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    Welcome to the Ambassablog! We're the front-line employee bloggers of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and participants in the Airport Authority's Goodwill Ambassador Program.

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Mastering the Art of Legos: A Lesson on Airport Strategy

Summer 2012 Airport Authority interns: navigating their way to bright futures.  Left aisle (front to back): Philip Yttermalm, Daniel Schoenberg, Shan Sebastian, and Stephanie Nowinski. Right aisle (front to back): Kyle Teague, Lauren Wakham, Carolina Mohrlock, and Nicole Frost. See what departments they’re working in below.

Special Guest Post by Carolina, Public Relations Intern

When was the last time you were able to plunge both arms into a bucket of Legos?

For many of us, it’s far more likely that we step on the lone Lego that resisted playtime cleanup—coincidentally, the sharpest piece known to Legoland. So it may have been a while since we’ve trudged through half-dismantled spaceships strewn into bins for the perfect piece to top off our control tower.

But the Airport Authority’s 2012 Summer Interns did just that during orientation last month. (By the way, you can check out all the interns — and information about the Airport Authority’s internship program — on a special new Facebook page we created: https://www.facebook.com/SDCRAAInternships).

After spending a morning learning about the Airport Authority’s vision, mission, strategies and goals, and returning from the Terminals to Tarmac tour led by Ambassablogger Ryan of the AIrport Planning Department, we were divided into teams and charged with creating Lego sculptures depicting one or more strategies.

Ready, set, sculpt!

Team Environmental and Finance: Striking a Balance

Lauren from Environmental paired up with Finance’s Philip to create a piece that incorporated both the Customer and Operational strategies.

“We were trying to highlight the sometimes-conflicting relationship between our strategies here at the airport, as well as how they all come to together to achieve our mission,” said Lauren.

The trees and bay on their Lego sculpture represent the environment, with houses for the community. There is also a nod to public safety with a security checkpoint, a parking garage representing development, and ground service equipment, baggage and an airplane for operations. Their goal was to show how the strategies are all linked and dependent upon each other to achieve the Airport Authority’s mission:

We will plan for and provide air transportation services to the region with safe, effective facilities that exceed customer expectations. We are committed to operating San Diego’s air transportation gateways in a manner that promotes the region’s prosperity and protects its quality of life.

Team Marketing and Planning: The Greener, the Better

Marketing intern Nicole and Daniel from Planning focused on the Sustainability, Customer and Community strategies, using their fair share of green Legos to communicate how these strategies support The Green Build.

“We added a living roof to the building in order to catch rain water and recycle it. We also included an electric car to help with emissions from all the vehicles on the tarmac. The idea was to make the airport as environmentally friendly and cost-effective as possible,” said Nicole.

Daniel added, “The greener SAN can be, the better the environment for the surrounding community can be.”

Team Marketing and IT: Be Kind to Your Neighbors

Marketing intern Stephanie and IT’s Shan took a look at the Community strategy.

“The main concept of our piece was to display the physical proximity of the airport to its community stakeholders, in order to emphasize the variety of resulting issues for which the Airport Authority takes responsive action,” explained Stephanie.

The model shows the nearby communities of Old Town, Banker’s Hill and Downtown, as well as the San Diego harbor. The pair hoped to emphasize the importance of remaining responsive to the community, and gave examples of ways in which the Airport Authority is putting this strategy into action, such as through its Quieter Home Program and the flight curfew.

Team PR and HR: “Lego Viral!”

HR’s Kyle and I, from Public Relations, tied the Customer and Community strategies into our Lego sculpture.

“Social media serves as a key vehicle in the distribution of information to the public and employees,” said Kyle. We employed the Facebook logo as a symbol of being social, and as for us—we’re wired in.

The Ambassablog, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and now Pinterest— these are great examples of how the Airport Authority is facilitating two-way communication with our publics, and it all comes back to our strategies.

Melissa from the Airport Authority’s Art Program judged the Lego contest, naming Shan and Stephanie of Team Marketing and IT the big winners for their Community strategy sculpture.

The activity was a blast—and a blast from the past—for the interns. It allowed us to apply the Airport Authority’s strategies in creative and memorable ways.

Remember, it’s never too late to dig into a bucket of Legos—it’s, er, strategic!



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