| April 6, 2007-About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards
Inside this Issue:
A Letter from ACC's President, Peggy Ballard
On March 12, we announced a change. CTPAA was changing – now to be called the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC). This is more than a new name. It reflects the transformation that is occurring in our industry and the increasing importance of communications. The extensive range of telecommunications services available to customers today creates a challenging competitive landscape for programmers, cable operators and industry suppliers. As a result, effective communications has never been more important.
As the communicators for the cable industry, we must continue to become better at what we do. And, in order to do so, this new organization will challenge you to "Get Connected."
Connect with each other. The Association has more than 700 members – many of whom are very willing to share ideas of what has worked in their communications programs or act as a sounding board for your ideas.
Connect with opportunities. Through ACC, you can participate in regional networking and educational programs, serve on various committees within the organization, attend our annual conference, FORUM, or, better yet, you can judge the Beacon Awards® and see dozens of "great ideas" for your communications programs.
Connect electronically. Take advantage of the Members-Only pages on the ACC home page, where you can find online the membership directory, a collection of best practices, and project summaries from past Beacon Award Finalists. Learn how others are coping with challenges and reach out to your fellow members to exchange ideas.
Finally, you must get connected with your customers. Whether we call them subscribers or consumers, you need to know what they're thinking, what services they want, what they like and dislike, and how to communicate clearly with them. Use ACC as part of your personal development toolkit that can help you connect with your customers more effectively. If we communicate the value of cable services and programming, simplify access to those services, and let them know we do care about them, we'll help minimize our challenges in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
So, let's all get connected. Our name change to ACC hasn't changed our primary mission: Develop and promote cable communications excellence through professional development to help achieve industry and corporate goals. The better connected we are, the better equipped we are to fulfill that mission.
I and all the ACC board members are committed to supporting the goals of this organization and your personal development goals. Get connected with us as well!
Vice President, Strategic Communications
Scientific Atlanta, A Cisco Company
Visit ACC at the NCTA Cable Show!
Be sure to visit ACC at the Cable Cares Booth (#5279) at The Cable Show in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center May 7-9! ACC has teamed up with Cable in the Classroom, NAMIC and WICT to highlight the work of the cable association community. Stop by the booth to hear about the new upcoming programs and services ACC has created to serve you better. Also, be sure to enter the Cable Cares! raffle each day to be eligible to win some great prizes. The grand prize is a HANNspree 37-inch widescreen LCD HDTV. The drawing for the HDTV will occur the afternoon of Wednesday, May 9th. You must be present to win!
Lifetime Expands "End Violence Against Women" Campaign
In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month this April, Lifetime Television will be expanding its Golden Beacon Award-winning campaign "End Violence Against Women" with original programming, celebrity PSAs, content on all multi-media platforms, a partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and several other grassroots initiatives.
The campaign's programming is centered around a Lifetime original movie "A Life Interrupted," which is inspired by the true story of Virginia housewife Debbie Smith, who, working with Lifetime, its viewers, advocacy partners and bipartisan Members of Congress, helped pass what has been hailed as the most effective piece of anti-rape legislation in U.S. history. In conjunction with the movie, Lifetime has partnered with several groups and celebrity spokespersons to draw attention to this important cause.
Multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Christina Aguilera is supporting the campaign with an original PSA that will air on Lifetime throughout April. In addition, Aguilera is bringing the campaign messages of hope, courage and activism on her "Back to Basics" tour by showing her Lifetime PSA during each performance; recognizing survivors and advocates who Lifetime, Aguilera and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) specially invite to her concerts; and distributing Lifetime's new educational brochure with information on ways to get involved. Aguilera also designed a scarf and tie that will be distributed to Members of Congress, White House officials, media, advocates, survivors and select concert attendees and LifetimeTV.com visitors to wear in support of ending violence against women.
To highlight the epidemic of violence against women internationally, Lifetime is partnering with UNIFEM and its Goodwill Ambassador, Oscar Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman, on an original PSA and online content. On LifetimeTV.com, visitors will find interviews with Kidman sharing why she became a UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador, reflecting on her recent trip to Kosovo where she visited sexual assault survivors and urging support for UNIFEM's efforts to this. LifetimeTV.com will also offer resources providing ways to get involved.
From April 16-20, Lifetime will join with its nonprofit partners and bipartisan lawmakers for a week of events to send the message that violence against women is a national priority by co-hosting a screening of "A Life Interrupted" with the National Center for Victims of Crime. Lifetime also has plans to work with local rape crisis centers, nonprofit organizations and the network's College Corps to host discussions and screenings of "A Life Interrupted." For more information on Lifetime's expansion of its "End Violence Against Women" campaign, contact Meredith Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bright House Launches "Operation Bright Eyes" in Indianapolis Market
In order to improve and enhance public safety in the communities it serves, Bright House Networks Indianapolis partnered with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department on "Operation Bright Eyes," a watch program that is training technicians to be extra sets of eyes in the neighborhoods where they operate. "Operation Bright Eyes" will enable Bright House Networks service technicians to help members of the community in need and be key communicators in the event of crisis or emergency.
