June 30, 2006 -- About CTPAA/ Membership/ FORUM/ Beacon Awards 

Inside This Issue:
Grassroots & Media Seminar Just Prior to NECTA 2006
Gain a Competitive Advantage by Attending the Third Annual CTPAA Institute
2006 Beacon Award Finalists' Three-Page Summaries Available on CTPAA Web Site
Teens Discuss Internet Safety at Cox Communications Summit
Panel Provides Insights on How to Make People Care About International Crises
Court TV Celebrates a Decade of Helping Students Make Smart Choices
More Than 100,000 Kids Write Letters to Save Recess
TelVue Corporation System Helps Comcast Improve PEG Channel & Renew Franchise
Kelly McGrew Leaves CTPAA Staff
Thank You Corporate Members!

 Grassroots & Media Seminar Just Prior to NECTA 2006
Register now for CTPAA's two-part professional development session on Building Grassroots Programs and Great Relations with the Media on Monday, July 10, just prior to the opening of NECTA's 2006 Annual Conference and Exhibition.

The morning session will outline the key building blocks for why grassroots programs work and how you can begin setting up or adding on to your company's current grassroots strategy. The session leader, Ed Grefe, is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and an instructor for CTPAA's Public Affairs Institute.

Following a networking luncheon, the afternoon session will focus on relationship building with the media, providing insight on how to work proactively to build relationships with reporters and how to stop media issues from turning into dilemmas in the future. Margie Elsberg of Elsberg Associates will teach the afternoon session. She is a 25+ year veteran of both print and electronic journalism, who previously has conducted professional development training for CTPAA, including master courses during past FORUM conferences.

The full program, scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., plus the luncheon, will be held at the Newport Marriott Hotel in the Weatherly Room. Both local cable system and network employees are encouraged to register for the day. Individuals do not need to be CTPAA members to attend. If you or a colleague would benefit, please register now by returning the registration form.  The cost for the session is a very affordable $40. For more information, contact CTPAA at 202-775-1081, 800-210-3396 or email services@ctpaa.org. For more information on NECTA 2006, visit http://www.necta.info/events.aspx.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Gain a Competitive Advantage by Attending the Third Annual CTPAA Institute
Acquire a more meaningful perspective on public affairs program management and execution by attending CTPAA's Public Affairs Institute. The program's overall goal is to provide cable executives with the tools they need to maximize public affairs to create a competitive advantage for their companies. CTPAA is currently accepting applications for the third annual CTPAA Public Affairs Institute, September 24-27, 2006, at The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This three-day, graduate level program was developed to enhance the professional abilities of public affairs professionals in the areas of strategic issue management, communication, message development and public policies facing the cable industry.

Visit the CTPAA Web site to hear and see feedback from past participants of the CTPAA Public Affairs Institute. Learn why they thought it was valuable and why they recommend it to others. Since 2004, 44 cable industry executives have benefited from the Public Affairs Institute.

Designed specifically for CTPAA by The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), this year's course will utilize franchising case studies from Virginia, Texas, Arizona, and other states. Specifically these case studies will review the political and public policy environments in each state and the multiple strategies, both successful and unsuccessful, the different parties used during the debate over modifying each state's franchising statutes.

The Institute is specifically targeted at mid to senior level public affairs executives who are willing to push themselves to develop the enhanced skill sets necessary to meet the challenge of today's and tomorrow's competitive marketplace.

Tuition is $3,100 if applications are received by August 1st or $3,600 after that date, and includes most meals, hotel sleeping room fees and a Tuesday evening networking/fun event. For more information on Institute, please visit the CTPAA Web site or contact Steve Jones at 202-775-1083 or sjones@ctpaa.org.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 2006 Beacon Award Finalists' Three-Page Summaries Available on CTPAA Web Site
CTPAA members may now view the 2006 Beacon AwardTM  finalists' full three-page summaries, available on the CTPAA Web site by visiting the Beacon page or the Members-Only section. These summaries are the core of each Beacon entry and detail the planning, implementation and results of a successful cable public affairs initiative. Each year CTPAA invites all Beacon Award finalists to submit their project summaries to be placed on the Web site. They can be a helpful resource to review successful public affairs initiatives or serve as a good model for preparing a 2007 Beacon Award entry.

