Register Account

Login Help

May 2009


Mc Gan Deadline

Nominations must be received at ARRL HQ in Newington by 5PM May 22, 2009.
Nominations arriving after the deadline or without an entry form cannot be considered.

Annual Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award

Throughout the year hundreds of ARRL PICs, PIOs and other PR volunteers strive to keep Amateur Radio visible in their communities by publicizing special events, writing press releases, and maintaining good relations with local media among many other valuable activities. Their efforts benefit us all. If you know someone who has achieved public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio, nominating him or her for the McGan award is the perfect way to say thank you.

The award’s namesake, Journalist Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ (SK), served as the first chairman of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee, which helped reinvigorate the League’s commitment to public relations.

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 2009 McGan award will go to that ham who has demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of Phil McGan.

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. This may include traditional methods, like news releases; or non-traditional methods, such as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker. If you’re considering nominating someone in your area for the 2008 award, please ask yourself if your candidate’s work fits the public relations definition. PR is fundamentally getting a message out to people while public service is providing a service.

A committee of volunteers knowledgeable about Amateur Radio public relations will pick the winner, subject to approval by the ARRL Board of Directors.


1) The award is given only 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 a member of the current selection 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 22, 2009. 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, call ARRL HQ at (860) 594-0328 or e-mail Ask for an official 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, c/o Allen Pitts, W1AGP, ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.

Another Field Day video!

The main Field Day video is available online
2009 Field Day Videos
Left Click here to see the main 2009 Field Day video announcement

– OR–

right click and choose “save as” to download and save on your own computer
Many PIO’s have added it to their email signatures or as attachments and gotten positive comments about it. Send it to your local reporters along with an invitation to come to your FD sites! It gives them the sense of action and modern ham radio that we want to encourage.

But wait….there’s more!”

Now, thanks to Kevin Pauley, KB9WVI, there is also an ANIMATED version featuring the Field Day logo!
Kevin writes:

I thought the official Field Day logo was particularly good this year with its dipole hung in the trees and the tent set up to the side, the operator taking a coffee break and his faithful companion by his side as they share a sunset in the great outdoors. Looking at the logo it occurred to me; I wonder if I could make the sun set? One thing, as they say, lead to another and after several evenings messing around in MovieMaker, I rendered a short animated Field Day 2009 logo in a low res windows media (wmv) format at 1.8MB.

I sent a copy to Allen Pitts, ARRL Media Relations just to show it off and it got passed around the office in Newington. Evidently they also thought it was a hoot and Dan Henderson may run it on a screen at the Field Day display at Dayton. Allen had me edit it to 30 seconds as a standard length for a short piece like this and we now offer it to the PIO's to use to help promote Field Day as you wish. Just keep in mind it is low resolution and that may limit your display options.

Sometimes a project is a total diversion and takes over just because its more fun than what you're supposed to be doing- this was one of them. Hope you all enjoy and can get some use from it.

Kevin Pauley, KB9WVI
ARRL Public Relations Committee member

To see the ANIMATED 2009 logo video, left click here
Right click and choose “save as” to download it and save on your computer

Don’t forget the Field Day press kit materials

Don’t forget that there is a wealth of PIO information and materials for Field Day posted to the web at 2009 Field Day Press Kit .

Invite people NOW to your Field Day site!

If you have not done so yet, there still is time to invite local Politicians and representatives from area served agencies to your Field Day activities. Do not wait until the last minute! Also be sure you are listed on the Field Day Locator.

Here’s a fill-in-the-blank invitation template:

Put this on your club letterhead if you have some

Your name
Town, State
Title and name
Town State zip

Re: Invitation to meet with us June (date)

Dear title name:

As title of the club I am writing to cordially invite you to meet with the Amateur Radio operators of your community and members of club at location on June date(27 or 28) between time and time.. This is the National Field Day for Amateur Radio people. Throughout the country, ham radio operators will be setting up radio stations in unusual locations and making contact with others as a display of their emergency communications capabilities.

In the past year alone, ham radio’s people have made headlines with their work in the wildfires, floods, storms, tornadoes and other crises. The hams provide emergency communications for many government and civic organizations in disasters. In addition, they provide supplemental communications when normal systems are rendered inoperable or overloaded. Hams have been called (and correctly), “The people behind the curtain that made the heroes look good.”

Like most communities, __(town)___ doesn’t expect a major emergency. But they happen, and losing communications quickly can turn an emergency into a real disaster.

We will be inviting the press to drop by, and will have brochures, information packets and other materials made available through the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, explaining our work.

I hope that this plan meets with your approval and look forward to your visiting this event. It should be fun and is also a validation to the hundreds of Amateur Radio volunteers who have spent thousands of hours providing emergency communications, public service work and other benefits throughout our community and region. I will try to call you about it in a few days.


