E-News Media

Oct. 21, 2009
Airport e-newsletters: a comparative analysis

Always striving to better connect with customers, many airports are employing the use of electronic newsletters to keep passengers informed about airport service enhancements and airport-related issues. While newsletter formats can vary greatly, certain features have become almost universal while others are still proving their value. AIRPORT BUSINESS takes a look through its collection of airport e-newsletters in an effort to identify which is easiest to navigate through, which features are most effective, and how newsletters are driving similar e-media efforts.

Airport e-newsletters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can benefit any airport community, both small and large. While the e-newsletters typically focus on reaching the more frequent flying business traveler, most newsletters house a wealth of information that can be of value to anyone who utilizes the airport’s services. Ultimately, airport e-newsletters give airports the opportunity to share with customers and its community information about airport-related events and news from the perspective of the airport itself.

For example, the Hartsfield-Jackson News (HJN), a monthly e-newsletter from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), features a myriad of airport service updates as well as links to online services found at the airport’s website. ATL has been publishing its e-newsletter for several years, and has added many features along the way.

With regards to copy, ATL’s newsletters include a feature article, a series of smaller standard news articles, and several briefs; all of which highlight airport development projects, utilization of new technologies, passenger and parking information, and upcoming events. The standard news articles are divided into four categories: business info, community, passenger info, and customer. Placing the stories into specific audience categories makes for easier page navigation as readers can simply pick out news that interests them most.
Additional features found in ATL’s newsletter include critical web links that inform users of flight status, airport parking lot status, security line tracking, and airport travel tips. Adding these features to a newsletter is as simple as adding a web link; and is a great way to drive airport services that customers may not be very familiar with, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

Richmond International Airport’s monthly e-newsletter, e-news On Time, is attractive in its sleek and easy to read format. It opens with a brief outline of the publication’s content followed by a comprehensive summary of the flights offered by each of the airport’s scheduled carriers, as well as each flight’s sample sale fare. Included along with the airline fare and flight information are web links to information about each carrier’s individual customer travel credit program, allowing travelers to easily register for travel promotions and fare sales.

Apart from Richmond’s e-news On Time editorial content, which is written to be concise and to-the-point, the newsletter is also utilized as a vehicle to encourage users to participate in the airport’s additional e-media efforts. Links are available in the newsletter which allow users to connect with the airport by way of its Twitter service. Through Twitter, airport customers can receive up-to-the-minute airport news bytes via the Internet or a mobile phone device.

Harrisburg International Airport’s HIA E-News goes a step further in promoting it’s social media efforts by including links to the airport’s facebook and YouTube websites. By driving web traffic to airport social media sites, airports can stay connected with customers in a non-invasive manner while also learning more about them, and the services they expect.

[For more on airport social media efforts, see “Optimizing Communication”, July 2009 AIRPORT BUSINESS (“Inside the Industry”).]