Adult Content Warning: I am actually going to say something nice about RAC!
What? Yes it’s true. I think RAC might be working at becoming vaguely relevant.
And we can thank our new (paid) director (unelected) of communications and fund raising Vincent (Vince) Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH for the new energy around Facebook and Twitter and now Paul Burggraaf, VO1PRB, chief information and technology officer, who sent all members an electronic link to the electronic version of The Canadian Amateur which actually worked and looks terrific on screen.
Seems eTCS comes in a Flipbook version (which requires Adobe Flash Player) and if your computer can’t handle Flash a full colour Adobe PDF download will pop up.
TCA is a very good publication. Period. I was a group national magazine editor with a bunch of other editors who reported to me. I know magazines and TCA, especially when considering who publishes it (RAC) is hitting way beyond its class. I’d makes some major member-friendly changes but all-in-all it’s still pretty good as is and the colour eTCA version is way better than the old paper edition.
For the last four or five years I’ve produced more online copy about Radio Amateurs of Canada than RAC has posted. Why? Most of the old Sparkies at RAC don’t have a clue about social media, public relations and don’t even mention membership engagement.
Now we’ve got two guys who are coming out of the shadows and are posting stuff online and not just posting some crappy version of an old fashion newsletter which is printed in TCA. Ugh.
RAC still sucks but now we’ve got a couple of guys who are actually doing something new and I for one will get behind these initiatives.
Now if brain-trust at RAC (and I am being ironic) would figure out that no one becomes a RAC member just to get TCA and offer the electronic version for FREE to everyone, everywhere and then drop the awful and boring RAC-reports and write some compelling stories about RAC successes and reasons why readers should join RAC the membership would grow month after month.
BTW membership is still a disaster stuck at around 4,000 members. According to a published report by one of the RAC directors hundreds and hundreds of former members have not renewed.
So we have our membership voting with their feet and they’re voting to go elsewhere (ARRL?) where they perceive more value.
Plus, and even worse, RAC is doing little to nothing to grow the hobby. We have no national program or overall plan to bring more people into Amateur Radio. And don’t mention the word vision!
So Vincent and Paul you have your work cut out for you.
Same with you guys who are directors. It’s time to step up. Start talking to your existing members and start offering services to the overall Canadian Amateur Radio community.
What RAC has been doing for the last five years hasn’t worked.
Let’s get with the program and actually do some membership involvement projects.