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Fri, Apr 18, 2003

Industry PR Firm Signs On With 'BE A PILOT'

Sullivan Higdon & Sink, a highly regarded Wichita, KS, advertising firm, has agreed to provide its services to the national BE A PILOT program. SHS will advise BE A PILOT on print advertising and will provide creative services for new print ads for the consumer media and the aviation trade press. “We are delighted SHS has agreed to help us on the print media component of BE A PILOT efforts, in addition to being a new 2003 sponsor,” said Drew Steketee, BE A PILOT president/CEO. “It’s a natural fit. Our mission is to get people flying. Who better to help us send this message than a firm with roots so firmly in aviation?”

Among BE A PILOT public education efforts is print advertising in both consumer and aviation press. Along with nearly $1 million in cable TV advertising annually, the program’s print ads offer its free BE A PILOT Introductory Flight Certificate for a lowcost first flying lesson. The certificate entitles interested consumers to a flying lesson for just $49 at one of nearly 2,000 flight schools in the U.S. and Canada. Despite a gloomy economy in 2002, nearly 34,000 consumers requested an
Introductory Flight Certificate last year.

Sullivan Higdon & Sink, founded in 1971, has played a major role in print advertising for the General Aviation community for decades. It is the agency of record for several high-profile aviation clients.

With six licensed pilots on staff, the agency has more than 500 years of combined aviation experience. SHS offers free flying lessons to its employees working on aviation accounts, and it has its own business aircraft.

“Aviation isn’t just a business unit around SHS,” said Tom Bertels, managing partner at SHS. “It’s a way of life, an integral part of who we are. Our founders started out in the aviation industry, so this is just a way of giving back to a business that has given so
much to us.”

With a new office in Washington, D.C., SHS is within walking distance of BE A PILOT headquarters in the nation’s capital. In addition to print advertising, BE A PILOT reaches the public through nearly $1 million annually in network cable TV advertising, a national program encouraging media coverage about learning to fly, and its Web site used by 800,000 consumers last year.



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