Shipping company generates new business through news website


When you ship a product by air, someone called an air forwarder takes
your package to a carrier, which flies the item to its destination.
American Airlines Cargo is one example of an air carrier; that means its
customer is the air forwarder. 

That also means the company’s PR and marketing departments focus their
attention on air forwarders—attracting and retaining their business is
how AA Cargo thrives.

Unfortunately, AA Cargo’s traditional PR efforts weren’t spurring the
kind of business opportunities it desired, so the shipping company got
into the media business. It partnered with Adfero Group to create
Business Insights, a website filled with news and opinion on the air
cargo industry. 

The site’s polished design and well-written articles—plus its ability to
hook new business opportunities—have earned AA Cargo top honors in the
Best Content Marketing/Brand Journalism Site category in PR Daily’s
Digital PR & Social Media Awards.

PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards were presented by Synaptic Digital. Learn more about Synaptic Digital here (pdf).

Content marketing, also known as brand journalism, is the increasingly
popular practice of companies forming their own media outlets. 

Business Insights looks and feels like—and in many ways is—a
journalistic product. It reports on industry trends and offers in-depth
analysis; the site features opinion pieces bylined by industry experts
and AA Cargo executives, as well as blog posts, graphics, maps, data
tables, and videos. 

“The site content needed to offer real value to air cargo and logistics
industry experts,” according to a rep of AA Cargo, a division of
American Airlines. “Content that merely repeats or rehashes commonly
understood concepts and issues would not offer much value to the experts
working in the industry every day.” 

There’s a story about the rise of perishable goods in Latin America, a
video on transporting temperature-sensitive products, and a blog post
about the U.S. and EU inking an air cargo safety agreement. 

The articles offer deep analyses of the industry, yet they’re written in
plain English—delightfully free of jargon—that makes them accessible
for people outside the air cargo world. 

Better yet, the site has led to media coverage and new business. 

Trade publications have quoted Business Insights or republished stories
from the site in full. Meanwhile, a series on temperature-controlled
supply chain—in other words, shipping stuff that needs to stay at a
certain temperature—inspired one major company to pursue business with
AA Cargo.

Taylor Bennett explains the secret behind the site’s success:

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