To view the summaries, members will be asked to log-in by entering their username (email address) and their password (last name), all in lowercase letters. CTPAA hosts the Beacon AwardsTM  each year to honor excellence in public affairs throughout the cable industry. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at mbutler@ctpaa.org
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Teens Discuss Internet Safety at Cox Communications Summit
In observance of National Internet Safety Month, Cox Communications brought ten teenagers to Washington, D.C., to participate in a Teen Summit hosted by children's advocate John Walsh. Held on June 16 at the National Press Club, the Teen Summit brought together students ranging in age from 13 to 18, representing schools from across the country. Students spoke candidly about their use of the Internet, in particular social networking sites, and communicating with their parents about Internet safety. Following the Summit, they visited with Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. This event is the latest in Cox's Take Charge! Smart Choices for your Cox Digital Home initiative designed to give parents or guardians and kids the tools to make smart media decisions. The Summit was held in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Walsh, Cox's Take Charge! spokesperson and host of "America's Most Wanted."

During the Summit, Walsh and Staca Urie of NCMEC asked the students questions about their Internet behaviors and those of their friends. Most of the students said they had been approached online by someone who they did not know. This mirrored a finding of a recent study conducted for Cox Communications and NCMEC that found that 71% of teens had experienced this. In the same survey, 14% of teens said they had met face-to-face with someone they knew only from the Internet, while 30% have considered it. None of the students at the Summit reported meeting someone from the Internet in person, but some said they have friends who had.

When it comes to parents, the students who participated in the Summit echoed a common belief that many are completely uneducated about the Internet. Some students expressed a concern about talking with their parents about inappropriate activity online. Several agreed that they would not report an inappropriate Web site or comment made to them for fear that their parents might think they had sought it out or invited it. Others simply said it is so easy to close the window and forget about it. Several students said they were very open with their parents and even showed them their Web pages or online activity.

All of the teens agreed that Internet safety education should be required in schools and should be taught as soon as kids are given access to a computer. They felt this was especially important for reaching students whose parents do not talk with them about Internet safety or keep an eye on their Internet usage. None of the teens present knew of required Internet safety curriculum in their schools.

Perhaps one of the most interesting results of the Summit was the near consensus among the ten teens that young people should not be able to have their own Web page on social networking sites like Myspace.com until they are 16 or 17. They also debated the merits of regulating age requirements or forcing users to read or watch some type of Internet safety program before being authorized to create a page.

During the Summit, the teens also discussed what personal information was appropriate to post online. Some said they felt first name and general information on hobbies, favorite bands, etc., was the only thing appropriate, while others thought listing your school name and hometown was all right. Several said they simply hadn't thought about it that much because they feel like "it couldn't happen to them."

The survey conducted for Cox and NCMEC found similar results on this topic as well. One in five teens said it is "somewhat" or "very" safe to share personal information on a blog or networking site. Thirty-seven percent of the 13 to 17-year olds surveyed said they were "not very concerned" or "not at all concerned" about someone using their personal information in a way they hadn't approved.

While the ten teenagers participated in the Summit, their parents attended an Internet safety workshop presented by Cox Communications. This workshop highlights an important feature of Cox's Take Charge! program, education for parents. Cox's survey results show that fully 22% of teens have never discussed Internet safety with their parents. Cox's Take Charge! Web site offers tips for parents to talk with their kids about these important issues.

Following the Summit, teens and parents reuinted for a press conference. Then the teens went to Capitol Hill where they met with representatives to present them with a teen perspective on the negatives and positives of Internet usage. When they return home, the students will be asked to help educate their classmates, parents, and communities to make smarter choices about the Internet. For more information on the Teen Summit or Take Charge!, contact Anthony Surratt at anthony.surratt@cox.com.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Panel Provides Insights on How to Make People Care About International Crises
Everyday, organizations across the world struggle with the same problem, how to get people to care about international crises. From genocide or poverty to epidemics like HIV/AIDS or malaria, nonprofit organizations face a multitude of challenges when trying to engage the public and inspire them to act. Correspondingly, businesses like cable industry companies that partner with nonprofit organizations as part of their public affairs efforts struggle with the same problem. According to a panel of experts in nonprofit communications, the key is to communicate a sense of hope to your audience, and to incite activism, not pity.

This was the main theme that resulted from a panel discussion titled "Branding Human Crisis: From Darfur to Malaria - How to Get People to Care," held by the National Capital Chapter of Public Relations Society of America on June 21 in Washington, D.C. A number of other useful insights on communicating with the public and gaining media attention were presented by the panelists: Mike Carberry, president, CARMA International; Susan Eyre Manuel, chief, peace and security section, UN Department of Public Information; Gerald Martone, director of humanitarian affairs, International Rescue Committee; Ann Pincus, director of communications, International Relief and Development; and Rachel Wilson, director of policy communications, Global Health Council.

