ChapterGram: May 2013
Prescription For Conducting a Successful Young Eagles Rally
Utilizing both television and radio advertising, EAA Chapter 34 recruited the help of 18 pilots for their Young Eagles rally on March 30. A variety of aircraft were flown, including several Cessnas, a Mooney, several RVs, a Beech T-34, a Beech 18, and a Bonanza.
By Michelle Daniel, Chapter 34 Young Eagles/Eagles Coordinator
EAA Chapter 34 didn't have a Young Eagles Rally for a year. Recognizing that they didn't have the flying assets to conduct a successful Young Eagles rally, the chapter's Young Eagles coordinators proceeded to contact other local EAA chapters and utilize websites to recruit pilots as well as potential Young Eagles. In order to conduct a successful Young Eagles event at Cleburne Regional Airport, we contacted the airport manager, the reporter at the Cleburne Times Review, and the publicity specialist for Cleburne Independent School District. Also, we advertised the event with flyers/press releases posted at local airports. Furthermore, we advertised the event on websites such as
- Craigslist under "community events"
- EAA National Events Calendar
- Aircraft Spruce Calendar of Events
- Channel 8 News Community Calendar - the event was also advertised in an airline newsletter
For example, in the advertisement posted on the WFAA.com Dallas Fort Worth Community Calendar, we used a clear and concise heading such as Young Eagles Fly-In. We indicated the location of the event (Cleburne Regional Airport, 1650 Airport Drive Cleburne, Texas), and the date and time of the event. We stated in our advertisement that EAA Chapter 34 is hosting a Young Eagles Fly-In for youngsters ages 8 to 17 and that we are offering a free flight. Also, we indicated in our advertisement that our chapter needed both pilots and aircraft for this event.
Furthermore, we indicated in our ad that we will have news media coverage of this aviation event. In addition, after we posted the event, the event was advertised on television at different times during the day so that the public is made aware of the event. Also, the event was advertised in all the local chapter newsletters as well as the local aviation museums located in Fort Worth, such as the Vintage Flying Museum along with the Veterans Memorial Airpark.
The media specialist hired by the City of Cleburne prepared an agenda for a media blitz campaign. First, he instructed us to post the event on the community calendar of the local radio station. Second, the media specialist utilized an aggressive social media campaign - websites, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. In addition, the media specialist contacted the assignment editors and selected reporters at the news outlets.
We also gleaned from Cleburne's media specialist the significance of an event preview to notify the public in advance. We had determined that the pre-story would be aired on Thursday before the scheduled event on Saturday. We had the youngsters and several airplanes ready for the pre-story or preview for the news channel.
The media specialist stated that we were going to have both television and radio coverage of the pre-story to advertise so that the public could be notified by these two mediums. Also, the media specialist utilized both Cablevision and YouTube, where I was interviewed by the mayor at city hall, explaining the Young Eagles Program to the public just prior to the event. The importance of the media specialist hired by the city is that he has those crucial connections in every newsroom.
Finally, as Young Eagles coordinators, we realized that in order to conduct a successful event and to be able to recruit 18 pilots and fly 142 Young Eagles, we had to start preparing for a media blitz campaign utilizing websites and more to promote the event at least two months before it was scheduled. Furthermore, after the event we produced a video of it and added the music from the movie Top Gun, which can be viewed on the chapter website at www.EAA34.org. This video is used as a promotional tool to encourage new members to join our chapter.