Georgia Ports Authority lands top AAPA communication award

Georgia Ports Authority lands top AAPA communication award

From left: Emily Goldman, manager of port relations; Jeff Neil, manager of commercial communications; Julie Kaufman, communications coordinator; Robert Morris, senior director of corporate communications; Debbie Rhodes, executive administrative assistant; Edward Fulford, manager of communications; and Patricia Richardson, manager of commercial communications.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has captured the top communications award presented by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), a trade association representing the entire Western Hemisphere.
Robert Morris, GPA’s senior director of corporate communications, accepted the Dan Maynard Communications Award for Overall Excellence recently in Orlando FL.
This “traveling” award is presented to the port that earns the most points in AAPA’s annual communications competition.
Morris said the campaigns produced by the department shared a cohesive message across multiple platforms, such as advertisements, community relations events, and collateral materials.
“Our public relations mission is to communicate GPA’s commercial advantages while highlighting our customer service, economic development, and sustainable practices,” said Morris. “Key messages showcased our ports’ capacity to move autos and containerized cargo, extensive berth space, and Class I rail connections to the US Southeast.”
The communications effort also shared GPA’s environmentally responsible business practices, such as reducing diesel consumption with electrified ship-to-shore cranes and North America’s first electrified rubber-tired gantry cranes—all while preserving water quality and natural history.
GPA executive director Curtis Foltz said membership in the AAPA provides feedback that helps to hone port operations, including communication outreach.
“This marks the first time the GPA has brought home the overall excellence award,” said Foltz. “It is welcome recognition of the work our corporate communications office has done to share our message with the public and policymakers, as well as current and potential customers.”
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue, and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah was the second-busiest US container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7% of US containerized cargo volume and 12.5% of all US containerized exports in FY2011.
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