How Miami International Airport reaches—and teaches—harried travelers

The airport’s content strategy offers lessons for communicators keen on cutting through the clutter for busy colleagues or customers.

Air travel is among our most stressful undertakings.

Just the thought of navigating ground transportation, parking, rental cars and the ticket desk is enough to cause an icy sweat. Then there are those dreadful lines, the baggage scanner and perhaps a nice pat-down from a stranger.

Can you feel your blood pressure rising?

Amid this nonstop cauldron of activity, the high-flying communications and digital marketing team at Miami International Airport saw an opportunity. You might not think the U.S.’s busiest airport for international freight and one that served 45 million travelers last year would be an ideal setting for a content campaign, but that’s a lot of eyeballs—and a lot of messaging potential.

“We’re challenged, because we basically have to humanize a building,” says Cristina Armand, digital marketing manager at Miami International Airport. “By using different storytelling techniques to reach different audiences, we can get out key messages in a more relatable and effective manner that resonates with our passengers and stakeholders.”

Armand’s team has focused on crafting content that eases passengers’ stress by offering hints to streamline their travel experience. Their series of helpful, timely travel tips has been a hit with its audiences, and their efforts earned a 2019 PR Daily Content Marketing Awards win the Infographics category.

Armand says: “Over the last year turning these tips into infographics has been a big success with our audience. The infographics also can be used on all of our social [media] platforms. The best results have come from Instagram and Facebook stories and adding them as a highlight on our Instagram page.”

Different times of the year bring different travel challenges, so MIA’s team tweaks and tailors tips depending on the season. “For example, for the upcoming Thanksgiving travel season we will talk about traveling with foods through the TSA checkpoints,” Armand says.

To ensure their pieces would be relevant and passenger-centric, before designing anything Armand’s team researched the top questions asked by travelers. Then the team created infographics tailored to each social media platform, as well as for placement on MIA’s online newsroom and on its app.

The first infographics Armand’s team crafted, created in English and in Spanish, were released during the 2018 government shutdown, when TSA checkpoint lines swelled. The pieces were so successful that they have been replicated for spring break and summer travel seasons and will be incorporated into MIA’s strategy for peak travel periods.

You might not work in an airport, but Armand’s team’s content approach translates quite well for any communicator striving to reach a busy, distracted and harried audience.

Aside from creating succinct, relevant and visually striking messaging, Armand advises: “I think that you need to find different ways to capture their attention. Inspiration may not come from what someone in your own industry is doing. See what brands you like are doing and then see what caught your attention and how you can apply it to your brand and how you can make it even better.”

Did your team craft a comms campaign you want the world to know about? Click here to learn about Ragan Awards.


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