CONTACT - October 2016
Vol 14 # 10
In this issue:
This past weekend was the World Maker Faire in New York City. The annual gathering of builders, tinkerers and DIY'ers attracted nearly 100,000 people and featured displays by Hewlett-Packard and NASA, among many others. Amateur Radio was represented, thanks to the efforts of the Hall of Science ARC, WB2JSM, in Queens. An HF station was erected to showcase digital modes, and many Makers, young and old, enjoyed the building of Morse code oscillators, thanks to Rex Harper, W1REX, owner of QRPme.com. Kudos to all the volunteers who took part.
Several new ARRL Section Managers (SMs) will be converging on ARRL HQ the weekend of October 7 for an overview on what the various departments can do for them. We’ll be highlighting PR efforts and the importance of the PIO and social media as a tool for interaction with the general public as well as within section leadership.
With the Simulated Emergency Test’s primary weekend of activity just behind us, here’s a successful media hit on St Louis Public Radio KWMU on Amateur Radio, thanks to Missouri PIO Janelle Haible, N0MTI. Kudos, Janelle!
How did your group fare in the SET? Let us know!
Please join me in welcoming these new PIOs to the ARRL Team!
Maine: James T. Cerrato, KC5UEQ
Pacific: Darren S. Holbrook, KH6OWL
We're nearing the end of the year, and that means it's time to submit your nominations for the 2016 ARRL Bill Leonard Award for professional journalists who showcase Amateur Radio to the general public in their reports. Three categories -- Print, Audio and Video - are available The winner of each category receives an engraved plaque and a $250 donation in their name to the charity of their choice. Take the time to nominate the reporter who helped provide your group some positive media coverage! All nominations must be received at ARRL HQ by close of business Friday, December 2.
As I write this, Hurricane Matthew is a category 4 storm about to hit Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti. After that, it is projected to continue its northerly swing and may impact the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to North Carolina; computer forecasts differ at this time.
As I emphasized in the 2016 ARRL Hurricane webinar, it’s critical that we have information related to your group’s preparations and activities before and during a storm. One of the main components is knowing where to look for official information on your group’s activities.
Posting regular updates to your group’s social media feeds or website gives the media, local government and served agencies a go-to location on how your group is serving your community. This can be used side-by-side with reaching out via phone to your media outlets, and provides a place to post your press releases in addition to sending them to local media. You are no longer dependent on another organization to get your own message out when you can post updates yourself directly to your community leaders and partners.
Today’s tech-savvy reporters scroll the internet, Facebook and Twitter first for the latest info; make sure your group’s online presence provides them with the information they need to promote you, and gives them a way to contact you for interviews.
Do not let this critical information distribution method go silent; in the midst of the storm, you could be missing out on a key way to tell others what Amateur Radio is doing to assist their community.
Let us hope that we don’t have to send out a single press release this week.
Thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
ARRL Media & Public Relations Manager