Your name
Club title

Field Day Proclamations

On occasion clubs will seek to have the local town or city mayor/officials proclaim an “Amateur Radio Week.” While there is no bonus for such a proclamation, it is good recognition for the club and amateur radio. The following is a rough draft of language for a proclamation. Modify it to fit your local city or regional leadership.

Whereas, Amateur Radio operators are celebrating over a century of the miracle of the human voice broadcast over the airwaves; and

Whereas, Amateur Radio has continued to provide a bridge between peoples, societies and countries by creating friendships and the sharing of ideas; and

Whereas, Amateur Radio Operators have also provided countless hours of community services throughout these decades; and

Whereas, these Amateur Radio’s services are provided wholly uncompensated; and

Whereas, the State also recognizes the services Amateur Radio’s people also provide to our many Emergency Response organizations, including _______add local and gov’t served agencies___________; and

Whereas, these same individuals have further demonstrated their value in public assistance by providing free radio communications for local parades, bike-a-thons, walk-a-thons, fairs and other charitable public events; and

Whereas, the ___state/city_____ of _________ recognizes and appreciates the diligence of these “hams” who also serve as weather spotters in the Skywarn program of the US Government Weather Bureau; and

Whereas, Amateur Radio once again proved its undisputed relevance in the modern world in 2005 by providing emergency communications when other systems failed in the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the USA and in the Tsunami catastrophe overseas; and

Whereas, the ARRL is the leading organization for Amateur Radio in the USA; and

Whereas, the ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day exercise will take place on June 27-28, 2009 and is a 24 hour emergency encampment exercise and demonstration of the Radio Amateurs’ skills and readiness to provide self-supporting communications even in fields without further infrastructure; now

Therefore, I ____name_____, _______title_______ of the ____place_______, do hereby officially recognize and designate June 22-28, 2009 as

Amateur Radio Week
In the ____place______



Spanish Proclamation for Field Day

Courtesy of Angel Santana-Diaz, WP3GW

If you happen to have a large Spanish speaking population in your area, this may be a help to you.

Muestra de Proclama

Por Cuanto, los Radioaficionados celebran por más de un siglo el milagro de la difusión de voz por el aire; y

Por Cuanto, la Radioafición ha continuado de proveer un puente entre personas, sociedades y países creando amistades y el compatir ideas; y

Por Cuanto, los operadores Radioaficionados han dado horas incontables de servicios a la comunidad por décadas; y

Por Cuanto, los servicios que proveen éstos Radioaficionados son completamente sin recompensa; y

Por Cuanto, el Estado también reconoce los servicios que los Radioaficionados ofrecen a tantas organizaciones de Respuesta de Emergencias, incluyendo anada los servicios locales y gubernamentales ; y

Por Cuanto, éstos mismos individuos han demostrado su valor en asistir al público proveyendo comunicaciones de radio gratis para paradas locales, bicicletadas, maratones, ferias y otros eventos caritativos públicos.

Por Cuanto, la ciudad/estado de reconoce y aprecia las diligencias que estos "hams" quienes también sirven de vigilantes del tiempo en el programa Skywarn del Servicio Nacional de Meteorología de los Estados Unidos; y

Por Cuanto, la Radioafición una vez más ha probado tener la relevancia indiscutido en el mundo moderno en el 2005 por ofrecer comunicaciones de emergencias cuando otros sistemas fallaron en la devastación de los Huracanes Katrina y Rita en los Estados Unidos y la catástofe del Tsunami en ultramar; y

Por Cuanto, el ARRL es la organización líder de la Radioafición en los Estados Unidos; y

Por Cuanto, el ejercicio del Field Day de la Radioafición del ARRL se llevará a cabo en Junio 27-28 y que es un ejercicio de 24 horas de preparación de emergencias y una demostración de las destrezas de los Radioaficionados para proveer comunicaciones sin el uso requerido de infraestructura; ahora

Por La Presente, Yo nombre , titulo , de lugar , oficialmente reconozco y designo el Junio 22-28, 2009 como

La Semana de la Radioafición
En lugar
Firmado por

Where are you ???

What’s the point of holding Field Day outside if no one can find you or knows where you are! Be sure your group and location are listed on the Field Day locator page.
Don’t “assume” that someone else has done it – check it for yourself to be sure your group is listed there.

Dayton 2009

The annual pilgrimage to “Ham Mecca” is only a few weeks away. At this time we’re all hoping the flu scare turns out to be nothing much and the fun of meeting several thousand friends will be unabated. This year the PR booth has been put in with the Field Day activity area. We are planning to have many things going on!

Press releases
If you know where your group will be located for Field Day, we’ll have a computer template ready to craft a press release for you right three on the spot. We will print it out on ARRL news release forms and probably will be able to also email it to your local paper.

