Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

October 19, 2007- About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside this Issue:

 Four Tips to Make Your Beacon Award Entry Stand Out!

Last year, ACC received 493 Beacon Award entries.  In order to make your Beacon Award entry stand out among the many entries received, follow these four easy steps:

1.)  Be Strategic About Your Category Choice.  This year, ACC has 23 available categories for members to enter their outstanding initiatives.  Some projects may be suitable for more than one category.  Keep in mind when you determine which category to enter that some categories are more competitive than others and your campaign results may be stronger for certain categories.  As you prepare your entry, remember to stress the concerns most important to the particular category being entered.  

It is important that each entry submitted fits appropriately into its designated category.  Beacon Award judges are advised to review the project based on the category the applicant entered it in and not the category the judge feels would be more appropriate.  To help the judges understand why the entrant chose the category he or she did, the entrant must include a justification statement in the three-page summary for the project. 

Entrants can review strong justification statements on ACC's Web site in the three-page summaries of Beacon Award finalists, available online in the members-only section.  Spend some time reviewing these examples and crafting your justification statement to make sure it clearly addresses all three components of your entry category – target audience, type of initiative or component, and entrant classification. 

2.)  Prepare a Solid Three-Page Project Summary.  The project summary gives entrants the chance to show judges exactly what makes their project worthy of a Beacon Award.  Judges spend the most time reviewing the three-page project summary, and this portion of the submission is really the heart of the entry.  An entry wins or loses based on the quality of the three-page summary.

The summary should be no more than three pages and address three key points: planning and strategy, implementation, and results. Examples of past project summaries of Beacon Award finalists are provided in the members-only section of the ACC Web site. To view these summaries, members must log in using their e-mail address as the username and their last name as the password, all in lowercase letters. These project summaries may serve as a good model when preparing a 2008 Beacon Award entry and will show you what it takes to make your entry stand out.

3.)  Pay Attention to Your Results Section.  As the project summary is the most important part of the overall entry, the results section of this summary is the most important section of the three-page write-up.  A winning Beacon Award entry achieves the goals it set out to accomplish and demonstrates this in the results section. 

ACC has written a "best practice" on how communications and public affairs departments measure the results of their efforts. Utilizing Beacon Award finalist entries and member input, the Best Practices feature easy-to-use outlines of key best practices and tips in cable communications and public affairs. To access the Best Practices section, members 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.

Measuring results for a cable communications and public affairs initiative may be challenging, but many ACC members have developed ways to detail what their efforts have achieved. The first question one should ask when trying to measure results is did the organization meet its goals. Did it actually accomplish what it set out to do? Quantifiable results are often the most impressive. If the communications or public affairs initiative contributed to the company's bottom line, that's even better. Document successful sales leads, the percentage of increased revenue or dollar amount, and the number of new or returning customers that resulted from campaigns.

Did the company receive any recognition or credit for the initiative? This may include media coverage and praise from other opinion leaders. Third party endorsements have the most impact and may include letters, newspaper articles, thank you notes, proclamations, pictures, and letters to the editor.  Finally, if a goal of the project was to build relationships, how did these relationships help the company? The results may have benefited the organization's partner. This may include how much money was raised for a philanthropic organization, how many volunteers were recruited, or how many people attended a specific event.

Surveys can also be a very useful tool for measuring results. If customers were surveyed before and after a campaign, the change in behavior of customers can be documented after a campaign. Other quantifiable results may include attendance at events, requests for tapes of programming, and programming ratings.

4.)  Creativity Counts!  There is a "wow" factor to winning entries.  Judges typically spend most of their time looking at the three-page project summary and the information contained within it; but, creativity in the presentation of entries and in the conception and implementation of the campaign can really make an entry stand out.  Creativity is 20 percent of the total score a judge will give the entry, and a high score in this area often means the difference between which entries final and which ones do not.  According to the 2008 Beacon Award Call for Entries, creativity addresses the "level of creativity and innovation evidenced in the conception, use of available resources, and implementation of project."

