Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

March 6, 2009
About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:

 2009 Beacon Awards Are Easier Than Ever to Enter

The 2009 Beacon Awards have undergone their own digital transition, and large binders are no longer necessary.  ACC has posted the 2009 Beacon Awards Call for Entries online, and increased ease of entry is one of several improvements implemented by the 2009 Beacon Award committee led by chair Janice Caluda, ACC board member and vice president, operations for the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association. The 2009 entries can be as simple as a three-page project summary and a CD or DVD of supporting materials.  Entrants may also submit live URLs for their Web site and new media entries, and the judging criteria has been revised to better evaluate the new style of entries. 

The Beacon Awards recognize the best of the best cable communications and public affairs campaigns.  Enter your strongest projects and receive the recognition you deserve.  Entries to the 2009 Beacon Awards must represent work executed and results achieved between November 16, 2007, and May 15, 2009, the final deadline for the 2009 Beacon Awards.  The early bird deadline is May 1, 2009, providing savings of $50 per each entry.

ACC will honor the Beacon Award winners during a gala dinner and ceremony that will kick off FORUM 2009, the association’s dynamic, educational conference, the evening of October 26, 2009, in Denver, Colorado.  For more information about the Beacon Awards, visit or contact Michelle Butler at or 202-222-2372.

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Comcast Chattanooga Builds Local Image Campaign

Comcast wants to be known for more than their cable services in Chattanooga, TN. Now in its sixth month, Comcast Chattanooga’s local image campaign continues to expand and remind residents that the operator is an active member of the community. Employing PSAs, billboard advertisements, and coupons in local newspapers, the campaign focuses on Comcast’s commitment to residents rather than products and services.

“We want to continue to grow awareness of who Comcast is in Chattanooga. Marketing has their mission on promoting our superior products and services, but this [campaign] is dedicated to Chattanooga Comcast’s commitment to our community,” Laurie Shipley, public affairs manager for Comcast Chattanooga, said. Local image campaigns allow cable operators to show how national charitable efforts have a presence in individual markets. To keep the focus local, Shipley concentrated on public relations strategies that had proven successful in the area in the past and advises careful consideration when pairing message with medium. Comcast has used a billboard near the local office with holiday or a simple “Thank You” message and distributed pay-per-view coupons in area newspapers to reach the community. They also produced two PSAs with different messages: one emphasizing Comcast employees’ role as members of the community and the other presenting elements of Comcast’s customer service. 

Comcast currently runs a similar campaign in North Georgia and plans to launch another in Athens, TN. For more information, contact Laurie Shipley at

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Register for the March 19 ACC Webinar: “Web 2.0 Today”

Twitter is for tweeting. Facebook is for friending. Blogs are for posting and avoiding flaming. LinkedIn is for recommendations and SecondLife is all about your avatar. Understanding today’s social media lingo is half the battle, but what does it mean for the modern cable communicator and how can you use it to tell the right story? Join us for “Web 2.0 Today,” an ACC webinar on March 19 at 2 pm.

NCTA’s Paul Rodriguez, Director, Web Content, and Mike Turk, Vice President, Industry Grassroots, are your tour guides on this informational trip through social media. The web experts founded, cable’s blog on technology, and will share strategies for harnessing the power of Web 2.0 to enhance communication efforts and campaigns.

Only ACC members may attend this webinar, and it is free of charge as a benefit of ACC membership.  ACC members can register for this free webinar via the association’s online education portal in the members-only section of ACC’s Web site. You must be logged into the members-only area to access this portal, and you can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of each individual page of the Web site. Your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters.

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Bright House Holds 20th Star Teacher Awards

For the 20th year, Bright House will honor the efforts of outstanding teachers with the Star Teacher Awards. Educators in the operator’s service area were invited to submit teaching projects that utilized cable in the classroom programming for the chance to win cash prizes, a Tiffany Crystal Star, and a trip to Birmingham, AL.

