Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts


August 21, 2009 -
About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:

 

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Tips for Improving Your Internal and Employee Communications

An effective internal and employee communications campaign informs employees of corporate objectives, inspires dedication to the customer experience, and connects senior management to the frontline. The success of each of those goals banks on fostering a two-way dialogue between management and employees. Whether you’re communicating with employees face-to-face or via an intranet, ensuring participation and response is vital. “Ideally, everyone would open all of our communications, but some employees [are] overrun with e-mails, while others are barely at a computer, so getting everyone to focus is a challenge,” Wanita Niehaus, director of marketing, corporate communications for Scripps Networks, said in ACC’s August 13 online chat, “Internal and Employee Communications.” The experts on the chat tackled the difficulty of garnering response to internal communications. Here are some of their suggestions on making sure the conversation goes both ways.


· Tap divisional and regional management for the best methods to reach employees

You don’t have to lose the personal touch in employee communications just because your corporation is large. “The best part of my job is being in touch with our division [and] region people,” Susan Warner, senior director, public affairs for Time Warner Cable, said. “They keep me informed about what is happening on the ground level and let me know all the fantastic stories that are out there.” Utilizing local management can keep you in touch with the culture of the different branches and give an advantage in tailoring your employee communications.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of your internal hierarchy. “We tend to get more participation when managers at all levels reference communications,” Niehaus said. “If a mid-level manager references the daily e-blast or a newsletter then direct reports see that staying informed is valued. We get much greater response.”

· Recognition

Who doesn’t like to see their accomplishments lauded in print? Featuring employees and the good work they’ve done, in communications materials and intranet sites, give them a reason to be invested. “We’ve instituted several employee recognition programs for various levels and they have helped keep employees engaged,” Christine McCafferty, director, communications for Comcast, said. “They’ve been profiled in our internal communication tools and tactics and we frequently receive feedback on those pieces.”

· Use your executives

Remember the dialogue goes both ways. Actively and visibly involving your executives in internal communications shows that one side is definitely invested in the conversation. Our experts have used their executives in multiple ways—through executive road shows, monthly live broadcasts, and direct recognition of employees. The road shows and live broadcasts give the feeling of face-to-face communication between senior management and frontline employees. Direct recognition, in the form of personal thank you notes or other communication from the senior management to junior level employees, also carries great weight.  However, in a large company, the idea of getting a busy executive on board for direct recognition can be daunting. Our experts have found that the easier you make it for them, the more likely they will get involved. “A big part of what I do is craft the draft for execs, which makes it easier for them to make edits and lessens the challenge for their schedules,” Monique Peyser, director, internal communications for Time Warner—Carolina Region, advised.

· Provide a safe environment for communication

“We’ve learned from our surveys that employees want to be a part of the planning process, they’re eager for information and sharing their ideas,” Peyser said. Utilizing blogs, forums, and discussion boards on your intranet can get employees involved in the process of communication. However, it is essential to create a safe environment for employees to air their ideas and thoughts. Our experts suggest working with HR and legal departments to ensure that intranet communications policies are visible and effectively understood.

· Always respond

Internal and employee communication is a conversation. It is important that concerns, discussions, and correspondence from employees receive a response. The longer it takes for an employee to receive a response, or the more impersonal it is, the less likely it is that they will see your internal communications efforts as an effective venue for dialogue. “I think that it’s important [to respond] so they feel there is someone else on the other side,” Peyser said.

For the full transcript and more useful advice, visit ACC’s Online Education Portal. You must be logged into the members-only area to access this portal; 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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Save $100! Don’t Miss the FORUM 2009 Early Bird Deadline!

Register for FORUM 2009 by September 23 and save $100! Cash in on the chance to join your colleagues for educational sessions and networking opportunities at a discounted rate. Simply visit the Cable Connection registration site for ACC events before September 23, and register for FORUM. You can also sign up for other associated events, and book your hotel room on the same site.

Registration is $800 for all three days at the “early bird” rate. Save further with airline discounts on United, American Airlines, and Continental. Use the following codes while booking online or through your preferred travel agent to receive up to 15% off applicable classes of service for tickets purchased prior to the meeting on Continental and United or 5% off American Airlines tickets:

American Airlines: A15H9AG
Continental Airlines: ZFTEDFKSF-6
United Airlines: 510CK

Denver has affordable hotel rates ranging from $195 at the Denver Marriot up to $349 at the Ritz Carlton with many options in between. The ACC preferred hotels are the Marriot, Brown Palace ($210) and Ritz Carlton.

FORUM 2009 takes place October 26-28 in Denver, CO. This year, FORUM opens with the Beacon Awards on Monday evening in the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, October 26th, and continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, in the Colorado Convention Center, with a full range of educational sessions. Beacon Awards ceremony only tickets are priced at $150. For more information, visit http://www.cablecommunicators.org/forum.php.