Finally, judges will notice if entrants followed instructions related to the entry process.  The 2008 Beacon Awards Call for Entries provides a detailed description of all rules and regulations, and should be strictly adhered to when preparing an entry for submission. Mistakes, typos in a project summary or video element that is longer than allowed may make your entry stand out for the wrong reasons.   

For more information on submitting initiatives to the 2008 Beacon Awards, please visit the ACC Web site at
www.cablecommunicators.org/awards_beacons.php or call ACC at 800-210-3396. 
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 ACC Holds Second Networking Event in New York

On Tuesday, October 16, ACC held its second networking reception at the ESPN Zone in New York City.  Approximately 70 members and non-members gathered to hear more about the expanded services ACC is providing in conjunction with its new Web site, www.cablecommunicators.org and to network with other members and industry partners.  During the evening, drawings were held for door prizes, including a portable DVD player and Seasons 1-3 of The Office from NBC Universal, Discovery's Planet Earth series, several items from ESPN, portfolios from TV One and a gift bag from Scientific Atlanta.  A special thank you to the ACC board members in attendance and to all of our members for your continued support! 
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 Weather Channel Launches Environmental Education Program

The Weather Channel and its affiliated foundation, Landmark Communications Foundation, announced a $2.5 million donation to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).  The funds will be contributed by the Landmark Communications Foundation over the next five years and will be dedicated to creating an interactive, web-based, environmental education program that will ultimately reach and impact 20 million American high school students.

High school students and teachers nationwide will be invited to design the curriculum to make teaching and learning about the environment easy, accurate, timely, accessible and effective for any subject taught in high schools.  The education program draws on the expertise and content of the Forecast Earth properties created by The Weather Channel and the innovative educational programming of The National Environmental Education Foundation.  The program is meant to prepare students for the future and provide them and their teachers with base-line environmental knowledge needed to make informed decisions and take action to protect the environment at home and in their communities.  The program will also encourage high school students to develop critical thinking skills to make informed decisions to protect the environment throughout their lifetime, engage in solving environmental issues in their communities and pursue environmentally-related careers.

NEEF's Environmental Literacy in America report recently found that just 12% of Americans have a basic understanding of energy topics and less than half of the population understand that the cars and appliances used in everyday life contribute to climate change.  The education program will work to change these statistics by making environmental issues important and personal to the next generation.

The National Environmental Education Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization offering objective environmental information to help Americans live better every day.  For more information on the grant from The Weather Channel and Landmark Communications, contact Marla Hoppenfeld at 770-226-2409 or mhoppenfeld@weather.com.  
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 Comcast Announces Second Bundle Up and Share the Warmth Campaign

Comcast Cable of New Jersey announced the beginning of its second "Bundle Up & Share the Warmth" campaign. Starting October 15, customers could begin donating new gloves or mittens through drop boxes placed in Comcast payment centers and offices throughout New Jersey.  Additionally, for the entire month of October, Comcast has pledged to donate a pair of new gloves or mittens for every new Triple Play bundle order received, and to match donations made by customers and employees.

The gloves and mittens will be distributed by Holiday Express, a nonprofit organization that delivers music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those in need during the holiday season and throughout the year.  Burlington Coat Factory will once again support Comcast's "Bundle Up & Share the Warmth" campaign as the official supplier of gloves for adults and children.

Comcast will promote the campaign through advertising and customer and employee communications.  In addition, Comcast volunteers will work with Holiday Express to help pack thousands of gift bags that will be distributed by Holiday Express volunteers this winter season.  For more information on the partnership, please visit www.holidayexpress.org.  
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 Lifetime Presents 13th Annual "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" Campaign

In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Lifetime Television launched its largest ever multi-platform public awareness and advocacy campaign.  The new initiative, "Be My Strength, Be My Support, Be My Bra," is an on-air, online and print campaign designed to encourage more women and men to become part of a support system to promote early detection, donate to or volunteer for local charities and offer hope and friendship to those facing breast cancer. 

