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June 2016

June 2016

CONTACT - June 2016

Vol 14 # 6

In this issue:

Field Day - Three Weeks and Counting!

Dayton Recap

2016 ARRL Hurricane Webinar will be July 21

PR vs Reporting: The Lines are Blurring

From the Home Office

Field Day - Three Weeks and Counting!

June is the Month of Field Day. With less than three weeks to go until the big event, there is precious little time to roll out your PR strategy. In fact, if you haven’t already started, you’re late to the party.

The national Field Day press release went out this past Friday. We also have a sample press release in the Field Day PR Kit; if you haven’t already distributed them to your local media, do so now. Get the audio PSA in rotation at your local station. Provide written copy with your local details and contact info. Reach out to your local media: call or visit in person. See if you can get air time for an interview.

Get your social media platforms going and earn that new 100 point bonus for engaging the public and your local media on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Be sure to post lots of photos and short video of your team having fun.

If you’re hosting a PR table this year, do more than lay out pamphlets; you will have far greater impact with your visitors if you have a team dedicated to welcoming visitors and showing them around your site. Those team members should be friendly and outgoing, and be able to steer your visitors to relevant areas of your Field Day site based on what your visitors tell you they're curious about.

If you’re going to post signs on the street to drive visitors to your site, be sure to include the phrases “Open House” and “Public Welcome.” Not everybody understands what a Field Day is, but the term Open House is very common.

Field Day is the largest stage for Amateur Radio. Do your part to make a positive impression to the general public, and have fun doing it. Good luck to all in Field Day!

Dayton Recap

Daytn 2016 was a whirlwind of activity. On the PR front, PR Committee Chair Scott Westerman, W9WSW, led the charge for an outreach research project. Georgia PIC Norm Schklar, WA4ZXV, and Missouri PIO Janelle Haible, N0MTI, spent some of their time at Dayton taking PR out of the ARRL Expo area. Only a fraction of Dayton attendees visit the ARRL Expo area. They gathered data on perceptions of the League and what ARRL can do better. The number one comment: More outreach to youth. We hear you loud and clear. Thanks to Norm and Janelle for their efforts.

2016 ARRL Hurricane Webinar will be July 21

Mark your calendar for the 2016 ARRL Hurricane Webinar on Thursday, July 21 beginning at 8pm EDT. We’ll provide an overview of the 2016 forecast, the role of the VOIP Hurricane Net, the latest information from WX4NHC and the Hurricane Watch Net, and much more. Registration info will be available shortly. This webinar reaches capacity quickly.

PR vs Reporting: The Lines Are Blurring

Once considered at opposite ends of the spectrum, PR and journalism is now two sides of the same coin. Read some perspective on how the lines are blurring between the two from journalist and PR professional Melissa Parrelli from Hollywood Public Relations.

From the Home Office

Failure to communicate. Cool Hand Luke and the Captain had it.

It can be difficult, especially during times of stress, to effectively get your message across. If your group is activated and you’re facing the media, that is especially the time to make sure your message is on point. Misusing jargon for plain language, not identifying your target audience before working on your message, and not emphasizing the critical points can all lead to Failure to Communicate.

The old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” I believe practice makes possible. We’ll never be perfect, but taking the time to understand what you are trying to say, who you are trying to say it to, and how to best say it will lead to fewer communications failures. We learn by doing; experience teaches wisdom. Prepare for every media interaction; have a colleague help you if you need an extra set of eyes. Review any coverage you get, and analyze it. What went well? What didn’t? Where can you improve next time?

As we head into Field Day and hurricane season, the old lessons remain just as valuable today as ever: preparation increases your chances of success.

Thanks for all you do.

Sean Kutzko, KX9X

Media and Public Relations Manager


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