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Comcast and Golf Channel Pair Up to Educate Youth on Golf’s African-American Greats

Comcast and the Golf Channel have partnered on an educational program designed to teach youth the history of African-Americans in the world of golf. Built on the documentary "Uneven Fairways," the program features film screenings with special guests, and a complimentary copy of the DVD and the book "Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf" for each participant. Comcast will host the program in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Boston this fall.

“This is an important documentary and one we’re pleased to bring to many young people across the country," David L. Cohen, executive vice president for Comcast, said in a statement. “The documentary and the book present a unique opportunity to talk about a difficult chapter in American history and the tenacity of many African-Americans who had the courage to stand up for their rights.”

"Uneven Fairways" utilizes archival footage and interviews to tell the story of the African-American men and women who faced prejudice to play golf professionally. The film was produced by the Golf Channel and Moxie Pictures and features legendary golfers such as John Shippen, Charlie Sifford, Bill Spiller, Ted Rhodes, Joe Louis, and Tiger Woods. For more information, visit Comcast’s Web site.

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Planet Green’s "Blue August" Surges On

Planet Green partnered with The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ocean Conservancy, Oceana and the United Nations Environment Programme to bring an undercurrent of environmental awareness to their "Blue August" initiative, a celebration of the oceans and their inhabitants.

“With this special month of programming, Planet Green is shining a spotlight on the critical and complex role our oceans and water play in the health of our planet and to those who do and will inhabit this earth,” Planet Green president and general manager Laura Michalchyshyn said. “Working with leading experts and a team of distinguished partners, Planet Green will leverage all of its platforms during Blue August to engage our audiences in understanding and protecting this elemental part of life on Earth.”

Cross-platform efforts include special programming on-air and informational features online. The network will air "Blue Planet", a special, oceans-themed episode of "Focus Earth with Bob Woodruff," and the world premiere of "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification," an original, groundbreaking documentary by the NRDC. Short-form content with Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau highlighting key information about ocean preservation also appears on the network.

PlanetGreen.com features tips on preserving the oceans, volunteer information, special features on sustainable seafood, informative videos, quizzes, slideshows, and the homepage for the “Ban Bags, Butts and Bottles” campaign. The campaign encourages participants to take care of their beaches and submit pictures of offending litter. Also online, Treehugger.com features articles and interviews with world leaders exploring the importance and challenges to preserving the oceans.

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment.  With its two Web sites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, the network offers unique, original, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future.  Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications. For more information, visit www.planetgreen.com.

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ACC Panel “Web 2.0 Today & Its Impact on the Cable Industry” Heads West!

ACC is taking its popular panel topic “Web 2.0 Today & Its Impact on the Cable Industry” on the road to the 2009 Mid-America Cable Show in Overland Park, Kansas! Join us September 23 at 10:00 AM as NCTA’s Paul Rodriguez and Michael Turk explain the evolving world of Web 2.0 and how you can use it to communicate the industry’s message.

Are blogs boring? Is Secondlife a ghost town? Can a 140-character message on Twitter really make a difference? Is Facebook better than MySpace? Has anyone besides Wikipedia been successful with wikis? What is the state of Web 2.0 today, and how can cable communicators use it to tell the industry’s story?

NCTA’s Paul Rodriguez and Michael Turk launched CableTechTalk.com, cable’s blog on technology. During the panel Web 2.0 Today, these two innovators in the world of Web 2.0 will overview the social media landscape and explore ways that you can advance the cable industry online.

For more information, visit www.cablecommunicators.org or the Mid-America Cable Show’s Web site.

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Suddenlink Provides Electronics Recycling Program

Suddenlink Communications in Jonesboro, Arkansas, has instituted "Suddenlink eCycling" an electronics disposal program for the area. The operator provides a central location for customers to drop off small electronics such as TV sets, computers, monitors, modems, stereos, cell phones, alarm clocks, and radios for recycling. Customers also receive recycled bags and information concerning the importance of properly disposing of electronics.

In addition to providing a drop-off location, Suddenlink also hosts events to educate the community on green practices, works with local schools to create green activities, airs public service announcements, and distributes information on environmentally healthy practices and eCycling. After two days of operation, almost 870 pounds of equipment had been deposited in the Suddenlink office and taken to a recycling center. In the first two weeks, 2.5 tons had been collected. For more information, contact Maryce Cunningham at 870-268-9736.

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Discovery Education Kicks Off Youth Science Competition

Discovery Education, with The Siemens Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association, have partnered for the "Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge." The annual science competition encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with classmates and create replicable solutions to environmental problems in the classroom and community.

