December 17, 2004 -- About CTPAA / Membership / FORUM 2005 / Beacon Awards
Inside This Issue:
CTPAA Finds Success in First Public Affairs
Comcast Partners with VH1 to Save the
What to Do When the LFA Hates You
NCTA Delivers Gifts to Women's Shelters
Increase Awareness of Your Company with FORUM
Oxygen Teams with the Lower East Side Girls
Club to Make Sweet Things
Nominate a Colleague for the 2005 Public Affairs
Last Chance to Save $50 by Registering for FORUM
2005 Before Dec. 31
Judge the 2005 Beacon Awards
Thank You Corporate Members!
Finds Success in First Public Affairs Institute
CTPAA held the
inaugural Public Affairs Institute last week, bringing 23
members to Washington, D.C., for a three-day, master's level
course covering a variety of public affairs topics. CTPAA
partnered with The George Washington University (GWU) Graduate
School of Political Management to provide an insightful seminar
covering issues management, grassroots advocacy, crisis
management, media relations, lobbying and PAC management.
Attendees came from local cable systems, programming networks,
multiple system operators and industry associations to develop
the enhanced skills necessary to meet the challenge of the
industry's competitive marketplace.
Jim Robbins, President and CEO of Cox Communications, opened
the Institute by stating how important public affairs is to Cox.
He addressed Cox's recent move to become private, saying that
that would not change his company's commitment to public
affairs. "You might think that would make a difference in a
company like ours, that we would go underground and public
relations wouldn't matter. I would tell you just the reverse.
Part of my responsibility and objective is to make sure the rest
of the industry continues to do smart things, good things, some
of the things we as a company have done. We will be just as
vigorous on the areas of public affairs, communications, and
strategic issues," he said.
In the classes that followed, five GWU professors challenged
the attendees to think about their strategic communication
programs, and the participants engaged the professors with
questions about how they can improve upon what they already do.
Tom Chiapetta, director of media relations for Fox Sports Net,
said that the professors brought a great deal of credibility and
knowledge, a comment consistent with the feedback from many
One of the topics addressed was PAC management, and the
participants were able to take away practical tips for
allocating political money. Many members asked specific
questions about how to improve their own company's PACs. Tom
Simmons, vice president of public policy for Midcontinent
Communciations, said that he was "impressed with the sincere
interest of the professors, in our class and the questions we
Class work was focused around real-life case studies
including the Bridgestone/Firestone tire recall and the Boeing
737 steering rudder malfunctions. By using case studies for
examples, the participants were able to apply theory to cases
that they had read and heard about in the news. This allowed
them to approach the material with a perspective that Simmons
described as "real, timely and applicable."
One central lesson of the Institute was the importance of
staying on message, and the dangers of losing control of the
message. Chiapetta said that the Institute reinforced the
principle that "if you are properly prepared before a situation,
you won't have every answer, but you'll have a base to work
from. Having a strategic plan in place to handle anything that
comes up is very important." He said that this idea permeated
every section of the Institute from discussions about the
proliferation of new technology to managing grassroots advocacy
Steve Schorr, vice president, public and government affairs,
for Cox Communications Las Vegas, said that of all the seminars
and conferences he has attended, "this Institute was one of the
most insightful I have come across." He said that the knowledge
he gained will help him personally and when representing his
company on a daily basis. "To say that I would recommend this
program is a gross understatement. I would emphatically do so,"
Mark Harrad, vice president, corporate communication for Time
Warner Cable said he felt that the Institute was valuable
because it addressed a wide range of high-level public affairs
topics in a way that all attendees, despite different levels of
experience, were able to take away something new. He expects the
Institute to "become a very sought after program" and a "crowing
representation of CTPAA to the industry."
The Public Affairs Institute came to fruition after two years
of planning by CTPAA committee members and the Board of
Directors. CTPAA plans to utilize participant feedback to make
improvements to the Institute for next year. For more
information, contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comcast Partners with VH1 to Save the Music
This fall, VH1 Save the
Music worked with 31 cable systems to donate nearly $3 million
to public schools in their neighborhoods. Save the Music is a
nonprofit organization founded to improve the quality of
education in U.S. public schools by restoring music education
programs in cities across the country and raising awareness of
the impact music participation has on youth. Research shows that
music education improves children's early development of
critical thinking skills and enhances their basic math and
reading skills, self-esteem, SAT scores, and school attendance.
Children involved with music education programs are more likely
to graduate from high school and attend college, and are less
likely to be involved in gangs or drug use.
One cable system that partnered
with VH1 Save the Music is Comcast Bay Area. The system recently
completed a 4-year mission to revive struggling music programs
in the Oakland Unified School District in California. A final
donation of $200,000 worth of new musical instruments brought
the total to $350,000 donated since 2000. This has allowed the
school district to buy 420 instruments and support 14 different
music programs, bringing music education to many low-income
students. In schools like Calvin Simmons in Fruitvale, Calif.,
music programs have grown from fewer than 10 children to nearly
60 children. For more information, contact Erica Eusebio at email@example.com.
Comcast Denver has been working
with Save the Music since 1998 and has donated $880,000 worth of
musical instruments to 35 area schools. This year it was able to
save five music programs, a record for them in recent years. In
a recent celebration event, Adam Flatt, a conductor with the
Colorado Symphony and an area youth symphony, spoke about the
impact that music education has on children. For more
information, contact Tiffany Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since its founding in 1997, VH1
Save the Music has donated more than $25 million in new
musical instruments to 1,000 public schools in 80 cities,
enhancing the education of more than 500,000
to Do When the LFA Hates You
Is an LFA (local franchising authority) upset with you?
