Inside This Issue:
As you prepare your entries for the 2009 Beacon Awards, the most important step you can take to give your entries the best chance of winning is to write a strong, three-page project summary of your communications campaigns or tactics. The project summary gives you the chance to show judges exactly what makes your project worthy of a Beacon Award. Judges spend the most time reviewing the three-page project summary, and, now that binders are no longer necessary, this portion of the submission is 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 2009 Beacon Award entry and will show you what it takes to make your entry stand out.
The Beacon Awards recognize the best of the best cable communications and public affairs campaigns. Enter your best work and receive the recognition you deserve. The early bird deadline is May 1, 2009, and submitting entries by then allows you to save $50 per each entry. The final deadline is May 15. A PDF of the Call for Entries can be found online.
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 http://www.cablecommunicators.org/awards_beacon.php or contact Michelle Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2372.
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Forty-seven outstanding educators from across the nation have been selected as finalists in Cable in the Classroom’s Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards. The program is designed to honor leaders who utilize technology to effectively and innovatively educate students. Finalists are educators, administrators, policymakers, and community leaders who are dedicated to creatively fostering young minds.
Winners will be selected from the pool of finalists and awarded in three categories: General Excellence, Media Literacy Education, and Cable Partnerships for Learning. The finalist selected in the General Excellence category will be honored for creating learning opportunities that encompass traditional and new teaching methods and produce measurable improvement in and out of the classroom. The Media Literacy Education category award will go to a finalist who has advanced the ability of students to understand, evaluate and create media messages. Leaders who partner with the cable industry to improve educational opportunities for students will be recognized in the Cable Partnerships for Learning category.
All awards include a $3,000 prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the June awards ceremony and luncheon hosted by Food Network chef Alton Brown. Winners will be announced in May. For more information, visit www.leadersinlearningawards.org or contact Tiffany Reedy at 703-276-2772.
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2009 is a year of change, challenge and opportunity for the cable industry and the world economy as a whole. How should a savvy cable communicator manage his or her career today? How can you ensure that you are furthering your professional development? Join your fellow members for "Managing Your Career in Today’s Economy," an ACC online chat April 22 at 2 p.m. EDT.
ACC has invited Renee Hauch, Senior Vice President, Search Management and Research of Carlsen Resources and one of the leading experts on the cable job market, and executive coaches Lynn Drake of Drake Consulting & Coaching LLC and Carol Veron of Communications Matters, LLC to offer advice, help you with goal setting and answer any questions you may have.
ACC's Online Chat: Managing Your Career in Today’s Economy will be accessible to all on its Web site: www.cablecommunicators.org. If you have a question that you would like to ask any of the experts, but will not be able to participate in the live chat, please email it to Michelle Butler. ACC will post a transcript of the chat in the members-only section of its Web site.
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The 2009 NCTA Cable Show took place on April 1-3 in Washington, D.C., as a part of Cable Connection--Spring. With the premiere of Broadband Nation, an extensive exhibition floor, and over 40 management sessions, the 2009 Cable Show provided numerous educational and networking opportunities within the industry.
Four general sessions covered pressing topics in the world of cable. Kyle McSlarrow, President and CEO of NCTA, opened the first session with a state of the industry address. He highlighted broadband's role in empowering communities and improving the lives of citizens--a sentiment echoed in the session, "Agenda for a New Media Era." William Kennard, Managing Director, Telecommunications and Media for the Carlyle Group, moderated the panel which featured Patrick Esser, President of Cox Communications; Jerald Kent, President and CEO of Suddenlink; Craig McCaw, Chairman of Clearwire; and Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation.
