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February 2015

February 2015

Vol 13 # 2

In this issue:

New PR Committee Members for 2015

New PIOs & PICs

2014 Leonard Award Winners

2014 McGan Award Open for Nominations

New ARRL Report on Amateur Radio

ARRL Library - Your Material Wanted!

Smart Phones and Reporting

Quote of the Month: Mizzou's Ham Radio Club

From The Home Office in Newington

New PR Committee Members for 2015

At the ARRL January 2015 Board Meeting, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, appointed new members to several committees, including the ARRL Public Relations Committee. The 2015 PR Committee is comprised of:

Katie Allen, WY7YL (Chair): Assistant Wyoming Section Manager; former Membership Manager for ARRL Headquarters; software support specialist for Ham Radio Deluxe logging software; Development Director, Rocky Mountain Ham Radio.

Scott Westerman, W9WSW: Executive Director of the Michigan State University Alumni Association; graduate of MSU and the Harvard Business School; extensive background in telecom marketing and communications management; founder of the Emergency Email Network; strong proponent of social media.

Ward Silver, NØAX: Longtime ARRL Contributing Editor who has worked on the ARRL Handbook, the ARRL License Manuals and numerous other publications and articles; President, YASME Board of Directors.

Randy Hall, K7AGE: Founder of the popular K7AGE YouTube channel and part of the Ham-Nation crew on Randy’s videos over the years have educated many hams in new areas of the hobby.

Sid” Caesar, NH7C: Chief of Emergency Management at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Department of the Interior; ARRL Public Information Coordinator for Maryland; Long-time DXpeditioner and Contester. Background in digital technology, security and logistics support.

Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ: ARRL Roanoke Division Director, PR Committee Board Liaison

We thank the 2014 PR Committee members for their service.


There have been several new ARRL Public Information Officers and Public Information Coordinators recently. Please join me in welcoming them to the fold:

Public Information Officers:

Rob Leiden, K1UI (Eastern Massachusetts)

Chuck Farnham, WD6CHC (Nevada)

Paul Bartoszewicz, KC2LXV (South Florida)

Jennifer K. Robinson, KD2EYR (Southern New Jersey)

Lemuel W. Furman, KJ4KSG (West Central Florida)

Public Information Coordinators:

Paul D. Jones, K4VCF (North Carolina)

Michael Dean, K5MFD (Oklahoma)

Thanks for volunteering!

2014 ARRL Leonard Award Winners

The ARRL Board Of Directors has voted to uphold the 2014 PR Committee’s recommendations for winners of the Bill Leonard Award for their outstanding coverage of Amateur Radio in video, print, and aural media. The award honors journalists for excellence in reporting that highlights the enjoyment, importance, and public service value of Amateur Radio. The award is a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE, an avid Amateur Radio operator and advocate.

  • The video award went to Christine Kim of KSNV-TV in Las Vegas, for her “Local Heroes” profile of the Nevada Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

  • The print award went to Marti Attoun of American Profile magazine, for her “Radio Active” article that profiled Amateur Radio.

Winners of the Leonard Award receive a wood plaque to commemorate their achievement, and a $250 donation made in their name to the charity of their choice. Congratulations to all and thanks for helping spread the word!

2014 ARRL McGan Award Open for Nominations

Nominations for the ARRL Phil McGan Silver Antenna Award are underway! This award recognizes superior public relations efforts by an amateur to the non-ham community. If you know of a ham who has done amazing work to tell the world about the importance and value of Amateur Radio help them be recognized! Nominations must be received by May 22, 2015. Click here for more information and the nomination form.

New ARRL Report on Amateur Radio

One of the tasks the ARRL Board gave the 2014 PR Committee was to create a report that would highlight the ways Amateur Radio serves the public. This has resulted in the report “Amateur Radio: Science and Skill in Service to your Community." This report is targeted at legislators at every level of government. We’ve highlighted Public Service, Educational Outreach, Coordination with other Served Agencies and Disaster Response. This report should prove an effective part of our legislative outreach strategies.