The Indianapolis Metro Police Department provided free training that included teaching techs what to look for and how to react in situations such as fires, assault, burglary and missing children. All of the company's 130 service technicians assigned to individual neighborhoods throughout the Indianapolis area have undergone this extensive training. Participation in the initiative is mandatory for service technicians and they must undergo refresher training once a year.
Bright House Networks first launched "Operation Bright Eyes" in 2005 in Tampa, Fla. Since then, the initiative has grown into one of Florida's largest public safety programs. Service technicians have rescued young children after wandering away from their homes, helped hit-and-run victims, reported house fires, foiled attempted residential break-ins and much more. For more information on the Indianapolis launch, contact Al Aldridge at email@example.com.
Oxygen Lends Support to the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Program
Oxygen Media recently announced a partnership with Girl Scouts of America to bring attention to the organization's Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program. The program is featured in a new documentary series presented by Oxygen and provides a supportive environment where girls can get real hands-on time with their incarcerated mothers. Each year, more than 38 Girl Scouts Beyond Bars programs serve close to 1,000 girls and 800 mothers nationwide by giving girls the opportunity to rebuild those mother-daughter relationships.
To support Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, Oxygen has created a call to action campaign where viewers can donate financial and in-kind resources, volunteer with local Girl Scout troops or host the child of an inmate at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, which is featured in the documentary, "Who Cares About Girls: Daughters Left Behind." The network will air a slate at the end of the documentary directing viewers to a Web site where users can get a summary of the Beyond Bars program, information on the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, and information on how to get involved locally.
To promote the documentary as well as efforts surrounding the campaign, Oxygen sent a tune-in blast to their advocacy network, which includes non-profit and women's organizations, before the documentary's March 25 premiere. A PSA also aired on the network and Oxygen is currently working with the Girl Scouts to secure additional media placement for the PSA. In the future, Oxygen plans to extend the program to affiliates by hosting screenings with local cable operators, as well as hosting an employee-run toy drive for the children in the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program.
Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million youth and adult members worldwide. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program, contact Rachelle Savoia at 212-651-5093 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACC Conducts 2006 Community Contributions Survey
Two years ago, ACC conducted the 2004 Community Contributions survey that compiled the cable industry's contributions to local communities. Developed to demonstrate the positive contributions cable operators and programmers make in their communities, the survey outcomes are used to educate policy makers, the press and the general public about the significant investment the cable industry makes in communities across the country. The final figure totaled $1.36 billion in community contributions by the cable television industry for the calendar year 2004.
Now, in 2007, ACC will again survey the industry to compile the cable industry's contributions to local communities during the calendar year 2006. Surveys were distributed during FORUM 2007. A "Cable System" and a "Programmer" version of the survey are both available. If you did not receive a survey during FORUM 2007, please contact ACC at email@example.com or 202-222-2370 to receive a copy. Please return surveys by April 30, 2007, to Annette Arno, Director of Survey Research for Delahaye Research. The address can be found at the bottom of the survey. If you have any additional questions about the survey, please contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discovery Communications Announces Discovery PlanetGreen Initiative
Discovery Communications recently announced a global, cross-platform initiative, Discovery PlanetGreen, that will include a television network dedicated solely to green lifestyle programming. The initiative will also include an investment in new original content and a variety of resources centered on drawing attention to conservation efforts and the role each American plays in driving these changes.
The Discovery PlanetGreen initiative will include the first-ever 24-hour television network dedicated solely to green lifestyle programming beginning in 2008. Discovery Home Channel will be re-branded and dedicated to the highest quality programming for a green lifestyle, containing content that provides entertaining, authentic and quality information for such categories as eco-design, organic food and green architecture. In addition to the channel, Discovery is investing $50 million to create the highest quality content focused on sustainable development, conservation, organic lifestyles and healthy living across the company's 14 U.S. television networks. The priority will be on core genres such as science and technology, transportation and ecotourism, engineering, home greening and organic living. The first major content initiative will be Discovery's new special series "Ten Ways to Save the Planet," a global effort to find solutions to the planet's most serious environmental threats.
In addition to new original programming, Discovery PlanetGreen will provide a forum for people curious about their world and how they can make a difference. Discovery will create a PlanetGreen Web site to act as a forum for like-minded individuals and feature an array of consumer resources, tools for measuring consumers' carbon footprints; relevant tips on how to "green" homes, cars yards and offices; reliable status reports on climate change, polar melting, deforestation, endangered species and the environment's impact on animal behavior. Additionally, the initiative includes a PlanetGreen Innovation Conference to showcase the latest inventions and innovative technologies currently being developed around the world.
