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Letter to the ARRL... by W6LG - Jim Heath Youtube Elmer

Discussion in 'Videos and Podcasts' started by KI5MIT, Mar 30, 2021.

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  1. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A free year membership for everyone that get's a new license? That sounds expensive. It may also leave people with the impression that the magazine is of little value if it's just mailed out for nothing.

    People don't always value what has been gifted to them. If the ARRL mails out magazines to people that are new entries to the FCC database then people might see that magazine as junk mail. If the ARRL sends magazines to VE teams to give out as rewards for passing the exam then the person can see the magazine as something they earned. The immediacy of the getting the magazine for passing the exam connects the "competition" with the "trophy". I'm no expert on magazines but I understand that it's quite common for a magazine printing to have many surplus printed for a number of reasons. This is a sunk cost and mailing them out to VE teams with testing materials would likely cost them little more. A fairly recent issue of an ARRL magazine as a reward for passing one's exam would, in my mind, be more likely to be read than if it showed up weeks (months?) later in one's mailbox.

    I suspect most people, especially children, take their tests in the summer at festivals and such while schoolchildren are on summer break and parents are taking a vacation. The ARRL could have an annual special edition for this "reward" which can still be their usual mailing to members but the content is hyper-focused on the newest newbie. As this is a recruiting tool the ARRL can make this a larger than usual edition with reprints of noted articles from the previous year. Long time members would be encouraged to offer this issue to others to read, people that may not yet be licensed.

    To find this membership as having value the member should see something lost to what was gained. If there was no work or money put into it then it can lose its value. Separation in time from when they had the loss to when they see the gain can mean what was gained has lost value.

    Again I'm speculating on the matter of surplus magazines but if this is the case then the ARRL can use this surplus to get people to try it out. There's a marginal cost for each additional magazine and I expect that given the expense on creating the content is a sunk cost the marginal cost in each additional magazine is small. The postage for mailing them may be more than what the magazine costs. Offering surplus magazines at festivals for free is a tactic I've seen before, and maybe the ARRL does this already. Offering them to people that pass their licensing exam can be a good tactic, with spring/summer special "newbie" edition or not. Maybe offer a random, or not so random, surplus issue to people that request it by phone, e-mail, or on the web. If it's mailed for free there's still "work" on the person receiving it so it's less likely to be just tossed out with the junk mail if it shows up sometime after they get their FCC call sign.

    I like the general idea, and I hope someone from the ARRL is reading this. I agree with others here that a free year membership is going to be both quite expensive and devalues the products and services. A bit of a compromise is to offer a single issue, and to make them "work" for it make it something they get immediately after passing an exam or from making an explicit request.
    WQ4G and N2EY like this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    @WQ4G , @AC0GT - here's an idea.....

    Suppose ARRL were to send every new ham a "welcome package" consisting of 1 paper issue of QST (doesn't have to be the current issue, as long as it's a recent one) and a 6 or 12 month nonvoting digital membership (no paper QST, just access to the members-only parts of the website, including QST in digital form).

    The welcome package and digital membership would be a one-time cost.

    I seem to remember that, way back in 1967, when I was first licensed, ARRL sent me a free copy of QST as a welcome-to-amateur-radio thing. Just one copy, and it wasn't the current one. But it did the trick.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    K1APJ, KF5KWO, WQ4G and 1 other person like this.
  3. WQ4G

    WQ4G Ham Member QRZ Page


    I think that is an excellent idea... As Kurt pointed out (above), sending an issue of QST every month could take a pretty good bite out of the ARRL's budget. But, the cost of one free copy of QST and a digital membership would help keep cost down AND go along way towards attracting new 'paying' members.

    A few days ago I went on Youtube poking around for fun stuff to watch. First thing that popped up was an advertisement (commercial) for a 'Ham Radio prep class.' The ad highlighted some of the value that Amateur Radio holds for personal, emergency, and off grid communications. I was pretty impressed with the ad (despite the fact that I hate commercials). There are a lot of people out there that don't even know what Amateur Radio is. I think a few well placed and well planned TV, Radio, and/or Internet commercials would go a long way toward attracting new people to Amateur Radio AND the ARRL...

    KF5KWO likes this.
  4. KI4ZUQ

    KI4ZUQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    NIH = Not Invented Here
    Meaning: "The idea has no merit if we/I did not think it up in the first place." Most organizations employ the NIH phenomenon. Applies to individuals as well.
    KE0GXN and N2EY like this.
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hams are history romantics where someone stands up on a soapbox, delivers a speech, and people rally immediately to a cause. The important part was having listeners to the speech who were capable of marching forward with the idea du jour. Rabble rousing hams may make the best speech ever made on BUT there are almost no young minions to march forth.

    Thus these ham radio "calls to action" are like the Macbeth line about life " is a tale told by an idiot (HAM), full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
  6. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was going to look at the video weeks ago but the title and the image of the guy pointing his finger at the camera made me suspect it was a rant and I decided to do something else for a while. Then I forgot all about it - good thing.
    W4LJ, N2EY and K0UO like this.
  7. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds political to me!

    Now that we're keeping politics off of QRZ, so I don't have to watch the video or listen to the League's response. HI

    That gives me more time to get on a Air and make contacts.

    73 from "The K0UO Rhombic Antenna Farm"
    W4LJ and KI4ZUQ like this.
  8. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    10 meter E-skip has been very good for the past two days!
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The way around "not invented here" syndrome is to lead a person to conclude something so they think they thought up the idea. It's a tactic used in "push polls", which is apparently effective. Because there are rules that make it more difficult to call people to advocate for a position there are people that will call under the guise of a poll. Polling people is still allowed, though still restricted. A "push poll" is less about getting information from people and more about giving information to them. The pollster will make some statement, either a fact or some opinion that is claimed to be a fact, and then ask what the person thinks of this. By asking leading questions the pollster is attempting to convince someone to take a certain position on the topic.

    I'm reminded of a line from the show The West Wing which went something like, "It's amazing what you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." In this episode the people in the White House wanted something big done, and make sure the President got the credit since this was supposed to be his "legacy" from his time in office. At some point the people realized they'd likely get more people on board if the idea was not attached to the President. I don't recall what it was they wanted done. Say what you will about the politics of the show they did make some interesting observations on human behavior in nearly every episode.
    N2EY and KI4ZUQ like this.
  10. KI5ONL

    KI5ONL Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a waste of time. Public drama is no way to try to change an organization. I am sure someone who claims such "stature" could have handled this within the organization. Right now the ARRL is all we have to represent us, whether we agree with its politics or not. Beating it down accomplishes nothing. People will view this who are on the cusp of joining the ARRL and say the hell with it.
    N2EY and WG7X like this.

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