CONTACT - May 2015
Vol 13 # 5
In this issue:
The news coming out of Nepal is grim, but Amateur Radio is getting a lot of coverage on how it has established both local and international communications pipelines. Most media outlets are speaking with IARU Region 3 representatives, which covers most of Asia. ARRL has facilitated some of those interviews. The Weather Channel was able to get an interview with Satish, 9N1AA, in Kathmandu, which we secured permission to repost on the ARRL Facebook page, and has been shared over and over. There’s also been lots of coverage from online tech publications such as ITWorld, PCWorld and ARSTechnica. Slate and Wired have also mentioned ham radio’s role in disaster relief.
Even when normal communications returns, there’s going to be months of cleanup and recovery, especially in the more remote areas of the country. If past disasters are any indication, ham radio will be involved for quite a while.
A comprehensive list of Amateur Radio media hits related to Nepal is on the ARRL Media Hits page. Ifyou know of one that's not on that list, let us know.
ARRL Oklahoma Section Manager Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, was recently recognized as a Weather Ready Ambassador. The program, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), raises awareness of vulnerability to extreme weather conditions in communities across the country. Well done, Lloyd!
ARRL Field Day is next month! Have you begun preparing your media kit yet? Now is the time to send out those press releases to local media, make an “event” on your club’s Facebook page (like we did), and start inviting elected officials and representatives of served agencies. Be sure to post your press release on your Facebook page and connect with your local media and community officials via social media. Don’t wait!
2015 Field Day promotional posters will be available at the ARRL PR booth at the Dayton Hamvention. Stop by and pick up some. If you won’t be at Dayton, you can order some online here.
The 2015 ARRL Field Day audio PSA is now online. This can be used by any radio broadcast facility or on podcasts. Just like last year, there’s a version with a short music bed for you to provide your local club info, and a generic one that references the ARRL Field Day Locator page. Feel free to use them, but please let us know where they’re being aired.
ARRL created a “2015 Field Day” event on its Facebook page. Come join the discussion about Field Day topics great and small.
I love welcoming new PIOs and PICs into the ARRL fold. Glad to have you on board, folks!
South Florida: Robert Ireland, KK4WYB
Minnesota: Matt Holden, KØBBC
Kentucky: Greg Lamb Sr., W4TSA
Kentucky: Charles R. Good, KM4AMT
Indiana: Jimmy Merry, KC9RPX
Nevada: Chuck Farnham, WD6CHC
San Diego: John Wright, K6CPO
Iowa: Leonard Thompson Jr., NØLCT
This is the last issue of CONTACT before the submission deadline for the 2015 ARRL McGan Award passes. As a reimnder, the ARRL McGan Silver Antenna Award is for non-professional public relation by an Amateur Radio operator to the non-ham community. Do you have a club member or a friend who has done an outstanding job promoting what we do to the general public? Nominate them for a McGan! All nominations must be received by end of business May 22, 2015.
ARRL Nevada Section Manager John Bigley, N7UR, was able to present the 2014 ARRL Bill Leonard Award to the winner of the Video category at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. Christine Kim, a reporter with KSNV-TV, won the award for her 2014 piece highlighting the activities of Nevada ARES. John’s idea of presenting the award to Kim at NAB couldn’t have been better; she was the hometown reporter receiving recognition several hundred Amateur Radio operators in attendance, in front of her broadcasting peers. That is a recipe for success. Well done, Jim, and congratulations again to Christine!
New users to Twitter may feel lost on how to best utilize this tool for PR. The Alchemy PR Blog recently listed five easy steps to begin using Twitter for your PR outreach. Check them out.
As any good financial planner will tell you, it’s not wise to put all of your retirement savings into one basket. A diversified portfolio will enable strength and security over the long haul, minimizing negative effects if one area takes a hit.
Similarly, in promoting Amateur Radio, we need to maintain the diversity of our portfolio – our recruitment efforts must include communities with other interests which overlap with Amateur Radio. The varied experience and knowledge of these recruits will strengthen our ability to respond and sustain that response in times of disaster.
Broadening our outreach efforts also means broadening our message. As an ARRL PIO, when making a presentation about Amateur Radio, be prepared to identify the audience and address their interests. For example, if you’re speaking to the local astronomy club, you’ll probably get more engagement if you talk about satellite, meteor-scatter and moonbounce communications Maker groups will be more interested in technical topics and building equipment. School clubs may respond better to descriptions of radiosport and operating awards. Once a person is interested in Amateur Radio, they will naturally learn about our long-standing tradition of providing communications during disasters, as we are now doing in Nepal.
Ask yourself if you are capable of shifting the message and appeal of Amateur Radio based on who your audience is. If not, it's time to learn more about Amateur Radio and diversify your PR portfolio.
The ARRL has created a Strategic Planning Committee to help steer the organization — and provide vision for Amateur Radio in general — over the course of the coming years and decades. They want to hear from you. Tell them what you think is important to promote and where to promote it, to ensure there is a future for all of Amateur Radio.
Thanks for all you do.
ARRLMedia and Public Relations Manager