Far too often, the panelists said, nonprofits inspire pity by overusing what those in the aid community call "disaster pornography," photos that depict heartbreaking images like starving children in deplorable living conditions. This tactic has proven effective for raising money, but does not inspire long-term commitment to a cause and can contribute to donor fatigue. Manuel said the UN and many other organizations struggle with the balance of communicating the urgency and need that is present, while also highlighting success stories. Donors and supporters want to know that their efforts made a difference, but often media coverage goes away before the results are visible. Wilson said many people begin to feel that the situation is hopeless and the problem is too big to fix. Communication needs to give people a sense of hope, making sure they know the situation is not inevitable and can be changed.

It is necessary to incite activism or even outrage in order to gain long-term support from individuals. After that, it is imperative that a course of action is given. Martone sighted research that shows that less than 5% of coverage of international crises presented a way for the audience to act. People may become engaged, but don't know what they can do to help. However, Martone said aid organizations too often fall into the pattern of turning massive human suffering into a simple plea for money. It is a necessary fundraising tactic, but it also simplifies a far more complicated problem and can turn off donors. Communicators need to recognize that and find other ways to involve the public.

It is also important to communicate information in a way that the public can relate to it. Wilson gave the example of 11 million children dying from a disease. This is not a number people can relate to, but when you change it to half the children born in the U.S. each year, it becomes more real.

Even if a message is engaging to the public, gaining media coverage can be a whole different story. The panelists lamented the lack of reporters in third world countries and dedicated to covering humanitarian issues. Carberry presented a CARMA International research study on coverage of international crises, and when compared to pop culture stories the discrepancy in coverage is immense. Not surprisingly, coverage was higher when the crisis had an economic, political or national interest angle. Media outlets are more likely to cover news that has controversy or will affect its audience personally.

Several of the panelists addressed this and recommended trying to find that angle in a story, sometimes even waiting until there is a hook before releasing a story. For example, Wilson found a way to localize international health issues because of recent fears about avian flu. This presented an opportunity to discuss other diseases and reminded the public that the U.S. needs to worry about disease in other countries so that it doesn't spread here. Pincus emphasized targeting local media or, if applicable, trade press. If there is a local angle, pitch to newspapers or television stations in that state or city. She also said new media like blogs are often interested in first person accounts and can be a useful outlet. One panelist added that it can be effective to identify interested reporters and brief them ahead of time. Finally, panelists recommended partnering with a third party, like a legislator, a Congressional Caucus or another group, to gain media coverage.

By using these tips to shape a message that will interest the public, inspire them, and provide them a course to act, and to target media and provide a compelling angle, businesses can successfully gain attention and support for organizations they partner with on public affairs campaigns. While this panel focused on international crises, many of these tips can be helpful for making people care, no matter what the cause.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Court TV Celebrates a Decade of Helping Students Make Smart Choices
This month Court TV celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Choices and Consequences initiative, an educational program that empowers youth to make responsible decisions and to contribute positively to society. In light of the program's accomplishments over the past decade and the changing world that young people grow up in, Court TV has launched the next generation of the program, renamed Court TV CHOICES. CHOICES will continue to look at important issues facing young people and Court TV will continue to leverage partnerships with major education associations, government leaders, local cable systems, teachers and parents.

At a reception held June 22 at the National Education Association (NEA) in Washington, D.C., Court TV celebrated the program's accomplishments and honored longstanding partners. The event was hosted by Reg Weaver, president of NEA, and both Weaver and featured speaker Helen Soulé, executive director of Cable in the Classroom, gave high praise to the quality of the initiative. 

Court TV presented awards to several partners. Sue Swaim, executive director of the National Middle School Association and one of Court TV's first partners to sign on a decade ago, was honored for her contributions in helping to establish Choices and Consequences.  Carol Randolph, host of over 50 Court TV town hall meetings for the initiative, was honored for her dedication and reflected fondly on the experience.  U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL), and Danny Davis (D-IL) were recognized for their partnership with Court TV in 2005 in a youth forum held on Capitol Hill, and for their efforts to introduce the Anti-Bullying Act of 2005, bringing the issue of bullying to the attention of Congress.

Upcoming CHOICES educational programs will address important issues like bullying and teen pranks. Using real-life events, these two programs will include curriculum that helps students understand the law and their rights, as well as good judgement. Other Court TV resources are also available to aid teachers and community leaders in broaching subjects such as diversity and acceptance, school safety and media literacy.

