Get Connected. The Association of Cable Communicators (ACC), formerly the Cable Television Public Affairs Association (CTPAA), is the only national, professional organization specifically addressing the issues, needs and interests of the cable industry's communications and public affairs professionals. Since its inception, the organization has provided its members with professional development opportunities to help them succeed in a fast-paced and dynamic industry.
ACC was founded in 1985 by a small group of cable communications and public affairs professionals who gathered at an industry trade show in Denver to discuss the evolving role of public relations. The outcome was the development of a network of experienced industry leaders who shared ideas and developed strategies on how to communicate industry issues and develop a positive image for their companies in the communities they served.
Early on in its history, ACC began offering its members educational opportunities through FORUM, a national, three-day conference that brings members and industry colleagues together to share information and strengthen their communications and public affairs skills. Attendees share best practices, learn about new industry trends, and discuss communications issues that impact their organizations.
The organization also saw a need to encourage excellence in communications and public affairs by honoring exemplary work throughout the cable industry. This led to the creation of the Crystal Awards, an annual competition that recognizes the best of the best. In 1993 ACC renamed the Crystal Awards as the Beacon Awards®. Beacon Award® winners achieve peer, industry and local market recognition for their outstanding work while setting a standard for their colleagues to emulate.
Meeting the professional development needs of cable communications and public affairs professionals have always been at the core of ACC's mission. In 2004 the association established the CTPAA Public Affairs Institute, now renamed the ACC Communications Institute. It is an intensive, three-day, graduate-level program that extends member views on issue management, message development and delivery while deepening their strategic appreciation for the overall role communications and public affairs can play within a company.
At FORUM 2005, ACC celebrated its 20th anniversary, and the conference reflected the changes that the association and the industry have undergone over these two decades. From Phone Booths to Roundtables, CTPAA Celebrates Twenty Years... provides an in-depth review of the association's founding and first 20 years serving the professional and educational needs of cable public affairs executives.
In late 2006 the organization's Board of Directors unanimously approved a number of strategic actions designed to broaden the organization's impact, expand its membership base and better serve the cable industry. The changes included renaming the 22-year-old organization the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC), reflecting the group's expanded emphasis and distinct role as the only association dedicated to raising the level of performance and professionalism for all cable industry communications executives, no longer limiting itself to public affairs practitioners alone. The wide range of telecommunications services available to consumers has increased competition and heightens the importance of effective communications across multiple business areas for programmers, cable operators and industry suppliers. The "new" Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) will help industry communicators develop the skills necessary to deliver the best external and internal messaging across all media and technology platforms.