The importance of customer concerns when developing new technology was the first issue discussed. Esser advised awareness of four elements: the price for value, customer service, intuitive use, and reliability. McCaw also emphasized the importance of mobility and accessibility. Roberts saw the evolution of television technology and viewing habits as an opportunity to change business procedure. When faced with the possibility of online video content as competition, he said the industry should see it as "friend not foe, empowering our broadband business" by allowing the chance for new content and additional revenue. Kent cautioned on the dissemination of free content online--citing newspapers, that once posted content online without subscription charges and are now struggling economically. When faced with the question of the economic climate on the industry, the panelists were optimistic. McCaw even cited the industry as a possible solution to the financial crisis. "The government got us into this," he said, "and basic business and entrepreneurs will lead us out of this situation."
The second session, "Navigating a Communications Revolution," featured a keynote address by Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, who lauded cable's anti-piracy efforts and addressed online content. Iger emphasized the importance of playability to the consumer and warned that limiting access to online content to subscribers only could be seen as anti-technology. CNBC Anchor and Reporter David Faber moderated the panel made up of Glenn Britt, President and CEO of Time Warner Cable; Dan Moloney, President of Home and Networks Mobility for Motorola; Michael Willner, Vice Chairman & CEO of Insight Communications; Tom Rutledge, COO for Cablevision; and Amy Tykeson, President, CEO and Chairman of BendBroadband.
The session began with a discussion on the economic state of the industry. Rutledge pointed out that "our business strategy is not dependant on a business cycle," and that continuing to provide a quality product helps to maintain economic stability. Despite this recession being the worst he has seen in his lifetime, Willner was optimistic about the resilience of broadband subscription--saying cable was seen as the more effective Internet technology. Moloney saw taking the technology out of the home--making it mobile--as the next step in the evolution of the industry to suit consumer habits, that Tykeson said were shifting from appointment viewing to on demand consumption. Britt reminded the audience that the industry is in a period of rapid change and the focus should remain on the customer and, though there is no replacement for subscription revenue, it can evolve based on consumption.
On Thursday afternoon, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto moderated "Primetime in the Global Village," a panel made up of Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation; Jeff Bewkes, Chairman & CEO of Time Warner, Inc.; Phillippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom; and Michael Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global. Authentication, a payment system for viewing online content, was the main topic in this session. Murdoch pressed the need to find a way to monetize online content--a feat few except search engine operations have been able to accomplish. Bewkes argued that the issue of authentication does not entail "trying to make the Internet not free;" rather it is a matter of finding ways for customers who already pay for the content through subscriptions to have access to it whenever and wherever they want. To further his point, Bewkes showed a commercial for the new "HBO Go" services, that allows subscribers to view HBO content on the Web by using an authentication system. Dauman provided a different perspective, presenting the adaptation of content to the different media broadband provides as a part of the solution. Fries said a product of value that curates, brands, aggregates and creates will meet the desires of the modern, choice-saturated consumer.
The final general session of the 2009 Cable Show addressed the progress of interactive advertising in a panel moderated by Craig Moffett, Vice President and Senior Analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. The "Economics of a New Advertising Era" panel consisted of Steve Burke, COO of Comcast Corporation and President of Comcast Cable Communications; Jeff Gaspin, President & COO of Universal Television Group; Landel Hobbs, COO of Time Warner Cable; David Levy, President of Turner Broadcasting Sales & President of Turner Sports; Matt Seiler, Global CEO for Universal McCann; David Verklin, CEO of Canoe Ventures; and David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.
Authentication was the buzz word again during the last session. When queried on the issue of piracy, Zaslav made it clear that piracy is not the threat, rather the lack of authentication in a media world full of free online content. Seiler advised using the unique strengths of different media platforms to present content in different ways. From a business perspective, Levy impressed the need for operators and networks to work together to find what works best for both. Hobbs provided another operator's standpoint--saying the technology is possible and preching a dual revenue stream is important to the sucess of any authentication effort.
Canoe Ventures was also a focal point of the panel. Verkin noted that the recently launched initiative has achieved significant progress and will continue to grow. Echoing the optimism of his fellow panelist, Burke had confidence in the industry's ability to support and grow the venture. "Once [an idea] clicks in and once it starts, we tend to be an industry that goes farther than we ever thought," he said.
