Aeronautical Repair Station Association

New Gallup Poll is Bad News for Congress, but Good News for Us

JP-Pic The results of a recent Gallup poll reinforce what ARSA’s been saying for a long time: Small business owners are highly credible messengers. That’s good news for the aviation maintenance industry’s public relations efforts.

The poll conducted in early June found that 65 percent of Americans had either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in “small business,” second only to “the military,” which scored 76 percent. The only other institution to score above 50 percent was “the police” (it scored 57 percent, which is likely attributable to the fact they haven’t been touring as regularly in recent years as Sting pursued a successful solo career).

Who scored lowest? “Newspapers” (23 percent), “big business” (22 percent), “organized labor” (20 percent), and “health maintenance organizations” (19 percent). And what’s the least credible institution?  You guessed it: “Congress,” which scored an abysmal 10 percent.

So what does it all mean? ARSA has been working for years through our Positive Public Campaign to improve the public relations capabilities of the small-business-dominated repair station industry. Our primary objective has been to change the narrative about contract maintenance in the popular media. The hard work is paying off. The poll helps explain why.

The old storyline – pitched by organized labor (20 percent credibility), perpetuated by newspapers (23 percent credibility) and blindly accepted by Congress (10 percent credibility) was that repair stations, no matter where they’re located, couldn’t possibility do the job as well as the airlines’ own mechanics. That narrative has had real and damaging consequences for the industry (for proof, look no further then Congress’ ill-conceived repair station security rule mandate and resulting ban on new foreign repair stations.)

The new storyline is that highly-specialized maintenance companies in the United States and around the world are helping air carriers reduce costs and improve their safety margin. The fact that industry leaders like ARSA’s current president Gary Fortner of Fortner Engineering – who are themselves small business owners – are helping deliver the new message, is one of the reasons it’s resonating in the media, on Capitol Hill, and with the public in general.

The Gallup poll is proof that people trust you and want to hear what you think. So don’t hesitate to talk to the media about the economic and regulatory issues facing our industry. Don’t hesitate to talk to elected officials about how their decisions will impact your business and workforce. And don’t hesitate to talk to your employees and others in your community about local, state, and federal issues.

Now get out there and start talking!

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June 26th, 2013



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