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Old February 10th 18, 10:21 PM posted to,,
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Default [FOAR] How should I promote my contest?

Foundations of Amateur Radio

How should I promote my contest?

Posted: 10 Feb 2018 09:00 AM PST

Foundations of Amateur Radio The act of telling someone about something is
promoting it, not in a marketing sense, just an awareness sense. The act of
not telling someone is keeping a secret. Radio amateurs, and I have no
doubt, people who are not, like to plan things. They set-up contests,
on-air activities, organise swap-meets, build websites, write articles,
invent things, build stuff, and all manner of other amazing activities.
Some amateurs talk about what they've been up to, but most just sit
quietly, hoping that their brilliance will be discovered by someone. Of
course that rarely happens. Let's imagine a contest. It's an activity that
you'd ideally want other amateurs to participate in, talking to yourself,
on your own is like being a broadcaster and I can tell you, that's a tough
gig. A contest is about making contacts between different participating
people. So, your contest, it's going to have rules, a planned outcome, say
more QRP activity on 40m, and it's going to run at a particular time. I've
lost count of the times where that's the sum-total of effort put into
organising a contest. Of course the contest flops, since no-one knew about
it, and often that's the end of it. So, what can you do to actually get a
head start in making this contest work? For starters, you should figure
out who the audience for this contest is. If you set it up on 160m and aim
for beginners you'll have a problem, since they're not allowed on that
band. So, the audience is based on the rules of the contest and of course
one influences the other. Once you've got a defined audience, and no, all
the amateurs on the planet is not a valid audience, since by that metric
you could also say all the taxi-drivers in New York city, and while that is
a defined group, it's unlikely that you'll find much in the way of
participation in your amateur radio contest. That's not to say that there
isn't a New York cabbie who isn't also an amateur - hi - but their amateur
status is not the same as their taxi-driver status, so pick an actual
defined audience. The more defined, the better. Let's say for a moment
that your audience is amateurs who've been in the hobby less than a year
who live within 1000 km of you. Now your task is to figure out how you're
going to talk to them, what you're going to say and how you're going to
encourage them to be part of this wonderful contest. You could target the
local amateur schools, and ask them to send out an email on your behalf to
promote your contest, or you could approach the local radio clubs and ask
them to promote your thing to their new members. You could seek out local
radio nets that cater for new amateurs, you could write articles for the
local radio magazine, or you could post comments on your favourite social
media outlet. None of these things are particularly difficult, onerous or
complex, but not doing them means that your contest is doomed before it
starts. So, now you have an audience and some outlets for communication.
What do you say? I've seen contest promotions that list the frequencies
and link to the rules. That's it. Not very inspiring. I've seen promotions
that state that they're aimed at a particular audience, but the rules
indicate that you'll need to have a particular license in order to
participate because the bands or modes exclude the audience. All these
messages achieve is the opposite of promotion. People know to avoid this
contest, rather than feel inspiration to participate. So what should your
message be? First of all, it should be written one-on-one. You're
listening to me right now. The fact that there are other people also
listening is not relevant to you. Every communication is like this.
Everyone experiences communication as a message to themselves, to their
needs, emotions, desires, motivation, just me and you, talking. Of course
there are messages intended for a stage, but this is not one of them. We're
not in Wembley stadium and I'm not on stage encouraging...
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