Airport asks more of Padilla for less

MINNEAPOLIS: Employee communications and passenger relations will be major components of a scaled-down PR program by Padilla Speer Beardsley for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC).

MINNEAPOLIS: Employee communications and passenger relations will be major components of a scaled-down PR program by Padilla Speer Beardsley for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC).

Padilla was recently named the MAC's agency of record through 2008, beating out Carmichael Lynch Spong for the assignment. The MAC runs the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, and six other regional airports.

"It's a new world at airports, and it's important people know what to expect,

said Patrick Hogan, MAC director of public affairs. The commission works with local media, and is using its website to discuss airport security procedures in the post-September-11 world. In addition, Padilla is looking for new ways to discuss the increased workload the new environment places on employees.

It will also be a new world in terms of PR spending. More than half the MAC's annual $160 million operating budget comes from parking and concession-stand fees. Those revenues dropped about 30% after September 11, and were down about 6% for all of 2001, Hogan said. In the past, the MAC spent about $200,000-$300,000 on PR annually, but will spend approximately $50,000 this year.

Padilla has done work for the MAC since 1981, and was its agency of record for the past six years. The commission is required to open the work to rebidding every six years. It started that process last August, narrowing the field to Padilla and Carmichael Lynch. The MAC selected Padilla because of its experience working with the commission, Hogan said.

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