Inside This Issue:
As part of the association's ongoing efforts to broaden the array of services and professional tools available to members and incorporate interactive features into the Web site www.cablecommunicators.org, the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) will host its first online chat on Wednesday, February 6 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Entitled Cable Blogs: Tapping into the Blogosphere to Achieve Company Goals, this chat will enable cable communicators to discuss how best to use this medium with an interactive public relations expert and three cable trailblazers in the world of blogging.
"The explosion of the blogosphere has changed how, where and from whom people get their information," said Steve Jones, executive director, ACC. "As the cable industry's only national, professional services organization devoted to excellence in communications, the Association of Cable Communicators strives to keep its members informed about the changes in communications techniques and technologies and help them master these new tools."
ACC's first, online chat will be accessible to all via www.cablecommunicators.org. Following up on the ACCbrief Blogs and Beyond, this chat will feature Lance Helgeson, vice president, v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations and a contributor to this brief; Jerilyn Bliss, vice president, corporate communications, Scripps Networks; Anthony Surratt, executive director, public relations, Cox Communications; and Brandii Toby, press and publicity manager, DIY Network. One of the first cable companies to blog was Cox Communications. In October 2005 Cox launched Digital Straight Talk, a blog that allows Cox to present views and news on the many issues affecting broadband providers and consumers. DIY Network used its Blog Cabin in 2007 to drive "tune-in" for on-air and "logon" for online programming with positive results.
The first ACC online chat follows closely behind the ACC Beacon Awards blog and the launch of the association's enhanced online home at www.cablecommunicators.org. The new Web site incorporates relevant and continually refreshed information, e-learning and Web 2.0 services and serves as a focal point for ACC's members and cable communicators across the country.
ACC will post a transcript of the chat on its Web site. If you have a question that you would like to ask Jerilyn, Anthony or Brandii but will not be able to participate in the live chat, please email Michelle Butler your question.
The Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) has introduced a diverse schedule of educational breakout sessions to highlight FORUM 2008, taking place March 30 to April 2, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Topics covered will include branding, running successful publicity programs, executive development, current federal policies, how PR can drive sales, managing a community relations crisis, and the digital transition.
Sessions will be broken into five program areas: management & strategy, internal communications, publicity and media relations, government relations and community relations. Panels will feature leading figures in the industry and will address some of the most relevant issues in cable television.
The conference will be held in the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, DC. For information about FORUM 2008, including registration, please visit http://www.cablecommunicators.org/forum.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) introduced a new blog this week that will focus on the changing broadband technology landscape. The blog will highlight telecommunications policy, cable's products and services, and other high-tech items that operate in conjunction with cable's robust infrastructure.
Current plans for the blog are to invite guest contributions from throughout the cable industry to talk about the latest gadgets, management of large scale networks and how changes in regulations often have an effect on the customer's experience. Views from outside the industry— including those not in agreement with cable— will also be invited to contribute to the dialogue. For more information on the blog, contact Rob Stoddard at 202-222-2350.
The U.S. cable industry has adopted the "tru2way™" brand to replace the term "OpenCable™ Platform" for the marketing and branding of the interactive video platform for consumers and in retail markets. CableLabs®, the industry's research and development company, will license the brand to cable companies, cable programmers and consumer electronics manufacturers that will deliver, create or build devices to access tru2way applications and services.
Tru2way technology is built into televisions, set-top boxes, and other devices enabling cable companies and other developers to create applications such as games and see them run successfully on any cable television system that supports the specification. The tru2way technology enables consumers to access two-way digital cable programming without the need for a cable operator-supplied set-top box and is capable of supporting all cable services now delivered to devices currently leased to consumers
as well as future services written to the tru2way technology. For more information on tru2way, contact Mike Schwartz at 303-661-9100 or email@example.com.
Editor's Note: ACC's Career Connections is devoted to answering questions about the practice of cable communications and public affairs. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Pete Abel, Vice President of Corporate Communications with Suddenlink Communications:
What skills do you think a cable communicator needs to advance in his or her career? How did you acquire those skills? How have the communications skills you've acquired helped your career advancement?
I think cable communicators need the same skills that all professional communicators need to advance their careers. In my career,
were the most critical.
2. Making the written and spoken word "sing" – If good communication starts with good organization, then great communication is born when communicators apply that unique turn of phrase; when they express something mundane in a spectacular way. The better that communicators are at transforming prose into lyrical or creative expression, the better their prose will be remembered and understood, and the farther they will advance. Why? Because so few people can do this and do it well. And to develop this skill, I think you have to make word- and thought-construction a constant hobby or habit. For me, that "constant habit" has involved a lot of different activities, some professional, some not, such as: (a) toying around with copy multiple ways, even if it requires me to stay late or work extra hours; (b) checking the thesaurus for different words even when the same-old words will do; (c) playing crossword puzzles; (d) composing songs with lyrics on the piano, just for fun – and the list goes on.
3. Learning and applying new knowledge: The demands of PR agency-life did much to help me hone this skill. One minute, we'd be promoting a beer company's gimmick; the very next, we'd be developing copy for a technology company's public policy debate. Trust me: It's much easier to learn the next-great cable technology than it is to learn the nuances of one industry versus an entirely different one. However, the base skill is the same: you must be able to rapidly learn each new industry, product, technique, or technology (drinking through a fire hose without drowning), and then turn around and apply that knowledge to either written and/or multi-media communications.
To see the rest of this interview as well as the other nine video or written interviews with top cable communicators, visit http://www.cablecommunicators.org/resources_cccp.php.
Outdoor Channel will host its fourth annual sailfish tournament January 14-16 in Islamorada, Florida, to help raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The tournament provides an opportunity for outdoorsmen to catch fish and help raise money alongside members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization that works to maximize the quality of life for its armed services veteran members and all people with spinal cord injury or dysfunction.
Last year the effort raised more than $10,000 for the charity, and this year's event is expected to top that figure. For more information on the tournament or to make a donation to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, contact Erica Chouinard at 310-784-1040 or Erica@bobgoldpr.com, or visit www.outdoorchannel.com.
Bresnan Communications teamed up with a Mesa County, Colorado, school district to provide computer kiosks at City Market grocery stores that allow parents to keep tabs on their kids' performance in school. All six City Market stores in the area now contain computer kiosks where parents can view assignments, attendance, course grades, standardized test scores, lunch expenditures, demographic information and teacher and school messages.
In this joint effort, Bresnan provided Internet access, the district provided the computers and City Market provided the kiosks. The service is an extension of Parent Bridge, an initiative launched in 2003 that allows parents to monitor their children's progress in school through the Internet. The school district decided to expand the service to the grocery stores to reach families without computers at home. For more information contact Shawn Beqaj at SBeqaj@bresnan.com.
Join and support ACC by becoming a corporate member. For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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