Hello: How to Market Amateur Radio

The ARRL has launched the Hello publicity campaign for amateur radio. The major theme is being able to communicate with distant people via radio. A 4-page pamphlet is available in pdf format, written for the general public.

From the ARRL web site:

NEWINGTON, CT, Mar 15, 2006–The first components of the ARRL’s “Hello” Amateur Radio public relations campaign now are available. “This campaign will give hams the tools they need to reach out in their communities to non-hams and influence their perception of Amateur Radio,” says ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, who conceived the campaign and is its principal Headquarters contact. The “Hello” campaign is aimed at recasting Amateur Radio in the light of the 21st century and focus on its universal appeal. At the same time, it will mark the 100th anniversary of what many historians consider the first voice radio broadcast in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden.

The ARRL has done a good job of putting together a professional marketing campaign. The Hello Radio web site and brochure are well done and deliver on the message of having fun with radio. The one thing that the site doesn’t really emphasize is the emergency communications angle for ham radio. There is a pdf file that discusses ARES, but its format and message is lacking. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Asia, I would expect this to be a major message for a ham radio marketing program. I suspect that this will improve over time as the program rolls out.

On the other hand, there are several public service announcements on the ARRL site that tell the emergency service story quite well. Listen to the audio PSAs by clicking here: Ham Radio Works, Hello Radio, and Hurricane Katrina.

Oh, and don’t forget to get your Hello Radio bumper sticker from the ARRL store.

73, Bob K0NR

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