Vol 12 # 7
In this issue:
September is National Preparedness Month. As most groups focus on making sure food and shelter are covered, this is a golden opportunity for your group to give a presentation to your community on how Amateur Radio can benefit individuals during a long-term power failure during storms, hurricanes or other disasters. This month concludes with a national “PrepareAthon” on September 30. This will be a high-profile national event. If ever there was a day for your club to do a presentation to the general public, this is it. Ask your library, civic center or church if you can talk about the benefits of being a licensed radio amateur during disaster events. As communications now ranks in the hierarchy of needs right up with food, clothing and shelter, making a personal connection to ham radio’s resiliency when the power goes out can be a compelling argument.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 ARRL Bill Leonard Award. This award was created to honor media professionals for helping present Amateur Radio in a positive light. Bill Leonard was an avid Amateur Radio operator who was a longtime employee of CBS as a reporter, manager and ultimately President of CBS News.
The Leonard Award has three categories: Audio, Visual and Print/Text. Amateurs are welcome to nominate members of professional media outlets and the ARRL Public Relations Committee will review the nominations. Recipients must be professional journalists in print, electronic media or multimedia. For awards standards, “professional” is defined as full or part-time journalists, stringers, freelancers and contract journalists. Winners of the Leonard Award receive an engraved commemorative plaque and a $250 donation will be made in their name to the charity of each winner’s choice.
Who should you nominate? Did your club or group get great coverage for Field Day, a public service event or highlight your efforts during an emergency or educational outreach? This is a way you can thank the journalist that gave you that great exposure.
All nominations must be received by Friday, December 5, 2014. Click here for complete details.
Every month, I like to make sure those who have volunteered to be an ARRL PIO get mentioned. Please take a moment to welcome these new PIOs into the fold. Thanks, folks!
Henry Ruminski, W8HJR (Ohio)
John A. Emerson, KC9YHE (Indiana)
Michael Bien, KBØPDL (Missouri)
Since the world of PR is constantly evolving, it’s hard to keep up with current trends. Besides, let’s face it: the impact of social media on marketing and PR has been revolutionary on how we get our message out. With a constantly-changing audience, keeping your message fresh and on target is a constant challenge.
David Herman Scott’s book called “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” is now in its fourth edition. While it was first published in 2007, Scott keeps revising the book with new material. The latest revision was 2013, and it is packed with great info an strategies, including the use of blogs, Twitter vs Facebook, interjecting your message via social media into real-time news events and other great strategies. I’ve been enjoying this book a lot, and it’s definitely given me some things to think about. If you’re new to PR and want to know how to make the most impact with the time and tools you have, this is a great place to start.
Last month, I commented that it’s good to keep some ARRL flyers promoting Amateur Radio in your car if you operate mobile or portable, as you just never know who may drop by. Tom Sullivan, W1AUV’s recent trek to the Point Judith Lighthouse in Rhode Island for the ARRL 10 GHz Contest landed him an unexpected crowd of onlookers, as well as some coverage in the local paper. Thanks for illustrating my point, Tom!
“Summertime done come and gone, my oh my.”
How did we get to September already? I feel like we just barely got past the spring thaw! Well, the days are getting shorter, and soon those of us in the northern climes will be dealing with snow and other fun stuff. Hey, just 16 weeks until Christmas!
Outreach, outreach, outreach. That’s the name of the game. Every day, we try to get the word out about who we are, what we do and how we can benefit our neighbors and communities. As always, I try to look at how we each promote Amateur Radio to the world at large, but influencing who we can come into contact with seems to be mostly within our local group.
What if each one of us spent the time to get just one other person actively involved with Amateur Radio? There’s 730,000 licensed hams in the US; it would be nice to push 1.5 million. While that number might seem unrealistic, you do have the ability to make promotion of Amateur Radio a personal experience. Think of one person who has expressed real interest in what you do. Ask if they’d like to learn more. Take them to a club meeting. Buy them a book. Use their own language to show them how much fun we’re having and what a service we provide.
Can each of us commit to getting one person licensed and active before 2015? I think we can.
And don't forget to write your Congressional representative asking them to co-sponsor HR4969!
Thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
MEdian and Public Relations Manager