USA: Houston to Host AAPA Workshop

Houston to Host AAPA Workshop

The American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) Public and Government Relations Workshop in Houston, Feb. 28-29, 2012, will examine how communications and government relations practitioners can persuasively articulate the value of seaports to community residents, business leaders and policymakers. This includes advocating for port authority property development, investments in transportation infrastructure, and programs geared to attract business, create jobs, improve the environment, increase trade and help ensure the success of port projects.

The 1½-day program, hosted by the Port of Houston Authority, will also address ways in which port authorities can communicate with government agencies and legislators at all levels to secure maximum funding and favorable policy decisions to more efficiently move freight and passengers to and through their facilities.

Specific workshop sessions will assess: opportunities to reach out to and engage America’s urban populations; create allies among policymakers and influencers; collaborate with economic development interests; utilize social media; communicate in a crisis; and plan successful community-wide special events.

With tight budgets and competing priorities at every level of government, it’s vital that the port industry and others engaged in goods movement effectively inform policy makers and the public about the critical role ports and connecting infrastructure play in increasing employment and economic growth,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Especially in these uncertain times, investing in freight transportation infrastructure in and around seaports is an essential and effective use of limited resources and pays both short- and long-term dividends in terms of job creation, economic recovery and tax revenues.”

Among the array of experts in transportation policy, government relations and public communications will be keynote speakers Stephen L. Klineberg, Ph.D., who is co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, and Terry Abbott, a former top communications official of the George W. Bush administration and now chairman of his own agency, Drive West Communications.


Dredging Today Staff, January 24, 2012; Image: AAPA