The initiative was developed by advertising executive Linda Kaplan Thaler, award-winning photographer Mary Ellen Mark and Cancer Vixen author Marisa Acocella as part of the network's annual "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" campaign.  The initiative includes the first-ever campaign theme song, "My Bra," written specifically for Lifetime and recorded by Grammy Award-winning singer Mya, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor.  The initiative also includes a Lifetime original movie, "Matters of Life & Dating," a story about a single women living with breast cancer who relies on help from her friends.

Lifetime Digital contributes to the campaign with a new version of its award-winning "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" mini-site on LifetimeTV.com.  The mini site will feature downloads of the theme song as well as the original movie through a partnership with iTunes.  Proceeds from the sales will go to charities supporting breast cancer awareness.  Additionally, the Web site includes the Lifetime Smilebox application offering easy ways to send loved ones a free digital reminder to get a mammogram as well as the ability to post stories of survival, celebration or remembrance with a digital scrapbook.  Finally, the mini-site contains a photo gallery as well as content from The Daily Pink, a popular breast cancer blog featuring news on medical research, celebrity advocates and survivors. 

In addition to the movie created for the initiative, Lifetime has created public service announcements (PSAs) featuring breast cancer survivors and their supporters.  Additionally, breast cancer awareness vignettes will air throughout the month to encourage viewers to get involved and make a difference.

Lifetime has signed sponsors such as Lean Cuisine, Campbell's, Payless and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, in addition to cable partners Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Cablevision, Insight, Bright House, Mediacom, Suddenlink, CableOne and many others.  The partnerships will extend the reach of the initiative to over 100 million homes.  Additionally, Lifetime also teamed up with Comcast and breastcancer.org to create a VOD and broadband campaign, "Breast Cancer Hope," which offers viewers new, original, educational content related to the disease. 

In the community, Lifetime hosted its annual "Heroes" reception in Los Angeles on October 16, honoring breast cancer survivors, advocates and community leaders who are helping to make a difference.  Also, a "Be My Strength, Be My Support, Be My Bra" calendar was created for distribution throughout the country via Lifetime's hundreds of nonprofit and distribution partners.  Finally, Lifetime and the NFL are teaming up to highlight breast cancer awareness at home games of participating teams.   A co-branded PSA with cancer advocate and football fan Fran Drescher will run on jumbotrons and "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" tattoos will be given to fans. 

For more information on efforts surrounding Lifetime's 13th annual "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" campaign and the "Be My Strength, Be My Support, Be My Bra" initiative, please contact Geralyn Lucas at 212-424-7066 or lucas@lifetimetv.com.
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 Nominate a Colleague for the Cable Communications Achievement Award

Help ACC as we honor the best cable communicators in the industry by nominating a colleague for the Cable Communications Achievement Award!  Formerly the Public Affairs Achievement Award, the Cable Communications Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cable communications field.  Up to four individuals will be recognized for their role in the cable industry, with one of the four individuals receiving recognition as a "rising star."

Nomination forms are currently available on the ACC Web site and will be accepted until January 4, 2008.  Eligibility requirements are as follows:

 Current member of ACC
 Member of ACC for a minimum of three years
 Worked in cable communications a minimum of five years
 Supports the goals of ACC

"Rising star" nominees must have worked in cable a maximum of two years with no minimum membership requirement in ACC.  Finally, nominees must be employed by a MSO, local system, cable network, industry supplier or industry non-profit organization.

For a complete list of policies and procedures, or to nominate a colleague, visit
www.cablecommunicators.org/awards_ccaa.php.  
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 Suddenlink Kicks Off Program to Help Stock Local Food Bank

Suddenlink kicked off its new "Connecting to Those in Need" fall food drive in early October to help stock shelves of The Food Bank of Central Louisiana.  The announcement of the year-round program came during taping of a special edition of Suddenlink's "Community Connections Television" public affairs program.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the need for food supplies and to collect non-perishable food items that will be donated to The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and, through it, to its more than 80 affiliates.  The TV program about the drive featured U.S. Representative Rodney Alexander; Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields; Jayne Wright, executive director of The Food Bank of Central Louisiana; Suddenlink field system manager Tony Cifelli, the local coordinator for the drive and show host Suddenlink public affairs manager Maryce Cunningham.  The show will air for six weeks throughout Central Louisiana to help encourage food donations.

