Amateur Radio Promotional and Outreach Ideas

We’ve recently been asked to give some thought to new ways for clubs to promote the hobby to non-amateurs, and how to encourage amateurs who aren’t affiliated to their local club, to become active club members. We thought it may be helpful to share some of our ideas with the rest of the ham radio community, just in case there’s a gem of an idea in there somewhere:

Recruiting at Field Days

The busier ham radio clubs run regular field days. Some events are “club socials” where members meet up and get on-air, and some are aimed at promoting the hobby to non-amateurs.

At Essex Ham events, any member of the public who expresses an interest, gets a “what is amateur radio” leaflet and a business card. Where possible, we get them in the chair sending a Greetings message. That seems to work pretty well for us, and we’ve picked up quite a few Foundation licensees that way.

Make sure you have a good stock of leaflets (the RSGB may be able to help), and all club attendees are briefed on what to say to potential newcomers about what the hobby offers and how to get involved.

Recruiting at Outreach events

Where a club gets invited to, or involved with, a public event, then there is certainly scope for promoting the hobby and encouraging people to try their hand at Foundation. Suitable leaflets is obviously a must, as is making sure your display area is open and appealing. Possible events where there is likely to be public footfall include:

  • Village / Town / County Fairs & Shows
  • Museums on the Air
  • Windmills / Lighthouses / Railways / Churches On The Air
  • Railways on the Air
  • Public Open Days
  • JOTA / TDOTA / Scouting / Guide events

All of the above seem sensible possible targets for recruiting or raising awareness.

Recruiting at Affiliated venues

There’s potentially an opportunity to at least get some literature at some of the various locations that hams use annually, such as:

  • All of the windmills / museums / churches / lighthouses / railways activated
  • Every venue / village hall / scout hut / community centre used by clubs

Even a poster or flyer on the noticeboard, or a handful of leaflets at of all of the above could bring in some interest

Other Recruiting Avenues:

  • Could your club arrange a talk at the various local U3A branches, or at organisations such as Men In Sheds or within the maker community?
  • Could your club get involved with Scout & Guide groups in your area? (Encouraging Foundation, and more JOTA?)
  • Could you increase membership and interest by setting up your club as an RSGB Brickworks club?
  • Can your club raise awareness of the hobby via local press and local radio features and interviews

RSGB Initiatives:

We were also asked to give some thoughts to how the RSGB could support local clubs. Our thoughts included:

  • RSGB organising multi-club events (such as the succussful Skills Night / Suffolk RED formats)
  • RSGB activities – Foxhunt? Social Nights? Train the Clubs (like “Train the Trainers”)
  • RSGB stations set up for national events (for example National Field Days, World Amateur Radio Days, etc
  • RSGB attending further education/careers events
  • RSGB raising the profile of the hobby via local press and local radio features and interviews
  • More comms to clubs and amateurs, and perhaps a regional newsletter?

Hopefully a few ideas and thoughts for clubs looking for ideas on how to raise awareness, help newcomers into the hobby, and grow membership.

If you have any ideas we’ve missed, please add them below.

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