Association of Cable Communicators, CPR Facts

October 2, 2009 -
About ACC / Membership / FORUM / Beacon Awards

Inside This Issue:

Attend FORUM 2009!

Join your colleagues for educational sessions and networking opportunities at FORUM 2009: Communicating Cable 3.0: People, Products, & Value.  ACC’s dynamic, three-day event is designed to help cable communications professionals strengthen their skills, catch up on the latest trends, and improve their company’s impact on the industry. This year, FORUM features sessions with top industry executives, NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow, Vail Resort’s Rob Katz, and hands on Web 2.0 instruction to maximize your social media reach.

FORUM 2009 takes place October 26-28 in Denver, CO. 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. Beacon Awards ceremony only tickets are priced at $150. To sign up for FORUM 2009, visit Cable Connections Fall’s Web site. You can also sign up for other associated events on the same site.

Save with airline discounts on United, American, 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 United and Continental or 5% off American tickets:

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

For more information, visit

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History Hosts National Teach-In on Veterans History

History has partnered with the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress to host a National Teach-In on Veterans History on Wednesday, October 21, live from Washington, DC. Educators and students nationwide can tune-in and view the live webcast as a part of the “Take a Veteran to School” initiative.

A panel of educators and veterans will answer questions from students via video, e-mail, and a live audience. The teach-in will focus on the histories and stories of veterans, and will provide information on how communities nationwide can help preserve the stories of veterans and possibly submit them to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. The panel features Robert Patrick, Director of the Veterans History Project; Terry Shima, WWII veteran and Executive Director of the Japanese American Veterans Association; Professor Darlene Iskra of the University of Maryland, a US Navy veteran of Desert Storm and the first female commanding officer of a US Navy ship; and Jonathan Bickel, a teacher from Eastern Lebanon County High School and part of a teaching-team on veterans history at his school. Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian for History, will moderate.

Each school or teacher that signs up for the webcast will receive a poster for History’s five-part special series, WWII in HD, and a field kit developed by the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. Participants can view the live webcast at the “Take a Veteran to School” Web site. For more information, visit or e-mail

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Reserve a Table at the 20th Annual Beacon Awards

Celebrate two decades of cable communications excellence at the 2009 Beacon Awards Ceremony and Gala by reserving a table today. Kicking off FORUM 2009 on October 26 in Denver, the Beacon Awards Gala gives you the opportunity to see the best campaigns and meet fellow communications professionals all while celebrating the value of your work to the industry. Table reservations are available to FORUM registrants at $2,000. For dinner guests only, tables are $3,500 and include ten tickets to the gala. For more information, contact Michelle Butler at 202-222-2372 or

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Industry Organizations Form Broadband Coalition

Cable industry organizations are partnering with outside companies to form Broadband for America (BfA)—a coalition to support efforts to create a national media strategy for broadband adoption and deployment. The coalition already has more than 100 members including NCTA, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T, USTelecom, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

BfA’s vision includes increasing broadband access to the Internet and encourages private sector investment and competition to further improve broadband’s services. The coalition also hopes to provide consumers with a safe and secure Internet experience of their choosing. Delivering the educational, health, environmental, energy, and social benefits of broadband is also a priority to BfA as is combating piracy.

The coalition aims to be a key player in the education of policy makers and stakeholders by leading discussion and disseminating information to the public about broadband’s role in American life. They also hope to work with the Obama administration and Congress to increase access to broadband Internet.

For more information, visit

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Social Media Matters: A Preview of FORUM 2009

How can you tap into social media, meet your communication goals and positively impact the company’s bottom line? In ACC’s latest online chat, “FORUM '09 in Denver—Communicating Cable 3.0: People, Products & Value,” experts discussed perhaps the most pressing topic in communications today and a major focus of this year’s FORUM: social media.

The cable industry and communications are changing rapidly. Cable industry products and services have expanded into all areas of the customer’s life; social media have revolutionized the way people communicate. The savvy cable communicator wants to stay ahead of the curve and find the most effective ways to communicate cable 3.0: people, products, & value.

FORUM committee co-chairs Amanda Batson, CEO, ADB Partners Education on Demand, and Eric Becker, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Starz Entertainment were joined by Doyle Albee, President & New Media Practice Director, Metzger Associates Public Relations; and ACC executive director Steve Jones in the discussion which highlights some of the key topics to be covered at FORUM.

Incorporating Social Media into your Work
Social media has found its way into the routine of everyday life. Companies that ignore it will be left behind, but using it improperly can be a waste of time and lead to little results.

“To fully understand social media, leaders must engage or, at least, ask staff to keep them in the loop regarding digital conversations, hot topics, especially as related to the work of the company -- in our case cable, video, voice, data, apps, etc”—Amanda Batson

Controlling the Conversation
The debate over who is in charge of the social media conversation is a hot one right now, but our experts agree: control is a thing of the past.

“As communicators, we could never control what people said about our companies, but now they say those things in very public forums. What we CAN control is how we engage and respond to those customers--just because we chose NOT to participate doesn't mean the conversation about our company stops.”—Doyle Albee

“Control -- interesting but rapidly antiquated approach to leadership and even management.  This is a hard turn for many who have built their career on control.  But those who learn to listen, respond, [and] engage find the "control" is no longer relevant.”— Batson

Engaging with Users
Though control may be a thing of the past, you can still engage your users in a meaningful way.

&ldquo...there is a 'lunatic fringe' element out there that is beholden to no one and holds no protocol, decorum, or journalistic standards and will demagogue you to death if you let them. Engaging them may not necessarily produce the results that you wish and control can be lost. But, often times, folks are so grateful to have a voice and be heard that engaging them might actually give you control yet again.  Tough with the cloak of anonymity to know how exactly every conversation will play out.”—Eric Becker

Hosting the Conversation vs. Participating in the Conversation
As social media grows, companies are getting in on the act by creating their own social communities. However, it is important to remember the other places people are having virtual conversations about your product.

“Too many companies, in my opinion, get excited about their own Web sites and properties before they even know where their advocates and critics are congregating online. Both are important, but joining the conversation is the first step.”—Doyle

Being aware and joining the conversation on other sites is useful, but there are advantages to company run social communities.
“Going to the public via the public channels (Twitter, Facebook, blogosphere, etc) is crucial for broad understanding and listening.  The "company" social media channels serve as value adds for fans, subs, consumers, customers.  In addition, the company channels can provide that white glove customer care.”—Batson

These topics and more are part of the program at FORUM 2009. For a complete listing of all sessions and events or to register, please visit the FORUM page of ACC’s Web site. To see the full chat transcript, visit

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Comcast Sponsors Celebration of Service Organization

Comcast, in partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies, sponsored the 20th anniversary celebration of Project H.O.M.E.—an organization devoted to empowering people to overcome poverty and homelessness. The event features speakers such as Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Jon Bon Jovi was awarded the inaugural Golden Heart Award for his charitable work.

The MSO and Project H.O.M.E. have worked together since 2004. Comcast provided the organization with technology for its North Philadelphia learning center, The Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs. The center was created to give children and adults greater access to educational and employment opportunities. Services provided by Comcast include 255 computers, Smart Boards™ (interactive white boards) in every classroom to promote interactive learning, the latest wireless networking technology to support flexible learning environments and accessibility, and two classrooms wired for distance learning so that classes can be shared with others in real-time. For more information, visit

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Cox and Outdoor Channel Hold Foster Child Event

Cox Communications and the Outdoor Channel partnered with Child Focus to sponsor the "Ultimate Catch" - 4th Annual Child Focus Sibling Preservation Fishing Event, a fundraising event to benefit children living in foster care in the Las Vegas area on September 25. Forty local foster children and their siblings who do not live in the same home were reunited for an evening of fishing.

