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National Geographic Channel plans to partner with local affiliates to provide learning resources to schools across the nation through “The Great Migrations Education Initiative.” The multi-platform educational program will be based on the network’s latest mini-series, “Great Migrations,” premiering this fall.
The initiative will provide participating schools with a DVD box set of the mini-series and standards-based classroom curriculum through an online educational hub, which will serve as a centralized bank of information and resources for educators. The hub will provide lessons made up of three to five activities based on “Great Migrations” materials. The activities are designed to encourage students to engage with the subject, develop conclusions based on the materials, and apply the lessons learned to real life. Focus questions, project ideas, and how-to tutorials will further lead students in understanding the real world relevance of the material. Presentations designed for PowerPoint and interactive whiteboard will also be available on the hub as well as assessment tools and tips for classroom engagement.
Participating schools around the country will have the opportunity to interact with each other through a virtual online assembly—streamed live from a National Geographic Explorer researcher in the field. Developed by The JASON Project, a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, the assembly will allow students to interact in real time with the researcher via instant message or e-mail. Classrooms equipped with high-speed cable Internet will be able to access the assembly.
The network hopes to gather support from local cable affiliates nationwide. Promotional efforts include ad slicks to raise awareness of the program and its partners throughout the community, Web banners on their consumer Web site as well as those of partner organizations, personalized letters for educators and community leaders, a customizable press release, and PSAs to run in local markets. Interested schools can register until September on the “Great Migrations” Web site. Cable providers interested in partnering with the initiative can find more information at http://foxnetworksinfo.com/login or contact Casey Schick at email@example.com.
Who is ACC in NYC? Get to know your New York City-area peers during ACC’s Networking Reception, 6:30-8:00 pm, June 15, co-sponsored by A&E Television Networks! Join your fellow cable communicators for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails during a free evening of networking, great conversation, and the latest industry buzz. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards for your colleagues and to win door prizes. The networking reception takes place at A&E Television Networks,
Individuals participating in the 2010 Cable Communications Institute will also attend and network with NYC area members at the event. For more information, visit the Institute Web site.
Outdoor Channel has created the Outdoor Channel Corps, a volunteer conservation program dedicated to enabling viewers to help conserve their local environment. The initative aims to recruit one million volunteers in the next five years to participate in nature-related projects throughout the country.
Outdoor Channel Corps' first big project will be organizing volunteers to restore and improve public lands, addressing the issue of access to the lands that confronts hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Named the Conservation Tour of Duty, the volunteer initiative is designed to help increase existing upkeep of public lands. According to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report, more than 50 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have inadequate access. Through its Conservation Tour of Duty, Outdoor Channel Corps hopes to improve accessibility and restore public lands.
The network will work closely with state and federal agencies, its distribution affiliates and leading conservation and outdoor affinity partners to recruit volunteers and hold local Outdoor Channel Corps restoration and improvement events. The Conservation Tour of Duty will feature different hands-on volunteer projects including repairing stream banks, clearing trails, cleaning riverbeds and planting seedlings. Volunteer efforts will be tracked and can qualify as private matching funds desperately needed by state and federal agencies to receive federal matching dollars.
"Outdoor Channel's viewers are committed to conservation, and the launch of Outdoor Channel Corps is a great opportunity to leverage our strong viewer and partner relationships to positively impact people's ability to experience the great outdoors," said Denise Conroy-Galley, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Research, in a statement. "We encourage anyone with a passion for the outdoors to join in this effort and make a difference in protecting and improving our shared heritage."
Outdoor Channel Corps will kick off its efforts with a consumer marketing campaign to recruit volunteers. The national campaign will feature top Outdoor Channel personalities in promotional spots on-air and online, encouraging viewers to participate. Outdoor Channel will also leverage its Web site to enroll volunteers and inform them of upcoming Outdoor Channel Corps events. For more information, visit the Outdoor Channel Corps Web site.
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Are your PR and community relations efforts a one-way street with money going out but little or no money coming in? Learn how your department can help improve your company’s bottom line during ACC’s webinar “Using PR and Community Relations to Improve the Bottom Line,” June 24, 1 pm EDT.
Lisa Lovallo, vice president and system manager for Cox Communications, will discuss how public and community relations can greatly improve the bottom line for a cable operator. Lovallo, a relative newcomer to the cable world but a long time sales executive for Proctor and Gamble, brought some of that revenue generating expertise to her role in helping guide a vibrant system for Cox in the southwest.
In her first year at the helm, Lovallo revamped the public relations and community relations team under her “Community Development Plan” for Cox Southern Arizona. This plan and its strategic implementation helped Cox’s business customer unit and media sales unit generate more than $600,000 in new income. Additionally, Lovallo’s program was so well received by Cox, she increased her overall budget for 2010 by $250,000 in the down economy to help generate even more community-based revenue for the future.
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 this screen. Your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters. If you are not currently a member, use ACC’s trial membership and join free for your first six months.
Discovery Education, the Siemens Foundation, and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have announced the grand prize winners of this year’s Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The national educational challenge encourages elementary and middle school students to develop plans to initiate environmental change in their schools and communities.
Over 13,000 students competed in the challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Elementary classrooms, under the mentorship of their teacher, identified an environmental issue in their classroom or school, while middle school students worked in teams of 2-4 students, also under the guidance of a mentor, to identify an environmental issue in their community. Both levels then researched their issue using scientific investigation and created a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools provided by Discovery Education.
Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens. A panel of environmental advocates and science educators selected winners based on the team's ability to create a positive, measurable solution to a local environmental problem and how well it can be replicated by other communities.
The middle school grand prize winner was Team "No1Idling" from Novi, Mich. Novi Middle School students Raj Raina and Yash Sathe, along with mentor Abhinav Raina, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers. The team discovered that many parents spent up to 20 minutes idling while waiting to pick up their kids from school. To decrease the amount of air pollution released by cars, the team distributed flyers, stickers, pledge sheets, news bulletins and brochures educating parents on the negative impact of idling. According to their research, less carbon dioxide was being released into the air following the campaign. The team will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes a $10,000 Savings Bond, an appearance on Discovery’s Planet Green, a chance to present their program at the United Nations and a Discovery Adventure trip to
Elementary level winner, for grades 3-5, was Team "Planet Blue and Green" from Watsonville, Calif. Mount Madonna School's fifth grade class and their teacher, Jessica Cambell, limited the consumption of non-biodegradable materials as a means to reduce marine debris. The team produced and sold a DVD to educate other kids about the issue and donated the proceeds to a nonprofit organization that supports small businesses in third world countries. They also organized a beach clean up and sent a petition to their local government.
Team "Zero Waste Lunch Experts" from St. Philip the Apostle School in Addison, Ill. won the grand prize in the elementary school, K-2, division. The second grade class and their teacher, Amanda Wallace, focused on reducing the amount of waste created each day during school lunches. By holding a “Zero Waste Lunch” day and sending home information to parents on how to pack a lunch with minimal waste, the students were able to significantly lower the amount of waste produced during lunch period.
The elementary school grand prize winning classrooms will receive an on-site video shoot of the class that will be turned into a commercial to run on one of Discovery's networks, a $5,000 grant for their school and an opportunity to be featured on a jumbotron in Times Square in
The Challenge expands to high schools in Fall 2010. Currently teams can register and start tackling a global energy-related issue and starting on August 17, 2010, teams can enter their progress and complete their online applications. For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, go to www.wecanchange.com.
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Explore the competitive edge of the rapidly changing cable communications world at FORUM 2010: Competition Everywhere. Any winning strategy starts with understanding the competition. FORUM 2010’s program has been tailored by industry experts to provide you with the information you need to understand cable’s place in the national and local economy as well as how to best communicate in an increasingly competitive and technologically evolving world. Access the registration form online and take the first step toward attending the industry’s dynamic two-day conference in
This year’s program sessions include:
Be a part of cable communication’s premiere professional development event and join your colleagues for professional educational and networking opportunities to further your career. Make sure to save the date for the 2010 Beacon Awards Ceremony, closing FORUM on September 16. Registration starts at $800 and Beacon Awards Ceremony-only tickets are $150.
All FORUM 2010 events and the Beacon Awards Ceremony take place in the Hilton New York. A limited number of rooms are available for FORUM 2010. The hotel room rate is $399+ tax. Call 212-586-7000 or 800-HILTONS for reservations. To obtain the group rate, use code DIVW. The hotel room rate cutoff date is August 20, 2010. You may also make your hotel room reservations online on the Hilton New York’s Diversity Week 2010 reservations Web page.
