Current Contact Issue

CONTACT - November 2015

Vol 13 # 11

In this issue:

Ham Radio at National Tribal Assistance Coordination Workshop

Just In Time Disaster Training — The Role of the PIO

New PIOs

Putting Contesting To Work for your Public Service Team

Leonard Award Nominations Due December 4

Narrative as a PR Tool

From the Home Office


Ham Radio at National Tribal Assistance Coordination Workshop

The first week in November, ARRL and Amateur Radio will have a presence at the 2015 National Tribal Assistance Coordination Workshop, thanks to ARRL Oklahoma Section Manager and Public Information Coordinator Lloyd Colston, KC5FM. Lloyd will speak on Amateur Radio and social media’s relevance during disasters. ARRL PR Committee member and Maryland-DC Section Public Information Coordinator Steve “Sid” Caesar, NH7C, will also be on hand in his professional role as Chief of Emergency Management at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Thanks to Lloyd and Sid for helping Amateur Radio get some visibility in the Native American community.

Just In Time Disaster Training — The Role of the PIO

Southern Florida Section Assistant Public Information Coordinator Sherri Brower, W4STB, forwarded me this link to “Just In Time Disaster Training” PIO training videos from the Disaster Resistant Communities Group. Produced by Columbia Southern University, the series of six videos is quite good; every PIO should watch these. 

New PIOs

Please join me in welcoming new ARRL PIOs to the fold!

Ohio: Leland Farquharson, KD8ZWG

Oregon: Steven R. Hall, W7SRH

Wyoming: Richard Breininger, N1TEK; Thomas D. Ritter, WY7KY; Jack Robison, WY7JR

Thanks for volunteering!

Putting Contesting To Work for your Public Service Team

PR Committee member and longtime ARRL contributing Editor Ward Silver, NØAX, reminds us that, with contest season fast approaching, a great opportunity for ARES group training is at your doorstep. “Operating skill is not something that can be tested on a license exam or learned from a book,” said Ward, an active contester as well as a member of his local ARES team. “Emergency managers know that practice — lots of it — is required for operators to be sharp when they are really needed.”

Leonard Award Reminder

There’s just a month left to get your nominations in for the 2015 ARRL Bill Leonard Award! If you know of a professional reporter who did a story about Amateur Radio that was especially good, this is the way to show your appreciation and give them some extra credit. There are three categories: Print/Text, Audio, and Video. All nominations are due at ARRL HQ by the close of business on Friday, December 4.

Narrative as a PR Tool

It should come as no surprise that a good story makes for a more engaged audience. Allen Pitts, W1AGP, points us to a free online course beginning November 16 from on using narrative to better engage your audience.

From the Home Office

The Radio Amateur’s Code was originally written in 1928 by Paul Segal, W9EEA. It has been revised twice since then. However, all three versions include, among other things, these three items:

The Radio Amateur is:

PROGRESSIVE: With knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.

FRIENDLY: With slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED: Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

These three items highlight the need for continued expansion of the promotion of Amateur Radio, both to the non-ham community as well as ourselves. All of us could stand to ask these questions of ourselves and our club:

Progressive: Am I staying abreast of the latest operating techniques, modes, and ways in which all participants and newcomers are enjoying Amateur Radio? Have I tried any of these for myself? Do I understand them well enough to discuss them at a basic level at an open house or other public event?

Friendly: Am I welcoming to the newly licensed or non-licensed who express interest? Do I take the time to listen to what new hams are curious about? Do I have an answer for them?

Balanced: While the “balance” in the Radio Amateur’s Code refers to ensuring the “radio avocation” doesn’t interfere with other life commitments, it’s important to consider balance in terms of ham radio itself. A well-rounded amateur is going to be of more value to their community than an amateur who has a narrow scope; experience with more areas of Amateur Radio means more talents and skill sets available to share and teach.

Engaging the public when talking about Amateur Radio not only has an element of public information, but recruitment as well. When you and your group are at a public outreach event, listen to who is asking the questions, and tailor your response to their area of interest.

Many careers provide an opportunity for earning professional development credits, to ensure you are keeping abreast of the latest development in your chosen profession. "Development" is one of the core ingredients of ham radio, and you can pursue new knowledge on your own timetable. As a PIO, you are frequently asked to explain ham radio’s role within the context of an external event. Cast your ham radio "development" net as far and as wide as you can; that way, when you are approached by a person wanting information on how radio can benefit their interest in public service, remote control of a drone, or ways they can use radio to learn more about electronics, you have an answer for them. Be the point of contact that lights the spark, and gives newcomers a reason to stay involved.

Thanks for all you do.

Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager