John E. Phillips, recipient of the 2012 POMA/ASA Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award
"Hey World's Greatest!"
Outdoor writers, magazine editors and PR folks know that enthusiastic greeting well. Most have heard it through the phone more than a few times, often when John E. Phillips has had a new idea to help that person or his company make a little extra money.
One of the most prolific writers in the hunting/fishing industry, Phillips is an idea person like few others. However, Bubba, as Phillips is best known by industry friends, doesn't just have ideas. He carries them to completion and often makes them work. Unlike too many of us in the same industry, Bubba also stays ahead of the curve as the media world continues to changes. He's putting out e-books and promoting them on Pinterest while the rest of us are just trying to figure out what those things are.
Last night at the ICAST New Products Showcase preview reception, Phillips was presented the 2012 POMA/ASA Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award. I cannot think of a more qualified recipient for an award that "recognizes a journalist who exemplifies, the spirit, dedication to fishing, extraordinary talent, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of sportfishing communicators as displayed by outdoor journalist legend Homer Circle, AKA Uncle Homer, during his storied career."
Bubba's productivity is incomprehensible to me. He's published tens of thousands of magazine, newspaper and Internet articles and photos, plus 42 books, along with working at times as an editor, lecturer and radio host, to name a few things. More importantly, though, Bubba is a friend to everyone in the industry, views fellow writers as colleagues not competitors, and is the first to offer advice or help to any young communicator who will receive it.
I've benefited from Bubba's advice on several occasions. In fact, when he learned that I was leaving my steady job as an editor to write full-time more than 15 years ago he was quick to call me, both with a strong dose of reality and with sound, practical direction if that really was what I wanted to do. I had no doubts about God's direction for my career or about his provision, but I valued Bubba's advice and appreciated his frank and well qualified warnings.
Most folks in the industry have their own "Bubba help" stories.
The Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award is cosponsored by the American Sportfishing Association, which puts on the ICAST show, and the Professional Outdoor Media Association, a professional association in the traditional outdoor sports industry.