Delaware is about to lose its status as one of the country's best-kept secrets.
The October issue of American Airlines' in-flight magazine, American Way, hits seatbacks on Oct. 1, with a 16-page, 4,000-word special section on six topics with a range of local leaders extolling the virtues of the First State.
The magazine chooses the subjects of its section using five criteria, said Carsten Morgan, vice president of special projects for Ink Global, which publishes 25 magazines with clients including United Airlines and Amtrak:
- Is the community misunderstood and does it have a great story to tell?
- Is the community ignored? Morgan said this will be one of the largest articles on Delaware to be printed by a major publisher.
- Is it about to go through an economic renaissance? Morgan says the article will be "forward-looking."
- Is the timing right? "The question is whether we have the opportunity to tell the story before others do," he said.
- Does American Airlines have a major presence in the subject of the article?
On that last question, Morgan said American handled 69.3% of the passengers boarding flights originating in Philadelphia in 2018. That represents nearly 10.6 million of the 15.2 million enplanements the airport had last year.
But the visibility is potentially much larger. American flies about 17 million passengers per month, with about 70% of those domestic passengers. Morgan said American Way has an audited readership of 5.4 million domestic flyers and an additional 30% for international passengers for a total of 7.1 million anticipated readers. All seats throughout the system globally have American Way in the seatback pocket.
"It's the first time we've covered the state of Delaware in any kind of detail since the American Airlines-US Airways merger" in 2013, Morgan said, adding that the section includes stories on such topics as:
- Welcome to Delaware, featuring a Q&A with Gov. John Carney and timelines and factoids about the state.
- The Trailblazers, with a focus on innovation and interviews with Delaware State University Provost (and future President) Tony Allen; CSC CEO Rod Ward; and FMC CTO Kathleen Shelton.
- Changing the World, a story about health care in Delaware, featuring interviews with Christiana Care CEO Janice Nevin and Nemours CEO R. Lawrence Moss.
- Global Impact, a 1,500-word story about key industry clusters that includes Delaware Prosperity Partnership President and CEO Kurt Foreman; Incyte CEO Herve Hoppenot; Adesis President Andrew Cottone; Delaware Tourism Office Director Liz Keller; GT USA Port of Wilmington CEO Eric Casey; and presidents Dennis Assanis and LaVerne Harmon from the University of Delaware and Wilmington University, respectively.
- Guide to Delaware, which provides information on Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties.
- State Tour, a lifestyle section that highlights arts and culture; the beaches, outdoor recreation; and the DuPont mansions.
"Part of DPP's strategy is to build greater awareness and understanding of Delaware's value proposition locally, regionally, nationally and internationally," Foreman said. "Having our governor and major business leaders share their vision in a major publication is a powerful way to let others know why Delaware is an ideal place for business location and growth."
Delaware is a great place to do business, and we are competing every day with states across the country for good-paying jobs." "This was a chance to showcase Delaware to folks who may not be aware of what our state has to offer. We continue to look at opportunities to highlight Delaware's strong economy and quality of life to attract businesses and visitors to the First State." - Gov. John Carney
DSU's Allen is excited about the additional visibility that his university will get over the next month.
"I fly a lot, and when I get the chance to visit the cockpit I look to see if there's a pilot of color sitting in one of the seats. When I find one, I ask them where they trained. Five times out of six in the last year, the answer is 'Delaware State University.' As the No. 1 provider of professional pilots of color in the United States, getting covered by American Airlines is a beautiful fit," he said. "Delaware State University is the most diverse, contemporary historically black college/university in America. Our challenge is telling our story to as many people as possible, and American Airlines is the perfect vehicle to spread the word as far as possible to a huge readership."
Ink Global's Morgan said, "Delaware: Why the First State Wants to Be First to Mind for Businesses, Workers, and Visitors" is an editorial-first publication and not sponsored content, meaning you did not have to advertise in the issue to be featured in it. But Delaware State has a two-page ad in the publication (plus a free smaller ad that Allen negotiated); full-page ads for Nemours, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and Christiana Care; and half-page ads for CSC and FMC.