Welcome to the ARRL Southeastern Division’s Website

The Southeastern Division encompasses the Alabama, Georgia, Northern Florida, Southern Florida, West Central Florida, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands Sections and has the largest number of members of the ARRL’s fifteen Divisions.

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What is Your Goal?

What is your purpose in publishing a story about an event, activity; past, current, or future? We often put pen to paper about something that has or will happen and in our passion and excitement fail to put the icing on the cake. We fail by neglecting consider why we are writing the article, producing a video, or making an audio tape.

The moments we take to organize our motivation for writing an article can seem like a waste of time or maybe seeking an answer to an elusive question. The “Why we are writing,” should not be the personal reason that we write but the goal oriented responses wish to achieve. What are you attempting to change in your audience? What do you want them to know? How can you make this information important to the reader?

If I were to write an article to publicize “Field Day” there would be at least two basic articles, one directed to active hams and one to non or inactive hams. Both articles would have the same basis of the what, when, and where, but the “Why” of the two messages would be very different. An article directed to the local active ham community would focus on the purpose of “Filed Day” and the benefit to the amateur radio community of conducting a Filed Day. That benefit would of course include putting a good face on ham radio for the local community but would also would include the need to dress well, have greeters to assist visitors to navigate Field Day and to understand ham radio.

No field day is complete without food, good food and given the time of the year it is an opportunity to dust off the grill, get a fresh bag of charcoal or fill a propane tank. Nothing like the smell of food drifting thru a field day site to encourage folks to stay a little longer and look a little further into Ham Radio. GOTA stations and displays just put the icing on the cake but we need someone to share our cake with.

Filed day without visitors is just an afternoon experimenting with the simple antennas and complicated radios in the great outdoors! What can we say to attract visitors to our ham radio field day site? How about asking them to join us on Field Day and share the fun of a growing hobby. They will meet their ham radio neighbors, enjoy some food and have fun. They would meet the amateur radio operators that in times of emergency are prepared to provide emergency communications for your community. We would ask them to bring children to ham radio field day. Take an opportunity to introduce their children to a hobby that is interesting, fun and, educational, a hobby they can share with their parents.

The basic process of tailoring a message to a particular audience involves understanding the reasons the particular group would have an interest in ham radio and tailoring the message to answer their questions. One question a local elected leader might have is, “How many people will be there?” Politicians not only like to shake hands they love to make promises. Fine by me, let them shake hands with the ham radio community and make us a few promises that they may not keep but. Reminding the politicians of previous promises is better than begging.

After you get the needed information together, structure the message, determined who your audience will be, set your message objectives, you have one more thought process to accomplish before you publish your message. How do you reach your audience. News Papers, Radio, TV, personal message or …? I will answer that question next week.

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Help Wanted PICs and PIOs needed

Although the position of Public Information Officer (PIO)  is thought of as a club level position, any amateur radio group that engages in organized activities should have a PIO. The PIO should be responsible for for both internal and external information programs. In our ever changing world that is becoming driven by electronic media the PIO officer should be comfortable with publishing information in the WEB environment. It is more important that a PIO bring energy and passion to the opportunity than journalism experience.

The position of Public Information Coordinator (PIC) is responsible for the coordination and development of the information programs in the state. The most important quality that a PIC can bring to the job is energy and passion. Skills will be developed by those that approach the job with the desire to promote amateur radio both to those in the hobby and to the public.

It more important to recruit an individual that is willing to work than to hold out for a perfect candidate. A person working in the position can learn the unique lessons that shape the PIC or PIOs work in their area, training can be taken but we need people in the jobs. It is recommended that an Electronic media PIO be appointed to handle the WEB related activities for a Section.

The following job descriptions for the PIC and PIO jobs represent the ideal candidate. To view the complete job description go to http://www.arrl.org/pio-pic-job-descriptions

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.

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.

For more information contact, Ed Tyler – N4EDT@arrl.net

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