The challenge is the first and only national sustainability education initiative aligned to national standards and classroom objectives. Discovery Education partnered with the Siemens Foundation, an organization that provides grants to support educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, and the National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization for science educators, to educate, empower, and engage students, teachers and communities to impact their communities for the better.

Teachers, students, and mentors can now register for the challenge online at www.wecanchange.com. Student and teacher/mentor prizes vary according to grade level, and include savings bonds, school grants, trips, TV appearances and more. The challenge’s Web site also offers helpful tips on problem solving and creating sustainable solutions. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.

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First Round of Beacon Judging Completed

Last month, ACC members all over the nation participated in the first round of judging for the 2009 Beacon Awards. For the first time, the initial round of judging was held remotely—with the 316 entries distributed to judges around the country in an effort to address the changes in corporate travel budgets this year. The changes allowed for more communicators to participate, including many first time judges.  

The final round of Beacon Award judging will be held on Thursday, August 27 in Washington, DC. More than 20 senior cable communications professionals will review the entries that advanced from the first round to the final round. ACC will announce the finalists in September and the winners during the 2009 Beacon Awards Gala on October 26, the opening evening of FORUM 2009.

Thank you to the 77 volunteers who participated in the first round of judging for the 2009 Beacon Awards:

Pete Abel, Suddenlink Communications
Christy Anderson, Cox Greater Louisiana
Portia Badham, BadWyn Communications
Peggy Ballard, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Florentina Balseca, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network
Susan Black, Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations
Karmen Blanco, Cox Communications
Laura Brubaker, Comcast
Michael Bybee, Comcast
Janice Caluda, Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Danielle Carrig, Lifetime Networks
Sarah Chaikin, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Joel Chiodi, NFL Network
Ayanna Cole, A&E Television Networks/History
Sandra Colony, Insight Communications
Jim Cook, Armstrong
Maryce Cunningham, Suddenlink Communications
David Deliman, Cox Communications
Reba Doutrick, Insight Communications
Alexander Dudley, Time Warner Cable
Todd Eachus, Comcast
Chris Ellis, Comcast Spotlight
Teresa Ferrante Halbur, Time Warner Cable
Martin Feurer, Time Warner Cable/Eastern Carolina
Lynn Gardner, The History Channel
Rosa Gatti, ESPN, Inc.
Kimberly Gilmore, A&E Television Networks/The History Channel
Jennifer Grasso, Rainbow Media Holdings
Bill Harke, Time Warner Cable - Wisconsin Division
Erin Harvego, Big Ten Network
Amber Haubert, Comcast
Joan Hendricks, Cablevision Systems Corporation
Kristina Hill, The Inspiration Networks
Katie Himes, Time Warner Cable
Tamar Hoapili, Cox Communications
Jason Holmes, Comcast California
Annie Howell, Planet Green, Discovery Communications
Lorelie Johnson, APR, Bright House Networks, Florida Group
Max Johnson, Cable Positive
Maryann Kafer, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Leah Knowles, Bright House Networks
Mike Kohler, Mediacom Communications North Central Division
Karen La Cava, Time Warner Cable - NYC Region
Nancy Larkin, Comcast SportNet
Melissa Lee, CTAM
Reinaldo Llano, Bright House Networks
Colleen Stack Lynch, ESPN, Inc.
Debra Marton, Comcast
Christine McCafferty, Comcast
Daniel McGlone, NAMIC
Mary Jo Moehle, Charter Communications, Inc.
R.J. Muller, Cox Communications
Walter Neary, Comcast
Wanita Niehaus, Scripps Networks
Patricia Parks, Cox Communications
Anna Parra, Time Warner Cable
Skip Perham, Comcast SportsNet
T. Ray Purser, Comcast Cable
Amy Quinn, Cox Communications
Gene Regan, Suddenlink Communications
Rachel Rhodes, Comcast
Ann Ruble, Cox Communications
Dana Runnells, Canoe Ventures
Joan Sage, Comcast
Anne Sherman, C-SPAN
Laurie Shipley, Comcast
Ann Shrewsbury, Time Warner Cable - National
Misty Skedgell, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Jean Margaret Smith, MTV Networks Kids and Family Group
Kat Stewart, Cable in the Classroom
Anthony Surratt, Time Warner Cable
Tessie Topol, Time Warner Cable
Heather Umen, WE tv
Andrea White, Bright House Networks
Antonio Williams, Comcast
Robin Wolfgang, Time Warner Cable- Western New York Division
Stacy Zaja, Time Warner Cable - Wisconsin Division

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Thank You, Corporate Members!

Join and support ACC by becoming a 2010 corporate member. 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 http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.

Golden Benefactors

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

Benefactors
Lifetime Television

Friends & Associates

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

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