Vol 12 # 1
In this issue:
On January 1, The festivities for the ARRL’s 100th birthday officially got underway. Part of the fun is the ARRL Centennial QSO Party, which is a year-long on-air event where everybody associated with ARRL is worth at least one point, from Joe Member all the way up to the ARRL President. ARRL-Affiliated clubs are also in on the deal. There’s also a way to earn your Worked All States award by only working W1AW as it operates from all fifty states in 2014. ARRL has also received permission to use W100AW from ARRL HQ in 2014. This is the biggest on-air event the League has ever held, and we will be talking about it all year long.
One of the biggest ways we’re promoting this year’s festivities is on social media, via the hashtag #ARRL2014. We’re encouraging every member who is enjoying the League’s Centennial to use #ARRL2014 on Twitter and Facebook to garner some camaraderie among ARRL members on just how special this year is. If you’re involved with social media, please “like” ARRL on Facebook and Twitter, and share or retweet #ARRL2014 material...or generate your own!
We always like to see Amateurs take PR-101. A hearty congratulations to David Vogal,WA9C, of Evansville, IN and Mike Floyd, W1HAT, of Caledonia, OH for recently passing the course. Well done, Gents!
ARRL Public Relations workhorse Angel Santana, WP3GW pointed out that if you need PR materials in Spanish, the Puerto Rico Section has translated quite a bit of material. Visit the Puerto Rico Section page for a list of what they’re translated.
If you’re new to social media, knowing where to start can be a daunting proposition. I recently picked up a copy of the book The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer, and I think it does a pretty good job of explaining how it works, why you want to use it and some interesting strategies to try for building audience and recognition.
ARRL PR Committee member Katie Allen, WY7KRA, recently suggested a copy of the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by veteran social media marketer Gary Vanyerchuk. Check out this interview where he explains the importance of building personal relationships through social media, and why it’s the personal connection that will get people visiting your site more.
Think this social media stuff is a fad? Here are the implications of one errant tweet, from a now ex-PR professional who should have known better.
So here we are, at the beginning of the ARRL’s 100th birthday party. We’ve been planning for this at ARRL HQ for over a year. At midnight on January 1 in Newington, CT, W100AW made the first QSO of the ARRL Centennial. Some of the staffers here at HQ went on to make 3,699 more QSOs on that first day. There are still over 350 days to go, and the pileups aren’t going away anytime soon.
Amateur Radio is patting itself on the back this year. We’re going to have a great time, make no mistake about it. We’ve participated in emergencies and other public service events time and time again, and the always-grateful recipient of our assistance usually says the same thing: “Wow, you guys are still around?”
PIOs are the answer to this question. With every public event you attend, with every press release you send out, with every tweet or Facebook message, with every talk at the public library or civic center, ARRL PIO’s raise the awareness of what Amateur Radio is doing in 2014. Engagement is how we get people to go from “Who are those guys?” or “I didn’t know people still did ham radio” to “Oh yeah, those guys!” or “Can I do that, too?”
The core points remain the same: Know your local media sources on a first-name basis, tell them about everything you’re doing, get active on social media if you’re not already there, and keep at it. If you don’t tell your community what your club or group is doing, they’re not going to know.
It’s going to be a long, loud, fun year for ARRL and Amateur Radio in general. Help keep the party going; get the word out!
Thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko KX9X
ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager