Current Contact Issue

November 2014

Vol 12 # 9

In this issue:


2014 McGan Award - Congratulations to Brian Short, KC0BS

Leonard Award Update

New PIOs

Book: “How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck”

Using The Press Release To Announce Your Group’s Event

Social Media - Lemons Into Lemonade

The Last Word


2014 McGan Award

Congratulations to Brian Short, KC0BS, on being the recipient of the 2014 ARRL Phil McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. This award is given for outstanding public relations efforts promoting Amateur Radio to the non-ham community.

Brian appeared on Kansas City Public Media’s “Up To Date” interview program on KCUR-FM in November 2013. The show, “Exploring Ham Radio in a Digital World," highlighted the value of Amateur Radio to a community and how individuals can get involved. Well done, Brian!


Leonard Award Update

The window for submitting your ARRL Bill Leonard Award nomination is closing fast. This award recognizes professional journalists for portraying Amateur Radio in a positive light. Was there a journalist in print, audio or video who helped your club or organization’s message get heard by your community? This is your way to say “thank you” for their coverage!

You can find complete information on sponsoring a Leonard Award candidate here. But hurry; nominations must be received by December 5!


New PIOs

We are always happy to have new ARRL PIOs volunteer to help promote Amateur Radio in their communities. Congratulations and welcome to the following new PIOs!

South Florida: Paul Bartoszewicz, KC2LXV

Oklahoma: Michael Dean, K5MFD

Nevada: Chuck Farnham, WD6CHC

In addition, “Sid” Caesar, NH7C, was recently appointed as Public Information Coordinator for Maryland.

Thanks to all for stepping up and being of service; much appreciated!


Book: “How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck”

Well-known Youtuber and video man Randy Hall, K7AGE, recently turned me on to a book by professional videographer Steve Stockman called "How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck". In 248 pages, Steve gives you a wealth of information on setting up shots, lighting, editing, and keeping content and messages clear and informative. The book does not give equipment recommendations, so these techniques can be applied whether you’re using fancy gear or your smart phone.  If you’re new to video, this book has a lot of excellent, practical information on making a video that people will actually watch; and of course, isn’t that the point?


Press Releases Revisited

Ah, the press release... the long-standing canvas of our promotional efforts. Despite all the social media hoopla, the basic press release remains a powerful tool for all of us in the PR field. Here’s a great refresher on using the press release to announce your organization’s event and doing so to maximum effect.


Social Media - Lemons Into Lemonade

Part of the reason social media is great for PR is the immediacy of the message. The Marketing and PR folks at Chevrolet took a very bad moment from the World Series and were able to transform it overnight into an online PR event. Being able to recognize these moments as they are happening and capitalize on them is one of the skills that separates good PR from great PR.


The Last Word

The reason CONTACT exists is to reach out to you, the ARRL PIO or person interested in helping promote Amateur Radio to the public at large. I like to highlight what some of you are doing to further that effort. I also like to provide tips and tricks that can help you perform that task better, and also enjoy getting suggestions from you on ways we can make the job or the PIO a bit easier.

However, I’ve noticed that traffic on the ARRL PR Reflector is down considerably from this time last year. While there are almost 600 people subscribed to it, it’s been relatively quiet lately. So tell me: what is it you look for from the PR reflector? What are things you would like to see more of? What are questions you would like answers to? What information would you like shared on the reflector? Do you have a tip, trick or suggestion that other subscribers would enjoy reading about?

If you’re not on the PR reflector, drop me a line and I will add you. If you are already subscribed, I invite you to ask a question or share an idea and get some traffic flowing on the reflector. A community resource such as this email reflector is only as good as the breadth and depth of material shared by its users.

Thanks for all you do.

Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager