The client:

Airservices Australia

Business profile:

Government-owned provider of air traffic control and airport fire and rescue services.

The challenge:

With a geographically dispersed operational base consisting of 28 air traffic control towers and 21 fire stations at international and major regional airports, Airservices had a need to provide material of a consistently high quality to national media. Airservices was also looking for a way to cost-effectively meet multiple demands to access broadcast quality video and reproduction quality imagery of its operations.

The solution:

Wieck Australasia created an Online Newsroom for Airservices Australia that caters primarily to professional journalists, and provides them with a centralised location to browse, search for, and download content provided and monitored by the Airservices Australia Media Relations Team.

The newsroom contains a variety of features designed to enhance the experience for public users, the media and Airservices Australia.

Releases, photos, audio tracks and videos can be accessed through the site's home page, a featured section on the site's home page, by navigating to channels that include the desired media, or by performing a site-wide search that returns media content results. All media types can be viewed and downloaded in media ready formats. Videos can also be edited online and downloaded in the user’s desired format. All forms of media can also be added to a Basket feature, allowing users to edit, review and download multiple items as a packet.

All content can be organized into Press Kits. Press Kits can be previewed on the site, printed or emailed from their location on the site and are made available in a downloadable archive format.

Information on the site is organised into channels and each channel may have sub-channels for various Airservices Australia properties.

The newsroom is also designed to actively promote content via email notifications, newsletters and RSS feeds.

Airservices able to invite new users to the site, manage users and their contact information, and customise user access to all information on the site by defining specific user roles. Administrators have the ability to review and download statistics that can be used for trend analyses regarding what users are looking at and downloading from the site.

The test:

The volcanic ash cloud, which moved unexpectedly over Australia in June 2011, provided Airservices with an excellent opportunity to test the functionality and usefulness of Newsroom. Airservices Senior Communication and Media Adviser, Matt Wardell takes up the story:

“Using Newsroom to disseminate material reduced the need for us to deal individually with every media inquiry at a time of extreme demand. It also ensured quality control of our output.

“Audio and video grabs recorded by our media team in our National Operations Centre in Canberra could be made quickly available to all media nationally without the need to arrange disruptive on-site media visits. Our operations team could focus on managing the incident while we focussed on meeting media needs.

“It was pleasing to see the content we uploaded to newsroom – particularly the audio grabs for radio and broadcast-quality television overlay – used across Australia. It also gave us the confidence material being disseminated contained the right messages.”

The result:

“Newsroom helped us position Airservices as a credible, trustworthy provider of information in relation to the status of the national air traffic network, raising public awareness and confidence in what we do on a daily basis,” Matt said.

“I’m glad we took the decision to introduce this functionality well before we thought we’d need it. The ash incident demonstrated we’re now in a much better place to deal with media demands in the next significant incident to affect the national air traffic management system – whatever or whenever that might be.”

Key stats:

The period between June 21 and June 25 – the peak of the disruption to air traffic due to the ash cloud – showed a significant increase in activity on the newsroom.

In early June the site was undergoing user acceptance by a select number of media users and was registering only around 100 visitors and approximately 600 page views per day.

On June 21, when the second wave of ash cloud returned to affect south-east Australia, Airservices decided to launch the site to all media. On that day, unique visitors jumped to 3,399 and 13, 083 page views.

In terms of the different media assets, the period between June 21 and June 25 generated 5732 release views and 105 downloads, 2251 image views and 26 downloads, 1283 video views and 27 downloads and 2432 views of the press kit on volcanic ash.