Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 8)

»PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Telling the Story of Ports By Kurt J. Nagle President & CEO American Association of Port Authorities M y wife Teri and I have seen our family grow quite a bit in the past several years. With five grandchildren, four under the age of 5, we have become adept storytellers. Whether recounting stories of our grandkids' own parents as children or helping them relive exciting moments and milestones in their own lives, we've learned how to capture and hold their attention through the beginning, middle and end of a tale. The story itself may center on something perfectly ordinary or be a real piece of family legend, but if told the right way, it can enrapture little minds either way. I do a lot of storytelling on behalf of AAPA, too. Whether testifying before Congress, doing an interview with the media or working to solidify a partnership with a key industry group, I am always telling the story of ports. Ports, of course, have a rich history, and the association - having passed its centennial in 2012 - is no youngster either, but the maritime heritage of the western hemisphere and many of its most important cities is only the beginning of the story. Most of what I tend to focus on in my outreach as President and CEO is about the present and the future. Seaports Deliver Prosperity is the easiest place to start, and the tagline that we use as an association conveys the most important part of our industry's story in a concise yet meaningful way. But when given the opportunity to expand, I paint a picture of our vibrant industry and the powerful ways it 8 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE So many people need to hear the story of a port - the local community members, legislators, regulators, private terminal operators, freight rail and trucking companies, laborers and port employees and local media. impacts the hemispheric economy - jobs, tax revenues, environmental benefits and security frontlines. I tell legislators, media, freight partners and policy influencers about how investments in port infrastructure pay dividends for local and regional economies and how many resources our member ports are investing on their own to achieve these goals. I know this storytelling role resonates with many of you because you are always telling your own ports' stories, too. So many people need to hear the story of a port - local community members, legislators, regulators, private terminal operators, freight rail and trucking companies, laborers and port employees and local media. AAPA member ports take storytelling to new heights, always setting a high bar with their marketing materials, websites, social media presences, newsletters, magazines, YouTube videos, community events and industry forums. We highlight some of the best of the best in our annual Communications Awards program, and the results are always impressive. This issue of Seaports is all about storytelling and the many forms it takes in our industry. Creating a strong port brand is a critical part of conveying who the port is and what it stands for, and we've highlighted a few ports who are embracing a sophisticated concept of brand. While much of port outreach rightly focuses on the local community, it takes a special effort to connect with the maritime business interests in a port community. Different stakeholders have different expectations. We've also used this issue of Seaports to highlight successful community engagement programs, the benefits of having an ongoing conversation with policymakers and the value to ports of outside award and recognition programs, such as AAPA's own programs. For individual ports and the association, this work is something that will continue for a long time. There will always be new stakeholders to reach and new audiences to influence. There will be new channels to use in the social media world and new expectations in terms of multimedia platforms. But the overarching story itself is unlikely to change: Seaports Deliver Prosperity. ●

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Building a Strong Brand
Laying a Foundation for Success
How Tenants and the Freight Community Bring a Brand to Life
The Value of Awards for Ports
Ensuring Cost-Efficient Transportation to Global Markets
‘Welcome to Our Port’
Port of Port Arthur’s Camp Sea Port Sails into the Future
Advocating Seaports Issues Before Policymakers
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Spring 2015