If you have a relationship with a local TV or radio station that will play ARRL PSAs, we’ll have the DVDs available (while supplies last).

The PR Forum
ARRL Public Relations Forum is Friday, 1:30 – 2:30, Room 2. Obviously we will be talking about the survey results and the response made by creating…

The first course for PIOs is complete and ready to go! It will be shown and available at Dayton.

Be sure to stop by the booth and say hello!

Hurricane Awareness May 24-30

Regions with a seacoast will be holding Hurricane Awareness Week on May 24-30. If yours is one of them, remember that this is a great opportunity for PR work. Amateur Radio is especially known for its work in hurricane recovery operations, when all else failed (or actually was blown away). Check now to see any plans being formed in your area and also be sure to check on the National Hurricane Center’s website. Make sure ham radio is included.

Twitter and AOL

Slashdot reports that "Twitter is being criticized for spreading panic about swine flu. This is not just knee-jerk Luddism 2.0: it's argued that Twitter's structure encourages ill-informed repetition, with little room for context, while older Web media use their power for good — for instance Google's Flu Trends page (which we discussed last winter), and the introduction of a Google swine flu map."

We’ve seen the troubles that the web can cause several times in which misinformation, or even intentionally misleading information, is repeated over and over. During WW II one of the Nazi strategies was if you tell the “big lie” enough times then people believe it. When anyone and everyone on the web is able to be a “reporter” and all have an equal voice, it is hard to sort out fact from fiction. Unfortunately, like spam email, there still is no solution for this and the most provocative versions of “truth” usually win out – no matter how far from reality.

This was the problem with the 2008 AOL publication of “25 Things vanishing from America” which had totally erronious information and numbers for Amateur Radio. Happily we’re not even mentioned on their 2009 list. Given current information, I am sure that Amateur Radio will be around long after AOL itself is long gone!

PIOs especially should be VERY careful about reacting to information found on the websites. Look for the original source, not just the repetitions of the story, and then decide if this is really a trustworthy report.

Smithsonian and ARISS

Recently there’s been disappointing news between some museums and hams, but here’s some good news from ARISS:

An Expedition 19 ARISS contact has been planned with participants at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Space Day, Washington, DC on 02 May. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 1523 UTC.

The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and W6SRJ. The contact should be audible over western N. America. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. Audio from the contact may also be available via the AMSAT conference on EchoLink and via the 9010 Discovery reflector on IRLP. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. This ARISS contact is part of the space day events celebrating NASA's 51st anniversary and 40th year anniversary of the first moon landing. This event is made possible by the generous support of Lockheed Martin.

The Last Word

This month I think I will let you in on a small secret. There are a lot of good things coming out soon. And not only are they new and numerous, most of them are targeted at you as a PIO.

The first one out of the box will be the PR-101 course that comes out in two weeks. It took an incredible number of hours by a lot of people to put it together. Like any first attempt, there are some rough spots that those of us who created it know are there. But overall, it really is excellently done thanks to the experts who volunteered their time and energies because they believed in it – and in you – and know that such a course could make a difference for hams everywhere.

While many hams may get all excited about the latest gizmo or contest rule change and flood the forums at Dayton, a lot of the topics will not matter in a year or two. Meanwhile the changes that something like PR-101 will cause can last a decade or more. If you are going to Dayton, I hope you will attend the PR forum on Friday. If you are not going, see if someone from your group will be there and get them to go and report back.

Also coming out soon will be the updated website. This is the original site of the trinity and, while great in its day, it is showing its age. The content is still good, but the visual impact of the site has faded. It will be completely re-worked and brought up to the same high class look as the Emergency and Technology sites. We’ll also be bringing out a new version of “Talk on a Disk” which will include the Hello material in it as one of three presentations.

A little further down the line is a whole new website. This is a major project of the entire ARRL this year. It is no small task as there are something like 50,000 or so pages to the website! I have been working and plotting out the new PIO areas and we will be adding many helpful sections. Among these are:

  • Simplified ways to find out facts and data you can use in interviews
  • A listing of 2-3 sentences and a hyperlink for EVERY media hit I see here
  • A weekly 5 minute audio “chat” about what’s happening in PR that week
  • Greatly expanded audio and video file capabilities
  • An interactive ARES activations map
  • More “fill in the blank” forms you can use
  • A “Latest News” blog page

I am excited about many of these new capabilities – especially the listing of all the media hits I see. I want you to see what I see – hundreds of hits made because of people like you! (You’ll understand why it’s so hard for me to choose just a few for the column in QST!)

It will be a while before the new website comes out, but it IS coming. Once it is in place, it may even replace the Swiss Army Knife for PIOs (because you will finally be able to find what you want on the web).

Stay tuned to this channel – there’s more coming!

-Allen w1agp


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn