ARRL

PIO PIC Job Descriptions

  • PIO Job Description

    ARRL Public Information Officers (PIOs) are appointed by and report to the ARRL section Public Information Coordinator (PIC) with the approval of the Section Manager (SM). ARRL PIOs are usually chosen from club publicity chairpersons and must be full ARRL members and are recommended to have completed the ARRL’s PR-101 course or its successor.  Additional training for PIOs should be provided regularly on a sectional or regional basis by the PIC and/or other qualified people

    Responsibilities:

    • Establishes and maintains a list of media contacts in the local area; strives to establish and maintain personal contacts with appropriate representatives of those media (e.g., editors, news directors, science reporters, etc.).  Understands how stories should be submitted to media outlets and knows the rules for successful media submissions by media type.
    • Be a contact for the local media and assures that editors/reporters who need information about Amateur Radio know where to find it.
    • Keeps informed of activities by local hams and identifies and publicizes those that are newsworthy or carry human interest appeal. (This is usually done through news releases or suggestions for interviews or feature stories).
    • Attempts to deal with and minimize any negative publicity about Amateur Radio and to correct any negative stories which are incorrectly ascribed to Amateur Radio operators.
    • Generates advance publicity through the local media of scheduled activities of interest to the general public, including licensing classes, hamfests, club meetings, Field Day operations.
    • Helps individual hams and radio clubs to develop and promote good ideas for community projects and special events to display Amateur Radio to the public in a positive light.
    • Keeps current and familiar with available materials including ARRL Public Service Announcements (PSAs), knows appropriate websites and social media to post viral media, brochures and audiovisual materials; contacts local radio and TV stations to arrange airing of Amateur Radio PSAs; secures appropriate brochures and audiovisual materials for use in conjunction with planned activities.
    • Seeks to constantly improve their skills by attending regional training sessions, PR Forums and other training activities endorsed by section PICs.
    • Submits articles and photographs to ARRL for QST and online applications.

     

    Working with others:

    • Works with Local Government Liaisons to establish personal contacts with local government officials where possible and explain to them, briefly and non-technically, about Amateur Radio and how it can help their communities.
    • Works with the section PIC to identify and publicize League-related stories of local news interest, including election and appointment of local hams to leadership positions, QST articles by local authors or local achievements by amateurs.
    • Keeps the section PIC fully informed on their activities and places PIC on news release mailing list.
    • Assists the section PIC in recruiting hams for public speaking engagements and promotes interest among community and service organizations in finding out more about Amateur Radio.
    • Quickly informs the ARRL Media and PR Manager of any issue or significant event noted which may either enhance or damage the reputation of the ARRL.
    • Networks with other PIOs to facilitate coordination.

     

    Work in Emergencies 

    Note: It is highly recommended that the PIO should not also be the Emergency Coordinator. 

    • Is familiar with local emergency protocols and establishes relations with the lead governmental response agency in their home area and their requirements for the PIO’s participation in a Joint Information Center in an emergency.
    • Helps local clubs and/or section designated ARES-PIOs (PIOs who are specifically trained and tasked by the SM and/or PIC to work with ARES units) prepare emergency response media plans.
    • Provides aid to section appointed ARES-PIOs or assume that role if none is available.
    • Working with the PIC, aids clubs and others involved in emergency response operations in the preparation and contents of PR kits containing vetted information about Amateur Radio in their local area which may be distributed in advance to local Emergency Coordinators for use in dealing with the media during emergencies. During emergencies, these kits should be made available to reporters at the scene, the JIC or at a command post.
    • Maintains contact with the local Emergency Coordinator and/or District Emergency Coordinator and League officials (local stories often can quickly turn national).
    • Summarizes Amateur Radio activity in an ongoing situation, and follow up any significant emergency communications activities with accurate and prompt reporting to the media of the extent and nature of Amateur Radio involvement.   They should NOT speak or give information for our served agencies.
    • Takes free online FEMA courses in the National Incident Management Structure/ICS/Disaster PIO or seeks similar training from the state emergency management office.

  • PIC Job Description

    The ARRL Public Information Coordinator (PIC) is a section-level official appointed by and reports to the Section Manager (SM) as the section's expert on public information and public relations matters. The PIC is responsible for organizing, training, guiding and coordinating the activities of the Public Information Officers (PIOs) within the section.  The overall goal of the PIC is to promote interest in Amateur Radio to the non-ham population within their section. 

     The Public Information Coordinator must be a full member of the ARRL and are recommended to have completed the ARRL’s PR-101 course or its successor.  Preferably, PIC candidates will also have professional public relations or journalism experience or a significantly related background in dealing with the public media.

    Responsibilities:

    • The PIC is the primary section level person to contact for information about knowledgeable and effective local speakers and representatives who are available to address community groups on the topic of Amateur Radio, and shall work with PIOs to promote interest among those groups.
    • Works with PIOs, SM and ARRL staff to identify and publicize League-related stories of local or regional interest, including election or appointment of ARRL leadership officials, scholarship winners/award winners, QST articles by local authors or local achievements noted or featured in QST.   

     

    Working with your PIOs

    • Works closely with the section Affiliated Club Coordinator and ARRL affiliated clubs in   the section to recruit and train a team of Public Information Officers (PIOs). With the approval of the Section Manager, the PIC may be delegated to make PIO appointments within the section.
    • Works with the SM to motivate and encourage participation in PR training programs for themselves, PIOs and club publicity chairpersons.
    • Works with the PIOs to identify and recommend ways to disseminate stories through emerging media, such as social networks.  Develops and maintains a current contact list of media outlets and reporters in the section for use in section-wide news and releases.  
    • Helps local PIOs to recognize and publicize newsworthy stories in their areas. Monitors news releases sent out by the PIOs for stories of broader interest and offers constructive comments for possible improvement.
    • Helps local PIOs in dealing with, and minimizing, any negative publicity about Amateur Radio or to correct negative stories incorrectly ascribed to Amateur Radio operators.
    • Familiarizes self with ARRL Public Service Announcements (PSAs), brochures and audiovisual materials; assists PIOs in arranging air time for PSAs; helps PIOs and speakers choose and secure appropriate brochures and audiovisual materials for events
    • Works with PIOs to encourage activities that place Amateur Radio in the public eye, including demonstrations, Field Day activities, etc. and assures that sponsoring organizations are prepared to follow-up on interest generated by these activities.
    • Aids PIOs in holding PR forums and/or training events at ARRL hamfests.

     

    Work in Emergencies 

    • Helps local PIOs, and/or section designated ARES-PIOs, prepare emergency response media plans. 
    • Is familiar with the protocols and establishes relations with the lead governmental response agency in the section and their requirements for the PIC’s participation in a Joint Information Center in a larger emergency.
    • Aids PIOs and clubs in preparation and contents of PR kits containing vetted information on Amateur Radio which may be distributed in advance to local Emergency Coordinators and District Emergency Coordinators for use in dealing with the media during emergencies.
    • Should complete appropriate ICS classes to have equivalent training as required of local or section ARES volunteers.

     

    Working with section leadership

    • Advises the Section Manager on building and maintaining a positive public image for Amateur Radio in the section; keeps the SM informed of all significant events which would benefit from the SM's personal involvement and reports regularly to the SM on activities. At the request of the Section Manager, may assist with preparation of a section newsletter.
    • Encourages, organizes and will conduct a public relations forum at ARRL section conventions
    • Counsels the SM in dealing with the media and with government officials, particularly when representing the ARRL and/or Amateur Radio in a public forum.
    • Counsels the SM in dealing with the media and with government officials, particularly when representing the ARRL and Amateur Radio in a public forum.  
    • Maintains contact with other section level League officials, particularly the Section Manager and others such as the State Government Liaison, Section Emergency Coordinator, Affiliated Club Coordinator and Bulletin Manager on matters appropriate for their attention and to otherwise help to assure and promote a coordinated and cohesive ARRL Field Organization.

     

    Working with regional and HQ leaders

    • Coordinates public relations efforts for events and activities which involve more than one section, and provide input on issues of national significance before the League's Public Relations Committee for their discussion or action.
    • Informs the ARRL Media and PR Manager of any issue, which may either enhance or damage the reputation of the ARRL.

PIO & ARES

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The critical role of PIOs in working during emergencies

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