Has a state senator or federal representative received
constituent complaints about recent price adjustments? CTPAA's
Best Practices in cable public affairs on improving government
relations will give you ideas on how to approach these issues
and others like them. Utilizing Beacon Award finalist entries
and member input, the Best Practices in Improving Government
Relations features some of the successful tactics and strategies
cable public affairs professionals have successfully pursued
when confronted by unhappy elected officials.
There is a link to CTPAA's 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
email@example.com or 202-775-1082.
Additionally, on the subject of price adjustments, two older
editions of Public Affairs Issues in the members-only section of
the CTPAA Web site may also be helpful. They are the summer 2002
Context Necessary to Accept Price Changes and summer 2001:
Managing Rate Adjustments.
NCTA Delivers Gifts
to Women's Shelters
National Cable &
Telecommunications Association employees collected hundreds of
gifts in their annual charity drive and delivered them on Dec. 7
to a Washington, D.C., women's shelter. Among the
donations were thousands of dollars worth of books, clothing,
electronics and toys. Donations were made to My Sister's Place,
a D.C. area shelter for women who have experienced domestic
abuse that organizes an annual holiday gift shop. The shelter
collects new, unused gifts to distribute to residents and
non-residents in order to allow them to select gifts to give to
their children. The program is designed to empower women by
helping them regain control and independence. In addition, NCTA
donated over $1,000 to the House of Ruth, another D.C. area
women's shelter. For more information contact Brian Dietz at
Increase Awareness of Your Company with FORUM
FORUM 2005 is
just over four months away, and sponsorship opportunities are
going quickly. Sponsorship of an event or conference item during
FORUM 2005 places your company directly in front of 400 to 500
cable public affairs professionals. Through the generous support
of sponsors, CTPAA will be able to underwrite the delivery of
superior educational programs and sessions during FORUM 2005.
Visit the FORUM
Web site to view the many sponsorship opportunities that are
still available. To reserve your sponsorship or to discuss other
sponsorship ideas, contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teams with the Lower East Side Girls Club to Make Sweet
Oxygen Media teamed up with the Lower East Side Girls
Club's Sweet Things Bake Shop early this month to take on the
sweet endeavor of creating more than 10,000 oh! shaped holiday
cookies for Oxygen's annual gift. Proceeds from the sale
benefited the Lower East Side Girls Club. In addition to placing
the holiday order, Oxygen employees volunteered their time at
the Girls Club to help roll, bake, and package the oh! cookie.
Oxygen is committed to encouraging women and girls to make their
entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
East Side Girls Club is a not-for-profit organization
dedicated to the well being of inner-city girls ages 8-18. The
Girls Club provides growth and learning while having fun all in
order to enrich development and confidence in every girl for the
sole purpose of making a difference in the world. Participants
in the Girls Club's Sweet Things Program learn culinary arts as
well as business and leadership skills. For more information,
contact Oxygen's Summer Wilkie at email@example.com.
Colleague for the 2005 Public Affairs Achievement Award
Is there a cable
public affairs executive whom you have admired and believe
should be recognized by the industry? If so, nominate him or her
for the Public Affairs Achievement Award. Presented annually
during FORUM, the award recognizes and honors individual members
for their outstanding contributions to cable public affairs in
the categories of community relations, government relations,
media relations or local programming.
The eligibility requirements
The nomination deadline for the second annual Public
Affairs Achievement Award is January 31, 2005. For information
on how to nominate someone or to obtain a nomination form,
please go to the membership
page of the CTPAA Web site.
- Current member of CTPAA
- Member of CTPAA for a minimum
of three (3) years
- Worked in public affairs a
minimum of five (5) years
- Supports the goals of the
- Employed by a MSO, Local Cable
System, Cable Network, Industry Supplier, or Industry
- Individuals are eligible to
receive the award once for each of the four categories.
- The current CTPAA President is
not eligible for nomination until two years after his or her
term in office.
Last Chance to
Save $50 by Registering for FORUM
2005 by December 31
Register for FORUM 2005 by December 31, 2004, and save
$50 on the advance registration rate of $625 and save $150 from
the final registration (after April 15, 2005) rate of $725. This
year's conference will be held May 1 to 4, 2005, at the
Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. The Ritz-Carlton also was the host
hotel for FORUM in 2002. CTPAA will celebrate the 20th
anniversary of its founding during FORUM 2005.
The FORUM 2005 co-chairs, who
produce and are responsible for the meeting agenda, are Scoot
MacPherson, Executive Vice President, Corporate & Government
Affairs, Court TV and Anthony Surratt, Executive Director,
Public Relations, Cox Communications, Inc. For information about
FORUM 2005 registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.magnetmail.net/ls.cfm?r=2707054&sid=346667&m=67883&u=CTPPA&s=http://www.ctpaa.org/forum.shtml.
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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
202-775-1082 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Corporate Members!
Join and support
CTPAA by becoming a corporate member. For information on
how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member,
please contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or at
202-775-1083. For membership details, go to ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.
A&E Television Networks
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
ABC Cable Networks Group
2004 Friends &
Cable Telecommunications Association of New
Fox Cable Networks
Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association
Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Outdoor Life Network
Starz Encore Group
& Telecommunications Association
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