Gary / Chicago International Airport
For years, the Gary / Chicago International Airport had been the Chicago Metropolitan Area’s best kept secret. Located just 25 miles from Chicago’s Loop, it had long flown under the radar as the premier mid-sized airport in the region and filled a critical role as Chicago’s 3rd Official Airport.
In 2015, Resolute was engaged by Gary / Chicago International Airport Authority Board to plan and manage a large-scale event announcing the airport’s expansion of its main runway – the 2nd longest runway in the region after O’Hare International Airport.
Resolute’s skillful management of the event led to an on-going relationship as long-term strategic advisory and communications partner. Our goal continues to be: grow awareness about and preference for the airport, its increasingly valuable role as a regional economic engine and its continued importance to Chicago’s regional air system.
Strategy and Tactics:
Resolute developed and implemented a comprehensive communications plan to increase awareness about the airport, promoting its accomplishments enhancing its position locally and among the aviation industry as the premier mid-sized international airport servicing the region.
A series of critical public and private investments to the airport fueled multiple upgrades to its infrastructure, created new airport facilities and improved airport operations and amenities. The nearly $175 million runway extension provided the catalyst for future capital investments that would reshape the airport:
- In 2016, B. Coleman Aviation announced a 7-year expansion plan worth up to $20 million, with the initial $5 million investment constructing a new airport hangar the following year
- The 2018 opening of the General Aviation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility allows air travelers to visit the airport from any international destination without needing to clear customs elsewhere and resulted in nearly $2 million in direct investment at the airport
- The 2019 opening of their $2.5 million, 19,600 square foot corporate hangar is the latest facility upgrade
Clearly, there is a powerful new story to tell and we determined new and engaging ways to tell it.
Updated Messaging and Branding:
We refreshed the airport’s brand to position the airport as a dynamic and appealing destination for current and potential airport users within the Chicago Metropolitan Area, using messages focused on the airports most marketable aspects.
Logo Redesign and new Website Design:
A new logo created a fresh look for the airport and is used to update onsite marketing and promotional materials including in-terminal and administration building banners, podium signs and informational pamphlets. We designed a new airport website to create a more user-friendly experience and reflect the new branding.
Regular promotion of the airport’s accomplishments with local, trade and national reporters, announcing major capital projects and new facilities and ensure the news media is properly informed on airport matters.
We develop, and frequently update, marketing materials to be used with existing and potential airport users, regional, national and international stakeholders, at trade associations. We created a new advertising campaign to promote the airport along the I-90 corridor, including digital and billboard advertisements.
Through Twitter and Facebook, we manage the airport’s social media presence.
We conduct routine message training with airport personnel and board members to hone the airport messaging and ensure airport leadership speaks with one consistent voice.
Resolute continues to effectively communicate the increasing growth and investment of the Gary / Chicago International Airport, the critical role it plays within Chicago’s regional air traffic system and highlighted its increased marketability among the aviation industry and general public.