Teachers of grades K-12 can enter individually or as a group by submitting a binder of teaching materials, student work, and supporting materials as well as audio/visual components. Projects should focus on community involvement, curriculum development, cross-curricular activities, study guides, audio/visual implementation, or Web site usage. Entries are judged by a panel of experts on content, innovation, use of programming, benefits to students, duration, and impact. Winners split a $1,000 cash prize, attend an awards gala in Birmingham, and have the opportunity to explore the historic city. The winning schools receive a laptop for their media center.

Bright House has encouraged engagement with cable programming by conducting hands-on training for educators for the past two decades. As a means of promoting the awards, the training has proved most effective, according to Reinaldo Llano, Director of Corporate Community Relations for Bright House. “The hands-on training and face-to-face visits are king when it comes to engagement. For the past few years, we have tweaked our approach to find ways to engage more teachers. So far, the former remains our greatest tool,” he said. Llano emphasizes the importance of building personal relationships with the educators to encourage involvement. Bright House also sent out targeted postcards to direct teachers to the operator’s online portal which promotes cable’s educational offerings and the awards.

The Bright House Star Teacher Awards program is sponsored by A&E and NBC Universal Cable. Winners will be honored June 15 to 17. For more information, contact Reinaldo Llano at

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Register for FORUM 2009 Online!

Being a part of cable communication’s premiere professional development event just got easier. Registration for FORUM 2009 is now available online. Join your colleagues for educational sessions and networking opportunities to further your career, October 26-28. Simply visit the Cable Connection registration site for ACC events. From there, you can register for FORUM events as well as book your hotel. Registration is $750 before March 31st for all three days. Beacon Awards ceremony only tickets are priced at $150. This year, FORUM opens with the Beacon Awards on Monday evening, October 26th, and continues on Tuesday and Wednesday with a full range of educational sessions. For more information, visit

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Cablevision and Lustgarten Foundation Air New PSAs for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Cablevision and the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research have released new PSAs to raise awareness of the struggle against pancreatic cancer. The PSAs feature actors Matthew Modine and William Hurt, as well as former President Jimmy Carter.

“Our most recent PSAs focus on public figures [who] were kind enough to share their very emotional and powerful personal stories about the horrific impact of pancreatic cancer and the urgent need to act,” Kerri Kaplan, Executive Director of the Lustgarten Foundation, said. “Each of these figures lost one or more close family members to pancreatic cancer, and know firsthand the devastation of the disease.”

The partnership with Cablevision allows the Lustgarten Foundation to air the PSAs on television as well as during movie trailers in the operator’s cinemas. They are available on the Lustgarten Foundation On Demand channel, which features additional information on the organization and fight against cancer, and also run on Madison Square Garden’s marquees in New York City. Print versions are placed as ads in Newsday and game programs for the New York Knicks and Rangers.

The Lustgarten Foundation was created ten years ago in honor of former vice chairman of Cablevision and chairman of Madison Square Garden, Marc Lustgarten, who died of pancreatic cancer. The organization is dedicated to funding research focused on the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Cablevision underwrites the administrative costs of the organization and has been an important partner in Lustgarten’s curePC campaign. For more information, visit

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ACC Communications Institute A Success

The 2009 ACC Communications Institute took place in New York City on March 1-4 with a total of 18 participants in attendance. Hosted by Syracuse University, the Institute featured 11 different speakers invited by the school of public communications to present on topics such as the evolving role of the corporate communications officer, change management, communications law, new media, and measuring the effect of communications efforts. Lively discussion and participation were characteristic of the sessions, with attendees frequently providing feedback and asking questions.

Tuesday evening, ACC held a networking event in the Time Warner Center’s Hudson Room. Over thirty communications professionals gathered against the backdrop of New York City by night to socialize and discuss industry affairs. A highlight of the evening was a drawing for prizes courtesy of AMC, ESPN, NBC Universal, HBO, The Discovery Channel, and ACC.

