Newcastle Airport hires shop to raise profile

Newcastle Airport has appointed its first external agency to spearhead its autumn rebranding campaign.

Brighter PR has been hired after a four-way pitch and is charged with raising the airport’s profile, as it competes with, among others, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Brighter PR managing director Steve Dunne will head a four strong account team, reporting to Newcastle Airport marketing director Mike Luddy, and working alongside the airport’s only dedicated in-house PRO, Kathy Wilcox.

The agency hire follows a series of senior management appointments by the airport, including that of CEO John Parkin and Luddy, late last year.

The airport is the UK’s 12th busiest but has, according to Dunne, missed out on the boom in regional airports since the advent of so-called no-frills airlines.

‘Newcastle is something of a sleeping giant, and the rebranding is part of a rejuvenation project, both at the airport and in the North East in general. It has been left behind by other UK regional airports, such as Liverpool’s John Lennon.’

‘We have been tasked with significantly raising the profile environment and will also be targeting main airline carriers, ’ Dunne added.

Brighter PR will target regional and international audiences – the latter at destinations the airport covers. The agency will also increase awareness of the airport through the trade press and deliver ‘general corporate PR’.

As part of the promotional activity Brighter PR has been working to secure a slot for the airport on the ongoing Airline TV documentary, which features carrier easyJet.

Newcastle Airport – which is currently expanding its existing terminal – is expected to serve four million passengers during 2003, said Luddy.

It is 49 per cent owned by Copenhagen Airport and 51 per cent owned by seven local authorities.

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