October 8, 2004 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2005 / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:
Comcast Employees Contribute 180,000 Volunteer Hours
Only 56 Days to the 2005 Beacon Awards Deadline!
Nickelodeon Goes Dark So Kids Will Play
New Best Practices in Cable Public Affairs Online
C-SPAN School Bus Visits Miami for Debate Education
CTPAA Members Recognized in Collaborative Marketing Competition
NCTA Highlights Cable's Political Coverage
SCTE Seminar Will Teach Technology to Nontechnical Managers
Judge the 2005 Beacon Awards
Congratulations Kim Roden!
Thank You Corporate Members!

 Comcast Employees Contribute 180,000 Volunteer Hours
This past weekend, 30,000 Comcast employees across the country volunteered 180,000 hours of service in the fourth annual Comcast Cares Day. Employees worked on diverse local projects that ranged from painting schools and landscaping community parks to stocking food banks. Volunteers served 284 community organizations in 32 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to the volunteer hours completed on Oct. 2, the Comcast Foundation will award over $1 million in grants to community organizations that took part in the company-wide day of service.

Volunteers came from all sectors of Comcast's workforce including the corporate headquarters, local cable systems, and the company's networks such as Comcast SportsNet, Outdoor Life Network and The Golf Channel. This year's participation level marks an increase of nearly 5,000 employees and 30,000 hours from last year.

Individual groups chose the scope of their volunteer projects and adapted them to the needs of their community. In Southern California, more than 800 Comcast employees donated their time to four after-school programs throughout Southland. Volunteers helped to paint, clean and beautify the youth centers. In Denver, 500 volunteers completed painting and beautification projects at Denver Public Schools and various locations with the Mile High United Way and the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. Five hundred employees in Dallas participated, with some helping Habitat for Humanity build their 400th home in the city, and others working on maintenance and landscaping at an elementary school. Indiana employees helped with food distribution and maintenance at the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

Comcast encourages employee volunteerism throughout the year as part of the Comcast Cares program. For more information, visit the Comcast Community Web site.
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 Only 56 Days to the 2005 Beacon Awards Deadline!
There are 56 days until the 2005 Beacon Awards deadline of December 3, 2004, and 42 days to the Early Bird deadline of November 19, 2004. The Early Bird deadline allows members to save $50 off of every entry submitted. While 56 days may seem like a long way off, it's not too early to begin working on a submission to the Beacon Awards.

If you have been following the series of tips on putting together a 2005 Beacon Award entry running in CPR Facts, you may have already thought about which public affairs initiatives from the past year you should enter and in which categories. As you carve out time in your busy schedule to put together your entries, you might want to consider ways to stress how your project reflects creativity and innovation in the concept, use of resources and implementation.

This year, the Beacon Judging Operations work group modified the judging criteria for Beacon Award entries. It increased the value of creativity from 10 percent to 20 percent of the total score. It also decreased both implementation and results from 30 percent to 25 percent. Creativity addresses the "level of creativity and innovation evidenced in the conception, use of available resources, and implementation of project." While reviewing your entry, Beacon judges will look for ways you were creative and innovative in your public affairs project.

In addition, the work group added to the description of the planning and strategy section of the three-page summary the following line. "If your entry is for an initiative that has won a Beacon Award in the past, address the modifications you have made to it between November 8, 2003, and November 19, 2004."

Let a 2005 Beacon Award recognize your superior efforts in cable public affairs and help you do your job. You can find helpful information on the CTPAA Web site. CTPAA has posted the 2005 Beacon Award Call for Entries online in pdf format. On the Beacon page of the CTPAA Web site, members can find brief summaries of 2004 winners and finalists. Members can also read the three-page project summaries from 2001 to 2004 Beacon finalists. These summaries are the core of each Beacon entry and detail the planning, implementation and results of a successful cable public affairs initiative. They can serve as a good model for preparing a 2005 Beacon entry. In order to read these summaries, members will be prompted to enter their user name (their email) and password (their last name). All must be in lowercase letters. For more information about the 2005 Beacon Awards, contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org or at 202-775-1082.
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 Nickelodeon Goes Dark So Kids Will Play
Nickelodeon went dark Saturday, Oct. 2, for the first time in 25 years, to encourage kids to get up and play. The Worldwide Day of Play is part of Nickelodeon's longterm initiative Let's Just Play, that seeks to battle increasing childhood obesity by advocating active play. Throughout the summer, Nickelodeon circulated information about the day off, and kids from all across the world pledged to turn off the TV and play.

