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SBE: Outreach and Strategy in 2013

President Ralph Hogan provides an update on several organization initiatives

Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, is president of the Society for Broadcast Engineers.

Ralph Hogan, SBE president The Society of Broadcast Engineers held a strategic planning session in June of 2012 that resulted in several initiatives for the society to explore. In October the board of directors met again and set an action item to form a number of task groups to cultivate items identified by the board from the strategic plan.

The task groups were charged with developing a plan or proposal for the board to review at its April 2013 meeting in Las Vegas. In January, Strategic Planning Taskforce Chairs were appointed by the SBE president.

The task group chairs have been working on plans for their respective areas of responsibility, and they provided reports at the April SBE board of directors meeting.

Tim Anderson, CPBE, DRB, CBNT, of Harris Broadcast, who chairs of the SBE Membership Committee, has pulled together a task group to look at who our members should be.

The task group’s objective is to identify who the members of the society should or could be, and then to reach out to prospective members, understanding that technology and other factors continue to change the roles members play and the skill sets they are expected to have.

They are also looking at making a reinvigorated effort to attract youth to broadcasting, as part of an official outreach program.

The Membership and Outreach to Youth Task Group reported they had recruited committee members and were working via telephone conference calls on developing strategies for obtaining additional information on potential members.

Meanwhile, Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, of Texas A&M University, chairs the SBE Education Committee, which is looking at increasing support to chapters through chapter leadership training.

The Education Committee plans to present one or more webinars geared toward helping members understand what goes into running a chapter. The committee has asked Barry Thomas to take the lead on this effort.

The goal is to release a webinar this year that might include these topics: Officer positions required by National, financing the chapter and managing the chapter bank account, governance, chapter administration, the structure of a meeting, program recruitment and what makes a good program, meeting location and time, and nominating committee and recruiting volunteers.

John Heimerl, CPBE, of WHRO(TV/FM), chairs the SBE Awards Committee. It was charged last year with the task of revamping the SBE National Awards Program to involve more participants. The committee developed a proposal for a coordinated plan to create a “Chapter Engineer of the Year” award for each SBE chapter.

The proposal was approved by the board on Feb. 11. The plan provides national support through application forms and guidance on selection standards, while allowing individual chapters to determine their own method of selection.

There will be national recognition for “Chapter Engineers of the Year” in The Signal, the SBE’s member publication. Chapter recipients automatically will be entered into consideration for the national Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award.

As before, individuals may still be nominated for the national award by other SBE members. This allows for circumstances where a member is not able to be associated with a specific chapter.

This will be the first year for the new process. The specific goal is to raise awareness of both chapters and individuals. The committee expects to measure success this summer and present any adjustments needed to the board in the fall for future years.

Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB of Meredith Corp. and SBE vice president, has assembled a group to look at branding of the SBE, at how the society brands itself to reflect changes in technology and other factors that continue to change the roles its members play and the skill sets they are expected to have.

John Poray, SBE executive director, has contributed a timeline with milestones toward the goal, which is that this committee can issue its report to the board for possible consideration and action in October.

While the committee feels the timeline is achievable, they are also aware that the subject of branding the society is not one to be taken lightly.

Chris Imlay, CBT, the society’s longtime general counsel, and I are co-chairs of the SBE’s planned 50th anniversary celebration in 2014. We are assembling a task group that will develop a proposal for the board’s consideration that will use this unique opportunity to demonstrate to the industry and the public the significance of member contributions to broadcasting.

Some of the items likely be included in the celebration will be a special anniversary logo and slogan, the development of national and local commemorative events designed to involve as many SBE members as possible and a commemorative token.

The task group plans to create an historical timeline that depicts major events in the history of the SBE since 1964 and publish historical articles in The Signal that represent the five decades of SBE’s history.

With the blessing of the SBE board of directors, taskforce chairs are developing proposals that will implement many of the strategic plan initiatives. Taskforce chairs will provide another update on their progress during the next SBE Executive Committee meeting in June.