Court TV will continue another strong component of Choices and Consequences, the educational documentary series, "Al Roker Investigates." The latest special in the series explored the phenomenon of the methamphetamine epidemic that is sweeping the nation. In the past, Court TV and Al Roker have tackled tough issues like gang violence, hazing and Internet safety. For more information, visit the CHOICES Web site or contact Lee Tenebruso at tenebrusol@courttv.com.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 More Than 100,000 Kids Write Letters to Save Recess
In just seven weeks since launching a letter writing campaign for its Rescuing Recess initiative, Cartoon Network has gathered and sent more than 100,000 letters from children across the country urging their school boards to save recess. These hand-written letters highlight the benefits of recess, including physical activity, building social skills and increased attention in class. The letter writing campaign is the first stage in Cartoon Network's Rescuing Recess initiative, a multi-year campaign in conjunction with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Cartoon Network launched Rescuing Recess in March to raise awareness of the proven benefits of recess, a program that is often eliminated from schools in an effort to cut budgets and meet academic standards.

The letter writing campaign also included a grant component. Individual grants of $5,000 were awarded to the schools in 49 participating states that gathered the most letters. An additional grant of $50,000 was awarded to the Florida PTA because Florida schools had the highest participation level out of any state. All total, Cartoon Network awarded $310,000 in grants, just the beginning of the network's $1.3 million pledge to help save recess. These grants will protect and save recess at local schools by funding playground equipment, volunteer programs or research studies. Cartoon Network presented the grants at the PTA's national convention in Phoenix on June 26.

Rescuing Recess is part of Cartoon Network's overarching GET ANIMATED campaign to encourage kids to lead active, healthy lifestyles and to learn to become advocates for issues they believe in. For more information, contact Joe Swaney at joe.swaney@turner.com.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 TelVue Corporation System Helps Comcast Improve PEG Channel & Renew Franchise
In the early days of the cable industry, Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels were added to many cable franchise agreements. Over the years, municipalities and cable systems have found that there are many problems with running PEG channels. By recognizing and proactively addressing these problems, as Comcast recently did in New Jersey, with the help of TelVue Corporation, cable systems can use PEG channels to reinforce strong government relations and preserve the win-win spirit of franchise negotiations.

Comcast enlisted TelVue Corporation to resolve a PEG channel issue that came up in a franchise renewal with Audobon, N.J., a town that shared one PEG channel with nine other towns. Officials in Audobon felt there was favoriticism toward other towns when it came to programming on the PEG channel and wanted its own channel. Comcast wanted to maintain good relations with the town, but knew that this might prompt the other towns to demand their own channel. Comcast and TelVue met with the mayor of Audobon and discovered that problems with the channel's programming actually were rooted in a lack of staff and expertise. The parties tackled these issues with the use of TelVue's new TelVue Virtual Television Network (TVTN) system, a program that gives multiple authorized users the ability to update content, rotates programming and keeps it current, and provides high quality production features.

TVTN's Web Updating System or WEBUS® enabled authorized users in each of the ten towns to submit content directly to the channel from the Web. This increased the amount of content and removed the bottleneck caused by funneling it through one person. The system also improved content management by automating start and stop dates to keep the information current. TVTN also provided localized screen templates to give each town a distinctive on-air look, and used a programming wheel to allocate equitable time to each town. The overall quality of the channel improved due to TVTN's addition of production features like voiceover narration, graphics and video. Lastly, it provided new local content like traffic, weather and public service announcements, as well as a link that enabled local emergency and public safety resources to interrupt regular programming with important announcements.

Barry Taylor, Comcast South Jersey's area director of government and communtity affairs, noted that TelVue's solution was a good example of teamwork between Comcast, TelVue and the municipalities. Comcast succeeded in renewing its 25-year franchise agreement.

"TelVue's presentation to Audubon demonstrated that Comcast had been acting in good faith and was looking for a solution that best met the needs of the town. With the launch of TVTN, the towns were able operate a channel that was more functional than ever before. All parties were very pleased with the end results," said Taylor.

For more information, contact Joseph Murphy at jmurphy@telvue.com or 800-885-8886.
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Kelly McGrew Leaves CTPAA Staff
After two years as CTPAA's Membership Services Coordinator, Kelly McGrew is leaving the association staff to pursue a career in public relations. McGrew has accepted a position as an account executive for O'Keeffe & Company, a technology-focused public relations agency in Alexandria, Va. The editors are confident she will excel in her new position. McGrew's last day at CTPAA is Friday, June 30. 
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top

 Thank You Corporate Members!
Join and support CTPAA by becoming a 2006 corporate member. 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 www.ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

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

Benefactors
Discovery Networks
Lifetime Television
The Weather Channel

Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
AZN Television
BET
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
CableLabs
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
GSN. The Network for Games
Hallmark Channel
HBO
Insight Communications
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
OLN
The Outdoor Channel
Oxygen Media
Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco Company
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association
                                                                                                                                                             Back to top


PO Box 75007, Washington, DC, 20013-5007