CONTACT June 2012


Vol 10  No 6

June 2012



In this issue:

·         Kids Day

·         Field Day Release

·         Field Day Public Service Announcements

·         New video PSAs available

·         The Importance of GOTA

·         Publicize Good Work

·         Field Day Countdown

·         The Last Word



Kids Day June 16


Kids Day is an on-air event to encourage young people (licensed or not) to have fun with Amateur Radio. It is designed to give on-the-air experience to youngsters and hopefully foster interest in getting a license of their own. It is also intended to give older hams a chance to share their station and love for Amateur Radio with children.  has more info and a fill-in-the-blank release.

This is a very good PR opportunity as local papers love to have pictures of kids talking on the radio.  But be sure you have all the permissions for using a child’s picture.  You can find the form for that at

You can also find information and ideas from the past at


Field Day Release


(One more time for those who “missed the memo”...)

For additional information contact:

Your name

Your Address

Your Phone numbers

Your e-mail address


“Who ya’ gonna call? _your town’s___Radio Hams!”

Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 23-24


Your City, ST  Date – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark.  Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate.  In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio.  These radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.  __Your Town’s__ “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend. 


Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide.  When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s volunteers are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.  On the weekend of June 23-24, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with ___your town’s___ ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.


This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.  Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency radio stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.  Their slogan, "When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.  More than 35,000 Amateur Radio operators across the country participated in last year's event. 


"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL.  “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events.  Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers, commercial electric power or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available.  We need nothing between us but air.”


In the _____locality_______ area, the _____group name_____ will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at _______location______ on ____date___.  They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.


Amateur Radio is growing in the US.  There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world.  Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.


To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to   The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams.  See what modern Amateur Radio can do.  They can even help you get on the air!





Field Day Public Service Announcements


Don Carlson, KQ6FM, and I have created two 30 second, mp3 public service Field Day announcements for your use.  These are available for download at the bottom of this issue of Contact!   Right click and “save as.” 


There are two of them – one has a space at the end for you to add in your own contact information.  Simply download one or both of them.  Add your own local information in the “donut hole” if you desire.  Put the file(s) on CD disks and take them to your local broadcast radio stations.  While you are there, talk to the people about Field Day.  Chances are excellent that you will find a ham or two working as engineers at the station. 


Please let us know if you use them and how you made out.


ALSO – new video PSAs


Not Field Day specific, but general promotional 30 second video PSA’s are available for viewing or download at   BUT.... for the broadcast quality files go to 


The importance of a GOTA


So here you are all dressed up and looking good, you have a great Field Day station laid out and your handouts are all set to go.  VIPs and maybe a couple local politicians are coming.  You’re all set.... almost.

No matter how good everything else may be, nothing gets people involved like actually doing something themselves.  Watching others is good, but doing it yourself creates lasting memories and interest that cannot be matched.  That’s where a GOTA station comes in. 


You may know about the magic of radio, but your visitors only see it as some wild abstract concept until they themselves get a mic in their hand.  “That box, that wire and you just talked to another continent,” – that gets attention.


If you really want to hook visitors on the joys of radio, have a GOTA station.


Publicize good work


Almost all of our groups have license classes of some type.  But other than handing successful candidates a paper,  how do we celebrate an achievement?  The Silver Springs Radio Club  was in the Ocala, FL puts it in the news:


NEW LICENSEES: Marion County has a new set of licensed amateur radio operators.

The Silver Springs Radio Club released the names of the latest licensees, who were tested on May 8. They are Owen Dolan, KK4JIN; Walter Stelkenriter, KK4JIP; and Han-Buyl Sohn, KK4JIO. They each earned their technician class licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.

Eddie Lucas, KK4JIV; Steve Austin, KF4HKU; and Michael McDonald, KI4MTN; each earned their general class licenses.


It’s not a big article, nor even the only one like it.  But it’s a nice thing to read and celebrates something good. (We can all use more of that in the news!)  Linking successful, positive things to Amateur Radio is good PR.


Field Day Countdown

To make the most of Field Day, you need to start early and do a little bit by little bit through the month.  Starting early June, the PRC and I will be sending out suggestions for almost every day of what should be done and when to do it.

For example, when do you get on the assignment sheet for the local weekend papers?  How about television interviews?  While we cannot cover every situation, there are patterns to most of them and we’ll walk you through it to a very productive Field Day.  Here's a calendar in Word that we can start with.  Watch the PR email reflector for more ideas and tips as we go along.

June to-do list

download June calendar

The Last  Word

“War speeches” have become popular lately.  In many movies, before the actors go into battle, they have to provide some motivational lines of dialog.  There’s even a credit card commercial using this time-worn, theatrical cliché.  Often these speeches drag on longer than the actual battle itself.  “Win one for the Gipper,” is about as brief as it gets.

So here we are, neatly sandwiched between recovery from Dayton and the fireworks of July 4th – preparing for the biggest Amateur Radio action of the year, Field Day.  It’s time for a war speech.

But in a greater sense, I cannot dedicate, I cannot consecrate, I cannot hallow this weekend.  The brave PIOs across the country will make it or break it themselves.

I can call them “brave” because it does indeed take some bravery to submit your writing, article, and with it a good piece of your own self, to a media outlet.  When we write or create something, we want others to like it.  But what if they don’t?  There’s always a piece of the person in our words.  Diminishing the words can, and usually does, diminish the writer even in the most gentle of circumstances.  In the harsh crush of a newsroom, gentleness is a quality rarely found.  So it takes courage to “put yourself out there” and actually call or visit in person with your story or an invitation about Amateur Radio. 

 That’s where you come in. 

Here at HQ we can provide the posters, PSAs, release templates, sample proclamations, timelines and all the resources possible, but we cannot make that call or visit for you.  The success of Amateur Radio’s outreach with Field Day lies in your hands.  Do you have the motivation, and the courage, to put yourself out there?  I think so.

Allen Pitts, w1agp

2012 FD logo

2012 FD PSA 2


30 second audio PSA (full)

2012 FD PSA audio 1


30 second audio PSA with pause at end for local info