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February 2013

Vol 11 No 2
February 2013

In this issue:

Bill Leonard Award Winners for 2012

PIOs need to say “Thank You!” to the professional media people who help them. The way to do that is to nominate them for the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. This is a national level, annual award that honors professional journalists whose outstanding work in audio, video and print formats best reflect the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service.

Nominations are judged by members of the ARRL national PR Committee, and the final decision is made by the ARRL Board of Directors at their meeting in January 2013. The winners each receive an engraved plaque and a donation of $250 will be made in each of their names to the charity of their choice.

The award was created as a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE, an avid Amateur Radio operator. Full information, rules and entry forms are at

Lucy Ann Lance - audio category

Thursday, March 15, Dexter Michigan was hit by what NWS has confirmed to be an EF-3 tornado. Damage was done to scores of homes, but no one was seriously hurt or killed. Published reports in the media credits siren activation and Skywarn spotters for that outcome. Of course, no mention was made of Amateur Radio.

On Wednesday, March 21, local radio station WLBY-am 1290 host Lucy Ann Lane interviewed three local hams that were active during the Skywarn net-- Mike Swartz (W8EFM), Jeff Cowall (KN8A) and Patrick Clouse (KC8UAV). Pat and Mike are on the leadership team for Washtenaw County RACES/ARES and Jeff is a leader in the Chelsea Michigan club. The live segment ran roughly 10 minutes, but a second segment was recorded and ran on Saturday, and in my opinion, is much more interesting.

The entire interview is available on the stations website:

Pat Mullet KC8RTW

Lynn Anderson – print category

As Editor of The Best Times newspaper in Olathe, KS, Lynn ran a major story on Amateur Radio titled “Cruising the Airwaves for Fun and Service.” Highlighting the activities of the Johnson County Amateurs Club, the story was accurately and excellently done. Larry Staples, WØAIB, PIC for Kansas sent it in as a nominee for the Bill Leonard Award, and we’re glad he did.

In addition to a presentation plaque usually given by one of the ARRL Directors in a special ceremony, the award also has a $250 honorarium given to a local charity of the recipient’s choice in their name. Congratulations Lynn and Lucy!

Nominations are Open for

Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award

Have you seen a good article about Amateur Radio on your TV or in the newspapers. Who made that happen? Who has been spending the time and effort to not only say that we need more publicity, but to actually go do something about it?

Throughout the year hundreds of ARRL PICs, PIOs and other PR volunteers keep Amateur Radio visible in their communities by publicizing special events, writing press releases, creating media for radio, websites and television, and so much more. If you know of someone who achieved public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio, nominating him or her for the McGan award is the perfect way to recognize their efforts and say thank you.

Public Relations activities for which the McGan Award is presented include efforts specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public’s attention (and most often the media’s) in a positive light. These may include traditional methods, like news stories, articles and broadcasts, or non-traditional methods such as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker.

Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ (SK), served as the first chairman of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee. In honor of Phil, his friends in the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to pay a lasting tribute to the important contributions he made on behalf of Amateur Radio. The 2013 McGan award will go to that ham who has demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies the great volunteer spirit of Phil McGan.

The ARRL Public Relations Committee will review all nominations and send a recommended winner for approval by the ARRL Board of Directors at the July meeting.


1) The award is given to an individual (not a group), who must be a full ARRL member in good standing at the time of nomination. The nominee must not be compensated for any public relations work involving Amateur Radio (including payment for articles) and may not be a current officer, director, vice director or paid staff member, or member of the ARRL Public Relations Committee.

2) The winner of the Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award will demonstrate volunteer public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio at the local, state or national level, and will live up to the high standard of achievement exemplified by Philip J. McGan.

3) Anyone may make a nomination.

4) Deadline: Nominations must be received at ARRL HQ in Newington by 5PM May 25, 2013.

Nominations arriving after the deadline or without an entry form cannot be considered.

5) Eligible nominations will be screened by a committee of Amateur Radio operators knowledgeable about public relations, which will forward its recommendation to the Programs and Services Committee of the ARRL Board of Directors. The Board will make a final determination at its July meeting and the winner will be notified shortly thereafter.