The demand for food in the country has risen 19 percent, with working families topping the list.  Louisiana has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country, with more than 30 percent of Central Louisiana's needy having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine, according to Hunger in America 2006, a national study conducted by America's Second Harvest.  Each year, The Food Bank distributes more than 6.4 million pounds of food valued at $9.6 million, and feeds more than 17,000 people each month in 11 Central Louisiana parishes.  For more information on Suddenlink's partnership with The Food Bank, contact Maryce Cunnhingham at 870-268-9736.  
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 C-SPAN Seeks Student Video Entries for StudentCam Competition

C-SPAN announced that it is now seeking entries for its StudentCam video documentary competition.  C-SPAN StudentCam is an annual documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues affecting our communities and nation.  C-SPAN StudentCam invites students to identify a current political topic of interest and produce a short (up to ten minute) video documentary which creatively explores an issue while integrating C-SPAN programming.

Middle school students from grades 6-8 and high school students grades 9-12 may enter the contest as individuals or as teams of students.  Documentaries may be recorded in any format, such as straight documentary, interviews, entertainment, promotional, news report, magazine style or public service.  All must include C-SPAN programming.

All entries are due to C-SPAN's offices by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 31, 2007.  Winners will be announced on Friday, February 15, 2008.  Entries will be judged on success in capturing the contest's themes, quality of expression, use of C-SPAN programming, inclusion of multiple viewpoints and creativity.  A grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the best overall entry, while multiple cash prizes of $250, $750, $1,000 and $3,000 will be awarded in both middle and high school categories. 

For more information on the contest, please visit www.studentcam.org or email educate@c-span.org.  
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 Congratulations Red Letter Award Winners!

Congratulations to ACC members Jerilyn Bliss, Amy Cohn, Shirley Powell and Misty Skedgell for being named winners of the Atlanta Chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Red Letter Awards!  Jerilyn Bliss, vice president of corporate communications for Scripps Networks; Amy Cohn, executive director of public affairs for Cox Communications and Misty Skedgell, an ACC board member and vice president of corporate communications for Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., each received the Rising Star Award for Emerging Leaders, an award that recognizes women who show potential to be influential leaders within their organization and the cable telecommunications industry.  Shirley Powell, senior vice president of corporate communications for Turner Broadcasting Systems received the Horizon Award for Women to Watch, an award presented to a woman with a consistent record of professional success and job excellence.  For a full list of winners and a description of all awards, please visit http://www.wictatlanta.org/.  
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 Judge the 2008 Beacon Awards!

Get connected to ACC and your colleagues by judging the 2008 Beacon Awards!  Each year, ACC invites its members to serve as judges for the Beacon Awards, the cable industry's highest honor for communications and public affairs excellence.  As a Beacon Award judge, you will learn what your cable communications peers across the country are accomplishing and will walk away from the experience with hundreds of new ideas and connections. 

The first round of Beacon Award judging will be all day January 16 and 17 in Washington, DC, with a welcome reception hosted by NCTA on the evening of January 15.  To RSVP to serve as a Beacon judge, please fill out the judging form
and fax it to Michelle Butler at 202-222-2371.
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 Thank You, Corporate Members!

Join and support ACC by becoming a corporate member.  Join now and receive benefits immediately from your join date until December 2008.  For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at sjones@cablecommunicators.org or 202-222-2373.  For membership details, go to www.cablecommunicators.org/mcorp.shtml.

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

Benefactors
Discovery Networks
Lifetime Television
Smithsonian Networks
The Weather Channel

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