Another RAC screwup?

I heard some disturbing news at Dayton this weekend.

It was reported to me that RAC’s new honorary council has allegedly been sending threatening letters to local clubs and ARES groups questioning their legitimate use of RAC and ARES logos.

Will someone please tell this gentleman that he’s sending letters to MEMBER groups who have a right to use the logos of the association they run!

When will the group running RAC come to the understanding that they aren’t running a club but a national association and that their role as board and executive members is to serve and not govern?

Their primary customers aren’t the existing members (who are very important and who should be getting the best services for their membership dollars) but the target customers are the vast majority of Canadian hams who aren’t members. RAC has been engaging in a series of customer unfriendly actions of late and this is a doozy and it suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of how to run a national association. Members have been abandoning RAC in droves and this isn’t going to help.

BTW RAC had a booth up at Dayton this year and congratulations to President Geoff Bawden who organized this initiative. The booth looked great.

One thought for next year Geoff is take a few moments to coach the booth guys that when a member asks a director a simple question like “what’s new?” or “How many memberships have we sold at Dayton?” there’s no need to be secretive or uninformed.

The reason to be at Dayton (the world’s largest hamfest) isn’t to sell 50 or even a 100 memberships.

Heck we can do that in Canada at some of the bigger hamfests. No. It’s to wave the flag – which you did literally which was a good thing – and personally thank Canadians who attend Dayton for being members or becoming new members. Numbers don’t matter. What you’re doing is building a brand. But being secretive doesn’t fill potential members with confidence.  The guys who were talking to me weren’t impressed at all. That’s sad.

Do want to mention how warmly I was greeted by Northern Ontario director Bill Unger who was staffing the booth when I walked by. I so wish I could be back on the team but until some team members are replaced I won’t be back. And BTW Bill isn’t one of them 🙂 He has always been one of the good guys and hams in Ontario should be grateful he’s still on the executive.

BTW when it comes to using logos from a PR point of view I would have no issue if anybody wanted to use my national association’s logo in their club newsletters and blog sites whether or not they are members. Please help us advertise our association. Same thing comes to the use of the email address. Why end this program which helps attract new members and does no harm or lessen membership value for existing members?

Same thing for The Canadian Amateur. If it were up to me I’d post a PDF version for free on the RAC website (such as it is) for all to see. It’s a very good magazine.

As it is right now, we are burdened by the gang who don’t understand how they are alienating their membership base and hurting the growth of amateur radio in Canada.

If you want to read more about what’s broken at RAC and what needs fixing I’d invite you to read John Bartlett’s (Ve1OZ/HK3OZ) blog CQ CANADA . John was the VP of public relations for RAC before I was and we’ve grown to be friends over the last months.

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

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