6) Nominations must be on an official entry form, available from ARRL Headquarters. The nomination will include a written summary whenever possible.

To obtain the required entry form, go to or email Ask for an official 2013 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award entry form.

7) Return the completed entry form and supporting materials to:

Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award,
Public Relations Dept.
225 Main St.,

Newington, CT 06111.

The 2013 ARRL Public Relations Committee

Last month’s CONTACT! had information about the ARRL’s national Public Relations Committee and what it does. This month we are happy to announce the appointees for 2013. Committee members are appointed by the ARRL President.

Kevin O’Dell, N0IRW – Chairman
James Boehner, N2ZZ -Board Liaison
Bill Morine, N2COP
Don Carlson, KQ6FM

Mark Kraham, W8CMK
Steven Polunsky, W5SMP

Ed Tyler, N4EDT
Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ

J. Doug Lamb K4EK
Alan Bauld, VE3CBR – RAC Liaison

Thanks to these volunteers who do so much for all of us!


This is a really neat and FUN tool! See the end of this edition for an example I played with. - w1agp

One way I like to get a handle on a topic for a slogan is visually with a neat tool at (Update your Java- you'll need it)

You can paste some text, or enter a URL and pick up the organization's RSS feed- that *IS* what you show the world these days.

It is interesting to see the image results for and compare to our local club at - there is a lot going on at ARRL.

What is a wordle- has one I created from taking all our org docs and concatenating into a text file for input to the wordle engine- the word sizes indicate the relative frequency of words in use- and BTW, if that is the text of your site (not RSS feed, HTML stripped) will give you a rough idea of what the Google algorithm sees in your site.

So what single ARRL doc represents best what we do- and what would wordle show?

Bill Laakkonen
Martin County ARES Inc PIO.

Where’s Media Hits in QST ???

We’ve received several inquiries asking what happened to the Media Hits column in QST. Media & PR Manager Allen Pitts “retired” in October of last year, but is still coming in 2 mornings a week and working on special projects until a replacement person can be found. Beginning with the January edition, the QST editors eliminated the Media Hits column for the time being. Major media hits are still being collected and posted monthly on the web at .

Ham Radio Promos in Spanish

Angel Luis Santana, WP3GW, shares that all the Backgrounders that appear in the Media section of the website, including The Five Pillars PowerPoint presentation have been updated and translated to Spanish, which are available on the Downloads section of his Profile page. All you have to do is to log on the ARRL website, got to the Sections Directory, then to the Puerto Rico Section, got to my profile (WP3GW), and you may download them in Word Document format.

The Hispanic community in the USA has many people that would like to enter the hobby, but are limited in the English language. If you need any help on a document, writing or promo that you may need in Spanish, feel free to let me know and gladly will help you on that. Thanks again to the ARRL for their support.

Cheers de,

Angel Luis Santana, WP3GW
Public Information Coordinator
ARRL Puerto Rico Section

2011 McGan Silver Antenna Award Winner

The Last Word

Ed Tyler just earned his Extra license.

Obviously he’s pleased – and he should be. It’s quite an accomplishment and not all that easy to do with or without code requirements. It’s also an opening to do a press release. Small community newspapers and news websites are always looking for good news about local people to fill in their space. So when local people earn the “highest class license possible for Amateur Radio operations,” it is impressive to the general population who see the story.

February is a dreary month with not a lot to do most of the time. But if you have VEC exams, you have something to keep up the flow of ham news to the media.


I hope you saw the announcement on the ARRL news ...

It’s that time of year again -- time to start gearing up for ARRL Field Day, June 22-23, 2013! ARRL’s flagship operating event -- always held the fourth full weekend in June -- brings together new and experienced hams for 24 hours of operating fun.

Field Day packets are now available for download

A brief one-page flier with basic “What is Field Day?” information has also been included in this year’s Field Day packet. Amateur Radio clubs individuals are encouraged to reproduce this flyer as a handout for information tables.

-Allen w1agp


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