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SBE to Renew Strategic Planning in June

New President Ralph Hogan says it’s all about ‘member benefit’

The author is president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Strategic planning at the Society of Broadcast Engineers provides direction and vision for three to five years and should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve them.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers accomplished most of the strategic goals it identified in 2006. Last year as vice president of the SBE and chair of the strategic planning committee, I approached the board of directors to provide funding and authorize the convening of a new strategic planning meeting, which will be held in 2012.

SBE University now provides online, on-demand courses in topics such as broadcast audio processing, AM antenna computer modeling and FM transmission systems.

The meeting in 2006 resulted in many services members now enjoy as a part of society membership. The SBE hired an experienced meeting facilitator to manage that meeting; 34 members attended and represented 24 chapters. The meeting included 11 of the 17 SBE board members, all national officers and three members of the national office staff.

The attendees represented the wide scope of opinions, geographic origins and backgrounds that comprise the SBE membership. Many chapters sponsored the travel for their representatives and held their own discussions to prepare. The time commitment was significant since the session was scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including a short break for lunch.

The result was a lively and productive discourse and a strong consensus on the focus of the SBE for the next three to five years.


In order to plan, promote and execute another strategic planning session properly, the SBE is planning for the next event in June of 2012.

As with the last several such sessions, the SBE leadership recommends that chapter chairs or their representatives attend, as well as all members of the board, national committee chairs and a number of the staff. The planning meeting will again be held in conjunction with the June Executive Committee Meeting in Indianapolis. Held in the middle of the country, the planning session is more likely to attract chapter representatives who do not have to travel completely from one coast to another.

A facilitator will lead us through the strategic planning session. This is a most effective way to develop an objective result.

One difference from previous strategic planning events is that a portion of the time be spent with the group developing specific recommendations by the end of the day. In the past, due at least partly to time constraints, specific recommendations were left to the Strategic Planning Committee to do as a followup to the meeting.

I encourage anyone interested to work with your chapters to start discussions now on what direction and initiatives the society should focus on in the next five years.


The enhanced education program of the SBE is an outgrowth of one of the 2006 planning goals and has become a much-valued resource to the member community.

In an education survey conducted to find out members interest, 96.6 percent of respondents said that continuing education is important to them.

The SBE is raising the bar by providing relevant, affordable education to its members using various instructional methods. These programs are designed to help broadcast engineers keep up with the ever-changing demands of the job and the industry.

The SBE University provides online, on-demand courses. Over a dozen live and online webinars are provided through the Webinars by SBE program. The Leadership Development course provides a three-day challenge that helpsyou to refine your leadership skills as you better understand and improve how you interact with others. Ennes workshops bring affordable education to members and allow topics of interest be delivered locally through one-day events.

The newest educational category is the society’s Technical Presenters Group. At the cost of a reasonable fee plus travel expenses, state broadcasters associations, broadcasting companies, SBE chapters and others have the opportunity to include one of these speakers in their engineering conferences or as a trainer for their engineering staffs. Speakers from the SBE Technical Presenters Group generally are available to speak across the country.

The idea of member benefit has been the focus of the board for the past few years; everything the SBE does is held against the member benefit test. The Society of Broadcast Engineers exists to serve the membership. If you are concerned with the direction and viability of the society, stay tuned for further information about the June 2012 strategic planning meeting.

Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNT, is director of engineering for KJZZ(FM), KBAQ(FM) and SunSounds of Arizona, in Tempe, Ariz., and was recently elected SBE president.

Radio World provides space to SBE several times a year for updates on its activities. We welcome comments on this or any article to [email protected].