The fundraiser was hosted by pro-fisherman and angler Joe Thomas, star of the Outdoor Channel show, "Ultimate Match Fishing." Kids had the chance to compete in a fishing tournament to see who reeled in the largest fish of the night and participate in decoy duck painting. Since its inception, "Ultimate Catch" has been organized by Child Focus, a nonprofit agency that provides many vital support services and resources to enrich the lives of children living in foster care in Southern Nevada.

"Cox Communications recognizes the importance of family and we are proud to partner with the Outdoor Channel on this exciting event for the children of Child Focus," said Steve Schorr, vice president of public and government affairs at Cox Communications Las Vegas, in a statement. "Children, families and education are very important to us. We commend organizations like Child Focus and are proud to be a part of their effort to encourage and support sibling preservation."
For more information, visit

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Why You Should Go To FORUM 2009: A Short List

ACC’s FORUM 2009 heads west this year to beautiful Denver, Colorado. In the latest ACC chat, “
FORUM 2009 in Denver—Communicating Cable 3.0: People, Products & Value,” three FORUM experts gave us the details on why this year’s FORUM is a must-attend event. From the sessions to the steak, here are FORUM committee co-chairs Amanda Batson, CEO, ADB Partners Education on Demand and Eric Becker, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Starz Entertainment and moderator Doyle Albee, President & New Media Practice Director, Metzger Associates Public Relations reasons to go west this fall. For more reasons, check out the chat transcript at

Social Media Instruction

“From general social media overview to individual hands-on, there will be options for all at FORUM. There will be no "stupid" questions. Never tweeted? No problem. Learn at FORUM. Twitter not your style -- learn about setting up a Facebook page,” Batson said. With hands-on instruction and nuts and bolts explanations from those who have successfully mastered social media, novices and experts alike will take away something new from this experience. “I'm looking forward to participating at FORUM to both host a strategic session on communication strategies in social media, as well as have one of my colleagues host a very hands-on, tactical session the next day to help people learn the "rules of the tools" the next day,” Albee said.

Outside Perspectives

“The main point of emphasis we made in crafting the program was to give cable communicators perspective from both inside and outside of the industry,” Becker said. “Rob Katz, Vail Resorts' CEO, should give a fresh, Colorado perspective from a company that is - in the broadest sense - likewise in the leisure/entertainment category. He is very hands on and adept when it comes to integrating new and social media into the consumer, non-real estate business of Vail.” Katz will deliver a keynote address on Vail’s social media efforts on October 28.


“Even in tough time -- in fact, especially in tough times -- it is imperative to stay in touch with industry colleagues, keep your knowledge and skills up to speed, and particularly learn ways to keep your company moving ahead,” Batson said. FORUM provides attendees with the opportunity to meet communicators from all over the nation. “There is no better 'forum' (pardon the pun) for advancing one's everyday skill sets and ability for critical thinking in the space than at this event,” Becker said. “Networking with colleagues and peers is key - it's enjoyable and has helped me down the road in everyday PR life immeasurably. As someone who does not live in NY, such opportunities are far more limited and I do not take them for granted.”

The Dining

Denver has a wide array of culinary options, and Becker shared his favorites.
“All but one of my restaurant recommendations is Downtown. Denver is a very walkable city and the weather - while unpredictable - is very temperate with lots of sunshine, so should allow for easy access to many fine restaurants, bars, etc,” he said. “First the nicer restaurants that I have eaten at and recommend (in no particular order):

Denver is a big steak town. Denver institution steakhouses:

Other highly rated - though cannot personally vouch for are:

If you don't mind a 10-minute cab ride, my personal favorite restaurant in Denver is nestled into the upscale Washington Park neighborhood. It's Southern Italian/family style (which is not everyone's cup of tea), but the food is just absolutely magnificent - Carmine's On Penn. As good as any Southern Italian food establishment you will find anywhere.”

For breakfast, Albee suggests Snooze.

For more information on FORUM 2009, visit

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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 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.
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
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Entertainment
Suddenlink Communications
Texas Cable Association

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