All individuals attending any events during Diversity Week 2010 (WICT’s 2010 Leadership Conference, NAMIC’s 24th Annual Conference, FORUM 2010 or The Kaitz Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Dinner) should make reservations under the code DIVW and all of the above events will be held within the Hilton New York. For more information or to register visit, http://www.cablecommunicators.org/forum.php.
CNN.com has officially launched “Home and Away,” an online memorial to
The memorial is a collaboration between CNN.com and CNN Library and is the result of a decade spent tracking and researching fatalities in
The individualized biography pages feature information about the subject’s death and service. Family and friends can post memories and tributes to the page and through CNN.com’s iReport feature. For more information, visit the “Home and Away” Web site.Back to Top
Tips for Successful Competitive Communications
Your communications efforts could be your company’s secret weapon in the increasingly competitive marketplace. You’re already on the frontlines and have a voice in the community; your role as a communicator can be increasingly valuable to the bottom line. ACC assembled three expert cable communicators to discuss how to use effective communications practices to boost your company’s competitive edge during the May 26th online chat, “Competitive Communications.” Shawn Beqaj, vice president of public affairs for Bresnan Communications; Bill Jasso, vice president of government and media relations for Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio; and Jim Maiella, vice president of media relations, cable and communications for Cablevision all weighed in on their professional competitive experiences. Here are a few of their tips for using communications to put your company ahead of the competition:
Communicate Your Advantages
Instead of bashing the competition, communicate the advantages of your product and feel free to get creative. When local companies started to overbuild in Bresnan’s
With the tagline, “Apples to Apples: Bresnan Offers More for Less,” Beqaj, and two volunteers who dressed as dancing apple mascots, reached out to the community by giving away free apples and information at the two town grocery stores. By comparing Bresnan’s services directly against the other providers and presenting that information to the public in an accessible and memorable way, the company was able to fight effectively without bad-mouthing their competitors.
Keep Your Employees Informed
Companies of any size run the risk of uneven information distribution. Some of your employees may not be aware of your company’s competitive status or advantages. Keeping them apprised of how your company compares to the competition can help them effectively communicate on your behalf.
“I do think it's important for front-line employees to have a good understanding of competitive issues, product superiority, etc,” Maiella said. “They are the ones who are out and talking to people in the community, backyard BBQs, etc.”
Keeping employees informed can be as simple as distributing a fact sheet of how you compare to your competitors and why your company is the better choice. Employees are then equipped to answer questions from the community.
Emphasize Your Presence in the Local Community
When new competitors come rolling into your footprint, you already have the advantage of established local ties. Long before they were even a twinkle in the eye of a telco or satellite entrepreneur, your company was in the community providing unique locally based programming and events.
When AT&T overbuilt in TWC’s footprint, Jasso and his team held hyper-local events such as high school band and cheer competitions with cash prizes for viewers. They also emphasized their popular local on demand channels, like one program that features children’s books read by area celebrities.
Collaborate with Marketing
“The great thing about competitive PR is that Marketing usually has your back. They can spend more money on research to show if you really moved the needle,” Jasso said. “Also, if they dig your tactics, they may also pry some money loose.”
Marketing departments already understand the status of your company and the competitor’s bottom lines. Combining your communications efforts and connections with their overall goals is good for both departments. As they sell your company’s products, they’re also in a great place to sell your company’s value.
“We targeted specific competitive areas, and working with marketing, we stopped the flow of customers out the back door,” Jasso further explained. “Marketing did the paid media thing, while we focused on reputation and local programming.”
Stay Focused on the Customer
Ultimately, all competitive efforts are aimed at the consumer, so take note of where they are and their needs. “I think in general just staying focused on the customer, who is making buying decisions in a competitive market, and what drives those decisions - value, reliability, no surprises,” Maiella stated as a key factor to competitive communication success. Understanding whose attention you’re fighting for is important and the old adage is still true: the customer comes first.
A full transcript of the chat can be found in the online education portal, in the members-only section of the ACC Web site. You can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of the screen. Your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters. If you are not currently a member, use ACC’s trial membership and join free for your first six months.
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