Nick teamed with the National Parent Teacher Association and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to bring thousands of participating children together. Events were scheduled by nearly 650 local groups, and by clubs and schools across all 50 states. Citywide events were held in Chicago, Tampa, St. Louis, and Phoenix and international events took place in India, Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

Information about the Worldwide Day of Play was distributed through Nick's magazines, television channels, and Web site, and through its partners. Nickelodeon offered ideas for organizing local play events and provided individuals with materials including pledge forms, posters and stickers. Then on Saturday, Nickelodeon went dark from 12-3 p.m. and the channel featured messages urging children to play. When the channel came back on-air, regular afternoon programming was interspersed with spots providing healthy lifestyle information and coverage of the day's events. The day of fun culminated in a celebrity event featuring Nickelodeon talent, stars, and athletes coming together to celebrate healthy living.

Nickelodeon will continue to support physical activity through the Let's Just Play Grants Program. It began accepting applications in June, and up to 50 grants will be awarded to schools and after-school programs to facilitate opportunities to create and expand efforts to promote physical play. Grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000. For more information visit www.everythingnick.com
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 New Best Practices in Cable Public Affairs Online
CTPAA has launched a new Best Practices study on partnering internally with marketing, local ad sales and other departments in the members-only section of the CTPAA Web site. It explores how cable public affairs departments partner internally to achieve business goals and to acquire additional resources for public affairs projects. The other Best Practices in Cable Public Affairs already online are on the topics of cable's competition, effective partnerships, and improving government relations.

Utilizing Beacon Award finalist entries and member input, the Best Practices in Cable Public Affairs features an easy-to-use outline of key best practices and tips in cable public affairs. These Best Practices should be useful during the planning or development of a public affairs initiative and serve as a source of ideas on how to overcome challenges within a community.

There is a link to Best Practices in Cable Public Affairs from the Resources & Education page and from the members-only page. When you click on the link to Best Practices on the Resources & Education page or to go to the members-only page, you will be asked to log-in. The user name is your email address, and the password is your last name all in lower case letters. If you have suggestions for future best practices topics or questions, please contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org or 202-775-1082.
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 C-SPAN School Bus Visits Miami for Debate Education
Last week, C-SPAN traveled to Miami, the site of the first 2004 presidential debate, to host several educational community events to supplement its gavel-to-gavel debate coverage. The C-SPAN School Bus  visited local elementary, middle, and high schools where students discussed election issues and explored the 45-foot mobile production studio and media center.

C-SPAN also held a Presidential Debate and Critical Viewing Seminar at the Miami-Dade Community College with presidential debate expert John Splaine. Splaine addressed media coverage of presidential debates throughout history, beginning with the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy debate, and the effect on election results. He also emphasized the necessity of "critical viewing" of these contests.

C-SPAN collaborated with Comcast on the Miami itinerary, including a student spin room activity. Three Miami area high school students were invited into the spin room, where reporters gather to watch the political showdown, and were able to record their experiences as videographers. They each produced 10 to 15 minute documentaries offering a student's point of view on the event. All three students have international roots (from Iran, Cuba and Spain) and were chosen by Comcast to participate. This week the C-SPAN School Bus was in Cleveland for the vice presidential debate, and it will appear in St. Louis, Mo., and Tempe, Ariz., for the last two debates between the presidential candidates.
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 CTPAA Members Recognized in Collaborative Marketing Competition
Four CTPAA members were recognized by CTAM, Multichannel News, Broadcasting & Cable and Turner Network Television for their excellent, collaborative marketing initiatives integrating the efforts of marketing, local ad sales and PR/communications departments. The Grand Prize S.T.A.R. Award (Superb Teamwork Achieves Results) went to Ellen Schned, senior vice president, national accounts and affiliate marketing, and her team for Court TV's Mobile Investigation Unit and Local Upfronts initiative.

