In this issue:
It’s been almost a month since Typhoon Haiyan clobbered the Philippines, and Amateur Radio is still being used regularly. From a PR standpoint, I was able to coordinate interviews with national and world-level media outlets with hams in the Philippines. I’d like to publicly thank KH6LC, KH2L, KH2JU and N2NL/KH2 for providing me with audio of the Philippine Emergency Net on 7.095 MHz; some of that audio was used by the BBC World Service and National Public Radio for stories on ham radio’s response to Haiyan. The BBC gave nearly three minutes on their hourly newscast November 17 to Amateur Radio’s role in the post-Haiyan response, with a potential audience of over a BILLION people. Now THAT is a media hit! Some was also used on the ARRL Audio News. Remember: If you’re in the middle of a developing story involving Amateur Radio, keep the tape rolling; you never know who may ask for it.
The ARRL Leonard award deadline is December 6! If you wish to honor a professional journalist for covering Amateur Radio particularly well, the ELonard Award is hte perfect way to do so.
The Award is divided into three categories, based on format:
c. Print and Text
We all have seen some quality news coverage of Amateur Radio this year; does one of those items, in your mind, deserve recognition for covering what Amateur Radio is and does? Let us know! Fill out the nomination form and give a journalist some credit!
Traditionally, content from QST has been available only to members, who have access to the print and digital editions of the ARRL membership journal. However, this has hampered our ability to send articles to the non-amateur community, and consequently, our recruiting efforts.
I’m happy to report that, beginning with the December 2013 issue, one QST article per month from every issue will be made available in PDF format on the “This Month In QST” page of the ARRL web site (http://www.arrl.org/this-month-in-QST). Each month, I’ll be working with the Editorial department to determine which article each month could be used to promote Amateur Radio to the outside world.
The December 2013 article will be on the Colorado flooding of 2013 and Amateur Radio’s role in the disaster.
If you’ve been reading CONTACT! for awhile, you know how I feel about social media. For those who are a bit daunted by it, here’s a great introduction to Twitter. Many media outlets and individual reporters use Twitter regularly, and it’s become a very important tool for you to have in your PR toolbelt. The site Hashtags.org’s Vanessa Doctor gives us the lowdown on tweets. Check it out here:
Part of a PIO’s role is to make themselves available to the media. It’s always good to be reminded of the do’s and don’ts of being interviewed. Lee Polevoi from intuit.com’s blog has excellent tips on how to prepare for an interview.
Okay, so it’s not exactly PR-related, but a lot of folks that read this are part of an ARES group. Winter is here, so here’s this year’s reminder on how to best prepare for winter weather, courtesy of the folks at Ready.gov. Please take a few minutes to read this.
We’re officially into the holidays now. I can tell; the blasts on TV and radio for me to SAVE BIG MONEY are everywhere.
We all know that the holidays are about giving, and we all know that it’s not the cost of the present, but it’s really easy to lose that perspective. Amateur Radio is about being of service to your community; by extension, being of service in whatever ways possible. The holidays bring about plenty of opportunities for your group or club to help out: food drives, serving meals at a shelter, collect toys and clothes for kids.... the need is, unfortunately, endless, and so are the opportunities.
Other than getting some press for your club, being of service to those in need is just the right thing to do; The Corporation for National and Community Service reports those who volunteer in their communities have lower overall mortality rates and lower incidents of depression than those who don’t volunteer. Read the report here.
I hope you and your family have a great holiday season. Next month begins the ARRL Centennial....something tells me we’ll be busy.
Until next month,
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager