noun: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior; also : exchange of information.
In the amateur radio service, communication is what we do. Whether it is by handheld radio or an HF radio or anything in between, we are in the business of communication. Thanks to Merriam-Webster’s definition of communication above, it is important to grasp that communication involves both a process and an exchange. If we call CQ on HF or announce our callsign on a local repeater and we do not get a response, we are not communicating. All parties involved in communication require an agreed process and a common language (symbols/signs/behavior) in order for the exchange to be successful. Take out any element of process, exchange, or the system of language and we are left with no communication.
The PRA, as a membership driven organization, is not exempt from ensuring that communication happens with a regular cadence. What if we simply did not announce our special events or monthly meetings? What if committees did not regularly meet or have an agreed process to exchange information on their activities or progress on projects? Frankly, confusion and frustration sets in because assumptions and guessing-games of intent would dominate. Just like getting on the air, communication requires the process to which the exchange between individual(s) are actually executed in order to be successful.
One of the beautiful characteristics of the PRA membership is that we are diverse group from a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and professional experiences. Some members are in college, some members are retired; some are executives, some are programmers, while others are doctors and lawyers. Some are young and others are young at heart. What is at the core of this wide range of backgrounds and experiences is the common desire for consistent communication from the PRA as a organization, and from our fellow members and hams when we are on the air or meeting in committees, or planning special events. At the same time, too, as a member-driven organization, when we feel there is a lack of understanding or a of feeling “out of the loop,” may we have the bravery to step up, speak up, and ask for that clarity so that the communication process ensures that a 5NN or 59+20db exchange report happens.
Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association