Here’s your chance to shape FORUM 2009 with just a few short questions! ACC wants your input on this year’s program. On April 8, all members will be e-mailed a survey to garner your feedback on topics for educational sessions, potential new online offerings, and more. Keep an eye out for the short, four to five question survey next week!
Make sure to register for ACC’s FORUM 2009 as well! FORUM 2009 is now a part of Cable Connections—Fall in Denver, Colorado. Join your colleagues for educational sessions and networking opportunities to further your career, October 25-30. 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 $800 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 26, and continues on Tuesday and Wednesday with a full range of educational sessions. For more information, visit www.cablecommunicators.org.
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Time Warner Cable has announced plans to spend $100 million of cash and in-kind resources toward a five-year philanthropic plan to address America's continuing decline in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
In consultation with a board of experts in related fields, the plan will include national partnerships and programs that use TWC's video, data and voice platforms to engage youth in grades K-12 in science and technology activities. The operator hopes to combat growing apathy toward science and math found among school children.
"This is the next iteration of Time Warner Cable's long-standing commitment to the young people in our communities," Bonnie Hathaway, vice president of public affairs, said in a press release, "This new initiative will connect youth to after-school opportunities that can help instill a sense of wonder and discovery in young minds. We hope this will inspire a lifelong exploration of science and technology and believe this initiative will make a meaningful, measurable difference in our communities."
For more information, contact Robyn Watson at email@example.com.
Lifetime’s Every Woman Counts public service campaign was honored by The White House Project with a 2009 EPIC award on March 30th. Recognizing positive representations of women’s leadership, this year’s EPIC awards focuses on the impact of democracy and media on the new generation of women. Lifetime was honored for the networks pioneering efforts in encouraging women to vote and run for office.
Since 1992, the Every Woman Counts campaign has encouraged women to get involved in the political process through on-air programming, digital content, and grass roots efforts. The network formed a coalition of women’s media and advocacy groups last year to encourage women to speak out on issues they care about. Elements of the 2008 campaign included a bus tour, celebrity PSAs, and political leadership training opportunities for women—in partnership with The White House Project.
The White House Project is a non-partisan organization devoted to encouraging positive perception of women in leadership as well as advancing the role of women in politics. For more information, visit The White House Project’s Web site or Lifetime’s Every Woman Counts site.
ACC Member Char Beales will be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame at Cable Connection—Fall. Beales is President and CEO of the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).
Hall of Fame members are chosen by The Cable Center for leadership, dedication, and impact on the cable industry and their communities. The 12th Annual Cable Hall of Fame ceremony will take place October 27 at the Colorado Convention Center. For more information, visit www.cablehalloffame.com.
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The late entry deadline to enter the 2009 Mark Awards is April 7. For 26 years, the Mark Awards have recognized outstanding achievement and excellence in marketing and communications from networks, cable companies, and their agencies in the cable business.
Yes, it’s not “just for marketers.” The intersect between marketing and communications is included in the Mark Awards competition in a number of categories, such as collaborative marketing, partnership marketing, and press communications.
The Mark Awards committee, led by chair Jennifer Ball, senior vice president, affiliate marketing for Univision Television Group, has been hard at work tweaking the category and media definitions and rules to accurately reflect the current state of cable marketing. Get up to date on all the changes at the Mark Awards Blog or see the complete list of divisions, categories and media.
Get your entries in by April 7 for a chance to be known throughout the cable and entertainment world as “best in class”. Entries must consist of marketing and advertising materials first used between February 1, 2008, and February 28, 2009.
A call for judges is also underway with the preliminary round on June 9-10 in Arlington, VA, and the final round on July 22-23 in New York City. Interested volunteers should check out the judging criteria.
CTAM will honor the winners at the Presentation of Awards event during the evening of October 26, 2009, at the CTAM Summit in Denver. The Beacon Awards will follow the Mark Awards, allowing winners of both competitions to celebrate twice in the same night.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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