compensation

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Finals Thoughts

  • “Ken Capps and his staff at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport… were always among my favorites to work with. Why? They were all former journalists and structured their operations in ways that warm the heart of a reporter wanting access and needing quick deadlines filled.” Benet Wilson, in her goodbye to the Aviation Week Towers & Tarmacs Blog. Wilson will be moving from her general aviation airports beat to the business aviation team at Aviation Week

  • “In response to [Texas Tech Coach Mike] Leach calling DFW a ‘confusing mess,’ the Airport sent an open invitation to the coach in what seems to be a bit of PR genius.” Chuck Carlton, blogger for Dallas Morning News College Sports Blog

  • “DFW officials are clearly focused on customer service. They take extra steps such as providing live entertainment during the busiest travel days and making the best of a bad situation when the inevitable massive delays hit (like providing cots to sleep on and things like diapers and baby formula for those who need them). Customer service is a never-ending task for DFW, just as it is for every business. Sometimes Mother Nature shakes things up with some bad storms. Sometimes other challenges arise.” Editorial, Fort Worth Star-Telegram