CONTACT - January 2017
Vol 15 #1
In this issue:
ARRL’s year-long National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program is now history. This past year, Amateur Radio operators made more than 21,000 visits to over 460 National Parks Service sites in the US and made over one million contacts from parks this year. There was a lot of engagement with the public, kids from grade school to high school on field trips, National Park Service rangers and staff, many troops from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and even a school district who made contact with the International Space Station through an ARISS/NPOTA contact..
PR was in the mix at many activations across the country. Whether a formal outreach effort was undertaken, or merely having some ARRL pamphlets on hand to greet curious passers-by, PR and outreach are recognized on the NPOTA Activator certificate as a Five-Star Activator, thanks to press releases, use of social media, or a Public Information table at NPOTA activations. Activators also have the ability to ask ARRL to send NPS staffers and volunteers a free Certificate of Appreciation for their help in making an NPOTA activation a success. Email NPOTA@arrl.org with the NPS staffer's name, title, and park they work at; we'll take care of the rest.
Congratulations to all Activators and club PIOs for helping make NPOTA a huge success, raising the visibility of Amateur Radio to NPS Centennial patrons and NPS staff alike. Well done!
The first of two 2017 ARRL Kids Day activities is scheduled for Saturday, January 7 (Sunday, June 18 is the second). This is a great opportunity to reach out to your community, school, library or church and make Amateur Radio available to kids nationwide. Lloyd Cabral, KH6LC, will continue his Kids Day tradition by making Hawaii available again this year.
It’s also time for the School Club Roundup, a week-long activity geared towards getting clubs at all levels of learning on the air. Is your Amateur Radio club connected with a local school? If not, why not? Take the initiative and get involved!
ARRL produced a short video documenting the ARRL’s W1T special event station at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT, on the occasion of Twain’s 181st birthday. This outreach effort coupled with one of Hartford’s most beloved historical sites, and won the appreciation of the Mark Twain House and Museum for giving them exposure to the world of ham radio. Are there local landmarks or places of historical significance that your club could partner with for a special event station, and gain exposure for both them and Amateur Radio?
The ARRL PR Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Phil McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. This award recognizes volunteer public relations efforts by an Amateur Radio operator to the non-ham general public. Recipients are not required to be an ARRL PIO to be eligible for this award. Nominations will be reviewed by the ARRP PR Committee, and their recommendations will be passed on to the ARRL Board of Directors for consideration. All nominations must be received by the close of business Friday, May 19, 2017. No late nominations will be considered.
A Happy New Year to all PIOs! I hope your holidays were full of friends, family, and fun.
The new year naturally brings about a period of reflection, and in some cases, self-reflection. While you are contemplating whatever changes you may wish to make (if any), consider your PR efforts for Amateur Radio, as well.
In theory, you read this monthly missive because you are interested in helping to promote Amateur Radio. We are all responsible for raising the awareness of Amateur Radio to the outside world. How do you, or your club, fulfill that mission? Do you wait for an event to occur, such as a major storm, or do you actively engage your community and tell them who you are, what you do, and why you are relevant?
Passive public relations will yield fewer results. If you want to be successful, you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and “get down to business.” If you aren’t willing to tell your community that you exist and provide a resource your community can benefit from, who will?
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Everett Hale
Thanks for all you do.Let me know how I can help.
Sean Kutzko KX9X
ARRL Media & PUblic Relations Manager