ARRL Library – Your Material Wanted!

The ARRL Online Library opened in early January. The goal is to have the Library be a one-stop shop for PowerPoint presentations for clubs, PDF papers of general Amateur Radio knowledge, and recordings of oral histories. We are actively seeking contributions to the Library. Check out the Oral History of Bernie O'Sullivan, EI6AX, chatting about his relationship with the former King of Jordan, JY1.

If you have a club member with a story to tell, information on how you prepare for drills or other exercises, successes and failures in public outreach, or other knowledge directly related to Amateur Radio, contribute that material so all may benefit from your experience. You must have permissions for all photos, diagrams or other copyrighted material in your contribution. If approved, your submission will be included. Don’t wait!

Smart Phones and Reporting

“Backpack Journalism” is the term used to describe the modern journalist: someone who has all the tools needed to tell a story in print, video or audio in their backpack and upload it to their audience direct from the field. Skills and tools needed are strikingly similar to what PIOs could face in a real disaster, and also give you skills to get your club’s message out during non-critical events.

Here’s a great article from Michael Horning’s website on how to maximize a smart phone’s role for backpack journalists. I’d wager you can find several ways these tips could apply to help you get the word out about your club’s activities in your community.

Quote of the Month: Mizzou's Ham Radio Club

The Univiersity of Missouri recently revived their Amateur Radio club station after a period of inactivity. They got some good coverage on Mizzou's Engineering Department website as a result. The icing on the cake was the quote from Club Trustee Dale Musser, Associate Teaching Professor and director of the IT program:
“I can buy a computer and plug it into my DSL connection, and I can talk around the world. But I had nothing to do with making that happen,” Musser said. “This kind of communication involves making it happen and understanding the technical issues: learning about antennas and learning about radio propagation across the ionosphere. I can actually assemble the equipment and assemble the antennas and make that happen, which still can bring about that sense of wonder.”

Home run, Professor!

From The Home Office in Newington

The Super Bowl was yesterday. Congrats to the Patriots, and condolences, Seattle fans. With the end of football comes the renewal of baseball: pitchers and catchers report to spring training in just a couple of weeks, and that means that Spring will be here before you know it.

Another sign that warmer weather is approaching: the 2015 Field Day packet will be released soon. Field Day is ham radio’s Open House, pledge drive, and ice cream social all rolled into one. There’s no other annual event that puts ham radio into the public spotlight like Field Day. No major changes are in store for FD2015, although we’re going to push the event much more on social media. Post, like, and tweet your Field Day plans to your heart’s content using the hash tag #ARRLFD. Check the Field Day kit for PR ideas and tools to make your Field Day big hit in your local community and your local media.

It’s a new year, a new PR Committee, and we’ve got a lot of things to concentrate on. Every Amateur Radio operator is an ambassador for the hobby, and the messages we deliver — whether it’s to a crowded auditorium at your library or civic center, or one-on-one conversation — need to remain positive, upbeat, and paint a good picture of the Amateur Radio Service.

Our PR strategy moving forward is two-fold. First, we need to generally raise awareness of Amateur Radio to the non-ham community. The second is promoting new facets of ham radio to current licensees. Both are critically important groups, but the message delivered is very different.

When presenting a talk or interview about Amateur Radio, the cardinal rule before going in is: research your audience. Who are you speaking to? How familiar are they with your topic? What is it they want to know? These three basic questions will help you tailor your message, which increases its effectiveness. If you’re giving a talk to a group of retirees, the content and delivery style of the message will be different that if you’re speaking to a Boy or Girl Scout troop.

What are you doing to make ham radio inclusive, accessible and interesting to your target audience? Share your ideas and strategies on the PR reflector. If you’re not already a member, let me know and I’ll help you get signed up.

Thanks for all you do.

Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager


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