ARRL CEO Howard/WB2ITX Speaks

The new CEO of the ARRL, Howard Michel /WB2ITX spoke at the Ham Radio University event on January 5, 2019. The video below is worth watching to hear Howard’s thoughts on the role of the ARRL. The first 26 minutes are good, but the Q&A session that follows suffers from no audio coverage of the audience.

HRU keynote speaker 1-5-2019 from autocrime1 on Vimeo.

I think Howard has a tough job ahead of him, leading the ARRL through the start of its Second Century, including some long overdue reinvention. He stated that the ARRL has three roles that must remain in balance: A Membership Association, a Business and a 501c3 Charity. This is an important point that not everyone understands.

Howard also talked about the need for a three-way partnership between ARRL members, local clubs and ARRL staff. This partnership is currently weak and needs an overhaul. Lots of opportunity to improve here and tap into the power of volunteer members and clubs.

The slide below shows the lack of success in attracting new hams to become ARRL members. Howard said “something is wrong with the value proposition.”

The ARRL is not attracting enough new hams into ARRL membership.

This next slide drives the point home that the makeup of ARRL members is very different than the general ham population. The slide is hard to see in my graphic but ARRL members are mostly Extra class and General Class licensees and only a small slice of Technicians. The non-members are dominated by Technician licensees. In some ways, this shouldn’t be a surprise…you’d expect ARRL members to more active in the hobby with a tendency toward obtaining higher class licenses. I don’t recall ever seeing this data before.

ARRL members predominantly hold Extra class licenses, non-members are predominantly Technicians.

Howard talked briefly about some work that is being done to analyze the “Spectrum of Hams.” This seems like a clumsy name to me, but it’s really just classic market segmentation work aimed at understanding groups of users. You clump together users or customers that have similar needs so you can do a better job of serving them. Done correctly, this is important and fundamental work required to enable a customer-driven strategy. OK, I said customer driven, in the ARRL context I should probably say member driven. Same idea. Very important and very fundamental.

Now, the resulting model may be wrong. Someone once said: All models are wrong, some are useful. You build this kind of model, test it, fix it, make it better. Sometimes the insight you get doing the work is actually more important than the model produced. I believe the ARRL has been missing this kind of strategic analysis.

A market segmentation for radio hams.

I am quite encouraged about what Howard is saying. I think he is poking in the right areas and applying the right set of tools. This will be difficult change management for the ARRL, so I don’t expect it will come easy or quickly. But it’s a start.

What do you think?

73 Bob K0NR


The post ARRL CEO Howard/WB2ITX Speaks appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “ARRL CEO Howard/WB2ITX Speaks”

  • Walt N5EQY:

    ARRL desperately NEEDS to get off :deadcenter: thinking, times they are changing. Membership is hard to keep when the member is looked down on solely as a source of revenue. There has to be “the mission”. That mission has to be defined and applied to EVERY member, regardless of class or age. Its a club of members and must be seen as such from the inside and the outside, by the members and by the ARRL. No one has ever successfully gotten everyone to agree on everything, but ya gotta maintain cohesiveness and camaraderie and purpose.My idea is to give every member a reason to want to be a member and then fulfill that reason by being the mentor and offer the guidance. Teamwork people, is the key.

  • Arne K5ARN:

    Howard showed another slide that was alarming to me. Percentage of ARRL members of total hams over time. Looks not good!
    I recommend to watch the presentation!

  • Vlasta OK1DNQ:

    It is not problem only in USA. It is problems have many ham radio organisations. Thanks for presentation, Howard.

  • Frank ka2ufp:

    …LACK OF RESPECT AND SUPPORT…Former OO Official Observer LAID OFF Rather FIRED…SENT BLOW ME OFF NOTICE …. NO Investigating NEVER Done …. WHY BE BULLIED, HARASSED, INFLUENCED, INSULTED …. PHONE CONTACTED ARRL WITH OO INFORMATION AND SENT NUMEROUS RECORDINGS OF INDIVIDUAL with THAT NEVER IDs and arrl never investigated or forwarded information to FCC…NO FOLLOW UP WAS DONE…MANY BULLY, HARASSMENT E MAIL AND ON AIR THREATS…PLENTY U TUBE AUDIO SUPPORT… .RECEIVED 34 E – MAILS FROM individual AND POST WAS MADE ON ARRL FB site NOV 2016 AND followed my station for ARGUEMENT…ARRL DESTROYED MY HOBBY FROM LACK OF RESPECT AND SUPPORT…Told by ceo to Discuss HARASSMENT at Next Step on MY Own…MY name isnt G its GREG…SC ooc said CALL LOCAL PD …. phone call ended with a hang up what ppl skills by a ooc …. ARRL STOP SENDING MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL APPLICATIONS…Blue shirt, Hands Palms Up, Organization Only Busy at Photo Shoots and asking Hams for a IRA Contribution…$49 TO PURCHASE BLUE SHIRTS AND CAMERA FILM…YOU SHOULD BE SHAME OF YOURSELVES…Hey arrl this X CUSTOMER DEMANDS A REFUND…My Receipt is Listed here…

  • Frank ka2ufp:

    …HARASSED with 34 e-mails after OO card sent to daniel couture w3jkc, along with DAILY intentional, and deliberate interference to my communication…hear a daily recording of my voice with callsign 7.200…

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