Discovery intends to further its own commitment to responsible operations with plans to secure the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification as issued by the U.S. Green Building Council and make its global headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, a carbon neutral building. In addition to pursuing its own LEED certification, Discovery will be working with a broad coalition of well-established partners such as The Nature Conservancy, Treehugger.com and Grist.org to produce relevant and entertaining programming, provide timely and reputable information and inspire individuals to make a difference. For more information on Discovery PlanetGreen, contact Michelle Russo at 240-662-2901 or email@example.com.
Hallmark Channel Launches New, Multi-Platform Public Affairs Initiative
Hallmark Channel is launching a new, national public affairs initiative aimed to stimulate family television co-viewing and encourage people to spend more time together. "Watch With Me," along with its follow-up companion "Read With Me," will be introduced in Washington, D.C., this May and then roll-out across the country. The multi-platform initiative will incorporate on-air, on-line, in-school and in-market components.
A Hallmark-commissioned study by The Segmentation Co. found that 88% of cable and satellite viewers believe the number of TV shows with sexual, violent, crude or obscene content has risen sharply over the past five years. Additionally, the same study found that 63% of parents think children cannot safely watch TV unsupervised. To address these statistics, Hallmark Channel will partner with advertisers, affiliates, schools and government organizations to raise awareness for the need for parents to monitor what their kids watch. "Watch With Me" and "Read With Me" will center around Hallmark's programming, especially classic literary titles which have been made into original movies for the network, including "Moby Dick," "Hamlet," and "Gulliver's Travels." Other components include co-branded PSA's, school curriculum, local screenings and community events. If you have questions regarding "Watch With Me" or "Read With Me," please contact Nancy Carr at 818-755-2643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attend the ACC Panel at The Cable Show
Now that new media is the reality, digital communications tools are indispensable assets for reaching out to customers, leveraging media coverage, channeling employee messages and projecting your company's ideas and image to the outside world. To address these changes, ACC has organized a panel to be presented at NCTA's Cable Show in May. "Thoroughly Modern Messaging: Reaching Consumers in the Digital Age" will help cable communicators gain new perspectives from a panel of professional communicators on what to do-and what to avoid-in applying new media digital communications strategies.
The panel will be held on Monday, May 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Ballroom D. The discussion will be moderated by Peggy Ballard, ACC president and vice president of strategic communications for Scientific Atlanta, A Cisco Company. Confirmed panel participants include Deana Brown, president, Scripps Networks Interactive; Ellen East, vice president, communications and public affairs, Cox Communications, Inc.; Farrell Kramer, president, Farrell Kramer Communications and Todd Watson, E-Relationship manager, IBM Software Group.
The Cable Show will occur May 7-9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Registration for the show can be found on NCTA's Web site at http://i.thecableshow.com/2007/Registration/RegForm.pdf. If you have any questions about ACC's panel at The Cable Show, contact Steve Jones at 202-222-2373 or email@example.com.
Congratulations, Discovery Communications, Hallmark Channel, HBO and MTV Networks!
Congratulations to ACC's corporate members Discovery Communications, Hallmark Channel, HBO and MTV Networks for being named winners of the 2007 Parents' Choice Awards, announced on March 29, 2007. Discovery Communications and MTV Networks each received 11 awards, HBO received two, and the Hallmark Channel received one.
The Parents' Choice Awards for children's television honors programming best suited to not only entertain, but feed the imagination, inspire creativity and facilitate both mental and physical growth in children. Established in 1978, the Parents' Choice Foundation is the nation's oldest nonprofit group that rates the quality of children's media and toys. The Parents' Choice Awards Committees, composed of moms, dads, teachers, performing artists, librarians and kids themselves, search out and recommend products that help kids grow. For more information on the Parents' Choice Foundation, visit www.parents-choice.org.
Congratulations, Richard Gay!
Congratulations to ACC member Richard Gay, executive vice president of strategy and business operations for VH1 and CMT, for being chosen as a recipient of NAMIC's 2007 Next Generation Leaders Award. The award recognizes emerging business leaders who embody the professionalism that reflects NAMIC's mission to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Awards will be presented during NAMIC's Annual Awards Breakfast on Wednesday, May 9 during The Cable Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on the Next Generation Leader Awards, contact Danny McGlone at 212-594-5985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations, Cable Positive!
Congratulations to Cable Positive for being named the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health's 2007 Leadership in Philanthropy Award. Cable Positive will be honored at Sports Ball 2007 along with tennis champion Andy Roddick, football great Harry Carson, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and HIV/AIDS awareness and education pioneer Dr. Monica Sweeney.
The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health was founded by Ashe is 1992, just two months prior to his death from AIDS, in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable diseases. The Institute is a national, tax-exempt charity headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and their innovative community health education and research initiatives serve as models for replication in urban communities throughout the nation. For more information, please visit www.arthurasheinstitute.org.
Thank You, Corporate Members!
Join and support ACC by becoming a 2007 corporate member. For information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or at 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to www.cablecommunicators.org/mcorp.shtml.
Friends & Associates
PO Box 75007 Washington DC 20013 • Phone 800.210.3396 or 202.222.2370 • Fax 202.222.2371