What can marketers and clients do when they want to spread the word about an important topic on a shoestring budget? The answer often lies in guerilla marketing, word-of-mouth and earned-media tactics.

U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo recently announced www.AmericaFlies.us, a new website and online petition inviting all Americans to show their support for the general aviation industry. While the Kansas congressman is clearly interested in focusing his support around the Wichita aviation cluster, he is using the site to attract, motivate and engage pro-business audiences. He wants them to remind the President and current administration that general aviation is “the last great manufacturing jewel in America.”

Back to Basics

To create buzz and drive traffic, Pompeo organized a press conference at the Kansas Aviation Museum (great location) and invited leaders from aviation, supply-chain and the manufacturing unions to join him at the podium. The press release earned attention from every local and several regional and national online and print applications.

Pompeo also announced his team will be running ads and earning coverage on aviation-specific websites – including many smaller but highly focused outlets such as the Cessna Owners website and Sport Pilot Talk forums – as well as placing posters and scout cards in FBOs across the country. The posters and scout cards include a QR code linking to the online petition.

Immediate Results

As a marketing agency specializing in aviation and based in the Air Capital, we agree with Rep. Pompeo that private aviation is “an important tool for…competitiveness.” And we are heartened by the public’s response to his call for support. Since the press conference, hundreds have signed the petition while others have shared their individual stories about general aviation’s impact. Multiple news and social media outlets have covered the story – one that began with tried-and-true word-of-mouth. And that’s what will be needed to increase the viral reach. So, please, talk it up.