Bev Greenberg, vice president public affairs, Time Warner Cable, won first place in the cable company/distributor division for her initiative Wisconsin on Demand. Craig Watson, vice president of communications, western division, Charter Communications, came in second place of that division for his initiative Charter All Digital Marketing Campaign. Dena Kaplan, senior vice president, marketing, was part of the GSN. The Network for Games team that won first place in the network/industry supplier division for its initiative Get Schooled Games Tour. The winners were announced during the 2004 CTAM Collaborative Marketing Seminar held October 7, 2004, at the Grand Hyatt New York. 
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 NCTA Highlights Cable's Political Coverage
NCTA has produced a brochure titled "Nobody Covers Politics Like Cable," highlighting the cable industry's efforts to educate viewers in this election year. The full-color brochure is designed to target influential public opinion leaders including members of Congress, the FCC, and the media, and to extol cable's extensive programming and educational initiatives since the beginning of the party conventions. It details efforts by national cable news and programming networks, regional and local news networks, cable systems, and state public affairs networks. Descriptions illustrate not only convention and debate coverage, but also special series and documentaries, and voter registration and education campaigns. The brochure is posted in pdf format on the NCTA Web site. For more information or to receive copies of the brochure, contact the NCTA Public Affairs department at 202-775-3675.
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 SCTE Seminar Will Teach Technology to Nontechnical Managers
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is offering a comprehensive educational seminar on cable technology titled "Cable Technology for the Nontechnical Professional." This one-day event, sponsored by Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, and This Week In Consumer Electronics (TWICE), will take place Oct. 18 in New York City and Oct. 19 in Southern California.

Offered on both the east coast and west coast, the seminar is great for managers in nontechnical roles such as public and government affairs managers. Participants can gain instant access to high-level knowledge of the technologies used in the industry. Topics will include core hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network, technologies used to deliver high-speed data, digital video, Video on Demand (VOD), IP telephony, and the triple play.

CTPAA members are eligible for a special discounted rate. Pre-registration closes Oct. 13. For more information contact SCTE's Customer Care Center at 1-800-542-5040 or visit http://www.magnetmail.net/ls.cfm?r=2707054&sid=280656&m=57610&u=CTPPA&s=http://www.scte.org
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 Judge the 2005 Beacon Awards
CTPAA invites its members to choose the best of the best cable public affairs initiatives of the past year by being a 2005 Beacon Awards judge. To volunteer, complete the Beacon judge form and send it to CTPAA. As a Beacon judge, CTPAA members will learn what cable public affairs professionals across the country are accomplishing and will walk away from the experience with dozens of new ideas. The first round of Beacon judging will be all day January 26 and 27 in Washington, DC, with a welcome reception hosted by NCTA on the evening of January 25. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org or at 202-775-1082.
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 Congratulations Kim Roden!
Congratulations to CTPAA member Kim Roden, vice president of public affairs for Time Warner Cable, Minnesota, for earning the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Cable Communications Association (MCCA). The award, the group's highest honor, is presented annually to a member of the trade group that has exhibited distinguished service and leadership to the industry. Roden currently serves as president of MCCA. She received the award at the group's annual meeting in Two Harbors, Minn., and was praised for her diligent leadership on behalf of industry initiatives in legislative and regulatory reforms.
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 Thank You Corporate Members!
Welcome to our newest corporate member Cable ONE! For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at sjones@ctpaa.org or at 202-775-1083. For membership details, go to ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

2004 Golden Benefactors
A&E Television Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
Cox Communications
MTV Networks
NBC Universal Cable
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc

2004 Benefactors
ABC Cable Networks Group
Lifetime Television
The Weather Channel

2004 Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
Cable Telecommunications Association of New York
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Discovery Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
Game Show Network
Gemstar-TV Guide
Hallmark Channel
Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association
Insight Communications
International Channel
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
The Outdoor Channel
Outdoor Life Network
Oxygen Media
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Encore Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
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