Promoting and Supporting General Aviation and the Public's Understanding of it

Communications, Media, and Community Relations: 

A Multidimensional Process Employing Both Traditional and New Technologies

The Wolf Foundation has embraced such a wide-ranging set of objectives that it might seem impossible to get a handle on all the possible projects or to do justice to an effort to prioritize their worthiness for support. Exchanging information among participants will be crucial. Even for more traditional kinds of structures a well-structured internal and external communications strategy is usually considered critical. In this endeavor it is not only essential, but it is another of the ways in which the Foundation can leverage the effectiveness of the available resources.

Modern technology has provided new tools with which to accomplish the mission of the Wolf Foundation. Organizations are increasingly moving from paper-based models to information management systems using electronic communications to increase the ability to accumulate data and manage large endeavors effectively. The Wolf Aviation Fund leadership believes these newpcshow.wmf (30598 bytes) methods will be useful in minimizing clerical and administrative overhead while helping individuals collaborate in managing efforts that might be even international in scale and involve many participants separated widely by distance.

Modern companies and other organizations are learning to increase their access to information of strategic importance and to manage that information effectively. A shift has occurred away from mainframe computing, which was employed mostly to automate processes previously conducted on paper. Now client-server local and wide-area network and personal computer computing have created entirely new ways for individuals to work, interact, and manage complex interrelationships. And several years ago the World Wide Web began its explosive growth based on the possibilities inherent in these new models.

Many individuals and organizations involved in general aviation innovations, advocacy, and promotion are conducting much of their activity through electronic mail, access to online information bases, and presentation and interaction through presence on the World Wide Web. These new methods are speeding the flow of commerce and expanding the scope of productive collaboration.

Even reaching the traditional print, radio, and television media has become an increasingly electronic process. Reporters and editors find it convenient to receive press releases and media clips via electronic mail, or submitted to their web outlets.

Again, such access to media makes it possible to leverage the effectiveness of the Wolf Foundation and the projects it might support. For instance, paid advertising is expensive, often relatively ineffective, and even more often unnecessary. When an advertising strategy is dropped, and instead the story of what one is doing is promoted, then the media treat that story as worthwhile content for their readers, listeners, and viewers - assuming the story is a good one. Advertising then becomes almost a courtesy for the publications, rather than the only way to attain a presence.

Thus for the purposes of those participating in or supported by the Wolf Aviation Fund, no great advertising costs need be incurred. Rather, developing a collaborative relationship with others with expertise in media relations should result in timely distribution of appropriate press releases and other such materials.

However, for the objectives of the Wolf Foundation to be fully realized, the use of communications and information methods will have to be truly multi-dimensional. From the nature of the activities being entertained for support, great stories are likely to be common and worthy of media support - implying a flow of information outward. In order to learn of worthy projects, conversely, a wide exposure to many potential participants will be important, implying a two-way flow of information to tell the story of the Fund's objectives and then to receive solicitations and input. And because participating people and organizations are widely spread geographically, a multipath communications model capable of great flexibility will be essential.lecture.wmf (5376 bytes)

Thus at the core of the efforts of the Wolf Foundation we will  employ a well-directed set of communications tools.  This also suggests an additional set of projects which will be considered for support: projects which improve the ability of innovators, leaders of organizations, and project participants to employ these tools in mutually productive efforts. These projects might include workshops, conferences, seminars, and even online projects such as web-based public information pages which include downloadable databases of information and tutorials on becoming more effective through communications, oriented for the general aviation activities the Fund seeks to support. In fact, this site represents the initial stages of such an effort.

Likewise, we will help Wolf Aviation Fund program participants better tell their own stories both in the traditional media and using the new forms. In this way, we can again leverage our effectiveness. Those who can effectively communicate their worthy goals and stories are more likely to attain the full range of support they may need in order to succeed.

(Related:  See Resources Pages for an initial effort to provde assistance with press releases, newsletters, and other media work)

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Copyright 1998 through 2018    Alfred L. and Constance C. Wolf Aviation Fund   
Last modified: April 17, 2019