The eighteen Institute participants were Sara Brady, Vice President of Public Affairs for Bright House; Sarah Chaikin, Director of Media Relations for Consumer Services for Cablevision; Ardi Dwornik, Director of Communications at ESPN; Pam Ford, Director of Communications for NCTA; Julie Galeota, Director of Community Investment for Comcast; Jim Hughes, Director of Public Relations for Comcast North Central Division; Jim Maiella, ACC Board Member and Vice President of Media Relations, Cable & Communications for Cablevision; Phyllis Peters, Communications Director for Mediacom Communications; Amy Phillips, Director of Communications for ESPN; Amy Quinn, Director of Public Relations for Cox Communications; Gene Regan, Director of Corporate Communications at Suddenlink; Joy Sims, Director of Media Relations for NCTA; Jud Stewart, Vice President, Marketing & Programming for Armstrong; Jenn Toner, Public Relations Manager for Turner Broadcasting Systems; Tessie Topol, Director of Strategic Philanthropy & Community Affairs for Time Warner Cable; Justin Venech, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Time Warner Cable; Robyn Watson, Director of Public Relations for Time Warner Cable; and Robin Wolfgang, Vice President Public & Government Affairs for Time Warner Cable.

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HITN Celebrates Women’s History Month

The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network will celebrate Women’s History Month this March utilizing the Beacon Award wining public affairs program, Dialogo de Costa a Costa. The program will cover important issues among women including health, career, and motherhood each week this month.

According to Esther Duran, Executive Producer of Dialogo de Costa a Costa, topics were selected to bring attention to issues that do not usually receive representation on commercial television stations. This month they will emphasize the importance of women in society. Though most topics were chosen for relevance to all women, such as the history of women’s rights and cervical cancer awareness, Duran cites the March 18 episode “The Working Class Woman” as a celebration of the Hispanic community.

“We selected the topic because many women in our community are part of this labor force,” she said. “We decided to do a show that describes and values the hard work of hundreds of thousands of Latinas who make a living as janitors, factory workers, babysitters and other low paying jobs and how they contribute to society.” Other topics include women and music, fashion, and equal pay legislation.

Dialogo de Costa a Costa is a Hispanic public affairs show that allows the audience to call-in and discuss topics of cultural and political significance with featured experts. The show is presented in Spanish. For more information visit

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Congratulations 2009 Cable Pioneers!

ACC members Decker Anstrom, Nancy Larkin, Matt Polka, and Susan Swain have been named 2009 Cable Pioneers by The Cable Center. Anstrom is currently on ACC’s Board of Advisors and has served as NCTA Board Chairman. Past ACC President and significant player in the formation of the Beacon Awards, Larkin is Vice President of Marketing and Development for Comcast SportNet. Polka is President and CEO of the American Cable Association and Swain is President and Co-COO of C-SPAN Networks.

The Cable Center bestows the title of Cable Pioneer to members of the industry who have had at least twenty years direct experience and have been nominated by a current Pioneer. Since 1966, more than 500 professionals have been honored, and twenty-five more will be inducted at The Cable Show, April 1, in Washington, D.C.

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ACC Brief Release: “How to Talk Money (And What Not to Say) for Non-Financial Communicators”

Next week, ACC’s latest brief, “How to Talk Money (And What Not to Say) for Non-Financial Communicators,” will be released via e-mail and posted on the association Web site. Written by Ron Rizzuto, Ph.D, Professor of Finance and Co-Director of the Reiman School of Finance in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, the March brief demystifies the language of financial statements for cable communicators who find themselves increasingly working with investor relations. This issue provides an overview of key financial terms and concepts cable communicators should understand when they speak directly or indirectly about corporate or industry financial issues.

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Thank You, Corporate Members!

Join and support ACC by becoming a 2009 corporate member. For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at or 202-222-2373.  For membership details, go to

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

Lifetime Television

Friends & Associates
Bresnan Communications
Cable ONE
California Cable & Telecommunications Association
Cisco Systems, Inc.
C-SPAN Networks
Discovery Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Gospel Music Channel
Hallmark Channel
Insight Communications
Midcontinent Communications
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
The Outdoor Channel
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment
Suddenlink Communications
Texas Cable Association

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