CONTACT - November 2016
Vol 14 # 11
In this issue:
Amateur Radio got a big boost this week when the National Geographic Channel announced it would be airing a new mini-series called Mars, which involved the first colonization of the red planet, in the not-too-distant future. Nat Geo posted a prequel to the series on their website, BeforeMars, which takes place in 2016. Ham radio plays a major part in the prequel, which involves a young girl communicating with an Astronaut on the ISS; that experience leads her to pursue science and end up on the Mars mission. Nat Geo also put up a page explaining ham radio to people interested in the series.
Ham radio is appearing in a lot of pop culture; the TV series Frequency and Stranger Things all have ham radio as part of their story. No, it’s not always portrayed 100% accurately; that means one of our challenges is to correct the impression via social media in a fun way. “Hey, Stranger Things viewers: No, you can’t talk to the “Upside Down” with ham radio, but you CAN bounce a radio wave off the moon. Learn how here.”
ARRL PIO and Assistant EC in North Florida Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, along with Berkeley, County, SC ARES EC Linda Selleck, KJ4EVV, were featured on the October 25 episode of Ham Radio Now with Gary Pearce, KN4AQ. They discussed their role during Hurricane Matthew earlier in October. Watch the episode here.
Thanks to Dick Stein, K2ZR, a reporter with WIVB-TV in Buffalo, NY ran a story on Amateur Radio and CW during catastrophic emergencies. This is a very well-produced piece. Thanks to the reporter, Luke Moretti, for the coverage!
ARRL’s CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, is keenly interested in promoting Amateur Radio at college clubs across the country. This has taken wings in the form of the ARRL College Amateur Radio Initiative. A Facebook group is being used to bring college clubs together and help them share ideas and solutions to problems facing college clubs. If you have a college club in your area, let them know about the group, and help them get their club some well-deserved promotion.
We’re always happy to welcome new PIOs to ARRL. Thanks for volunteering!
Louisiana: Troy J. Jones, KG5LZY
San Joaquin Valley: Greg Waters, KJ6OUI
With just a month to go before the nomination deadline closes, the ARRL Bill Leonard Award needs YOUR nomination! If you know of a professional reporter who has given Amateur Radio great coverage in the media, take five minutes and nominate them for a Bill Leonard Award. It’s a nice way to say “thanks for your help in promoting what we do.”
The ARRL PR Department welcomes Michelle Patnode to the team. Michelle is a Senior majoring in Communications and Public Relations, with an interest in non-profit PR strategies. She will be assisting the department in improving the social media presence of ARRL and examining social media metrics to improve our online strategies and tactics.
During September’s ARRL Section Manager Orientation here at HQ, one of the things I stressed was that we would be happy to help promote activities going on in your section, if we only knew about them.
There is an understandable drive to get your group mentioned in QST. After all, it’s our membership journal. But as ARRL broadens our audience through other media channels, opportunities to get coverage of your activates are missed.
Case in point: QST reaches 167,000 mailboxes each month. In the last 28 days, our posts to the ARRL Facebook page have reached 349,487 screens. That doesn’t count the level of engagement on the four major ARRL Twitter feeds, or our presence on the photo-centric platform Instagram. And if you’re using your own social media feeds to promote your activity, be sure to tag us in your posts; that will only help increase your audience.
There are some good opportunities coming up to help promote Amateur Radio. SKYWARN Recognition Day is December 3, with plenty of NWS stations taking to the airwaves. November also offers the ARRL flagship event, November Sweepstakes. This has a School Club category, which opens the door for clubs formally associated with a school to participate. Take advantage of that opportunity.
Drop me a note if you have something you want to share about activities in your area.
Thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
ARRL Media & Public Relations Manager