Public Information Officer (PIO)
Class, Part 1

Suellene Petersen, K6CPA
Greg Waters, KJ6OUI

One of Suellene Petersen's, K6CPA, main interests is in assisting fellow Hams in "how to get our message about Amateur Radio out to the public."  This is the core theme of the Workshop that she will teach at Pacificon, 2016.  The morning session runs Saturday between the hours of 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and will be repeated from 12:30 PM - 5:00 PM.

The workshop constitutes Part 1 of her class, The Public Information Officer (PR- 101 VS. 2).  The first four modules of that class will be taught in this workshop both in the morning session and again in the afternoon session. Participants may register for all four modules, but have the choice of sitting for them in either session.  People who complete one or more modules (in either session) will receive credit that can be applied towards certification when all modules for the course have been completed.  Information about Part 2 will be given during the workshop.

See below for information on:
  • Class Outline
  • Registration
  • Certification
  • Handout material to download and bring to class
  • Links to further information

Suellene Petersen, K6CPA
Suellene Petersen is married to Stephen C. Petersen, A6CP, and they live in a redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  She is a retired CPA and was the General Manager of the Press-Banner newspaper in Scotts Valley, CA. She also devotes much of her time to promoting the interest of Amateur Radio in as many ways as possible.  She is a Public Information Coordinator for ARRL's Pacific Division, Santa Clara Valley Section, and she has a very strong desire to assist Hams that are interested in public relations to become Public Information Officers.  She also practices as a PIO for University of California-Santa Cruz Amateur Radio Club (UCSCARC), Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club (SCCARC), and the Santa Cruz VE Group (for which she and her husband are VEs.)   Suellene is also a past President of SCCARC.

Greg Waters, KJ6OUI
Greg Waters, KJ6OUI, has been an amateur extra class since 2014 and licensed since 2011. He resides in Fresno, California where he is currently employed with BICC of Fresno as a Behavior Analyst. Greg has been serving as a public information officer for San Joaquin Valley region since 2013 and he is also an active member of Fresno County Emcomm ARES/RACES/SATERN/SKYWARN. Greg is always active in seeking out new potential ham operators as demonstrated by Greg’s article, “FAME in Fresno — A Success Story in Recruiting New Hams” that was featured in QST’s September 2016 publication. He endorses the use of amateur radio in the off road community and belongs to many off road clubs. Greg has an MBA and attended grad school for psychology at the University of Pacific. Greg has BA in Psychology and minor in Sociology. He also earned his Paramedic license, which is no longer current.

Class Outline
The content covered for the four modules taught in Part 1 is as follows:

Module 1 - The PIO and PR
  • What is PR?
  • Understand the role of Public Relations in Amateur Radio
  • Properly identify the target of ARRL PR efforts
  • Influencing the public's perception of Amateur Radio
  • What is a PIO and what a PIO is not
Module 2 - Job Expectations
  • Understand the responsibilities that go with being an ARRL PIO
  • Job description - PIC
  • Job description - PIO
  • Learn about the resources made available to PIOs and how to secure them for your own use 
Module 3 - Building Relationships
  • Gathering Information
  • Introductory letters
  • One sheet self promotions
Module 4 - Types of Media
  • Identify several types of news media and potential outlets
  • Understand the changes happening in news media
  • Discuss the need to customize materials for the targeted outlet
  • Know about the basic information sheets available for PIOs
  • Briefly discuss viral networking & social media
Please preregister for this class to ensure your seat. If you are unable to preregister, walk-ins will be accepted while space is available. Please arrive early to sign in.

The attendees may attend morning or afternoon, both if they want to repeat, or some modules in the morning and the others in the afternoon.  The scheduling is meant to be flexible to allow people to also select other forums that might have a time conflict with our workshop classes. At the end of the day, however, you must have completed all 4 modules to receive full credit for Part 1 of the training. If you must miss one class, speak to Suellene privately about makeup possibilities.

To preregister, click here. When registering, please select the morning or afternoon session, reflecting when you will attend the majority of the modules.

Certification of Course Completion
Credit will be given for each module completed that will count towards Certification of Course Completion, which can be earned at the completion of both Part 1 and Part 2. There are a total of 13 modules in the entire course; 4 in Part 1 and 9 in Part 2. A final exam is also required for certification of course completion, which is given at the end of Part 2.

Information regarding the timing and location of Part 2 will be announced during the workshop. Notification that the candidates have successfully completed the PIO training course will be forwarded to their Section Manager. These successful candidates may then apply to their Section Manager for a PIO appointment.

ARRL membership is not required to attend this class, but you must be an ARRL member to receive ARRL PIO certification.

Handout Material
The following material should be downloaded and reviewed prior to the class. Please bring copies to class.
List of Items to Download for Use in Class (Microsoft Word format)

Further Information
The following links provide further information helpful to ARRL Public Information Officers.
Download Instructions for Microsoft Word documents:
1. Click on one of the links above that are in Microsoft Word format.
2. The document will open in a Google Docs web page.
3. On the top menu bar, click the down-pointing arrow icon.
4. Save the file to your hard drive.
5. Open the file on your hard drive and print it.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the other document.