TLC announced on Tuesday its new partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, to support its fight to end hunger. The partnership will leverage on-air, marketing and digital media assets to generate increased awareness about a serious issue that affects 17 million families across the country.
“With food and family being such an important focus at TLC, a partnership with Feeding America is a natural fit,” said Eileen O’Neill, president and general manager of TLC, in a release. “The goal is to educate viewers about the growing problem of hunger in the U.S. and encourage them to take action and help those in need.”
Elements of the year-long partnership include public service announcements with popular TLC talent including Kate Gosselin with her brood of eight and Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro. On November 17, the network sponsored the Feeding America Social Responsibility Conference. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, TLC will be the official media sponsor of Feeding America’s Hunger-free Families Campaign, promoting the cause through several programming initiatives, all in an effort to spread the word about hunger in America.
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms.
Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) since March 1, 2005, said today he plans to depart his position in the spring of 2011.
McSlarrow offered the following statement:
“Serving at NCTA has been a great honor, a wonderful learning experience, and personally and professionally rewarding. I have been proud to represent the cable industry, which I now regard as my home. I am truly grateful to the NCTA Board for having given me this opportunity and for their strong leadership and support.
“Over the last several months, I have discussed with members of the NCTA Board my interest in transitioning to another role in our industry that would allow me to work more fully on business and operating activities. Earlier this week, I informed the NCTA Board of my decision to begin exploring opportunities now, and we agreed on the spring of 2011 as the target for my departure from NCTA.
“Though I believe this is the right decision for me and my family, it was not an easy one. I regard the NCTA staff not just as professionals comprising the best in our business, but also as close personal friends and colleagues. I’m hoping to have the opportunity moving forward to continue collaborating with them, and to assist my successor at NCTA, in the important work we do for our industry.”
In commenting on McSlarrow’s news, Patrick Esser, President of Cox Communications, Inc., and currently chair of the NCTA Board of Directors, issued the following statement:
“For nearly 6 years, Kyle has successfully navigated the public policy interests of our industry during a period of significant change and substantial challenges. He’s led our industry to embrace many landmark initiatives, such as our work on the DTV Transition, the Adoption Plus proposal to advance broadband adoption in low income households, and highlighting parental controls and the importance of online safety.
“While we will miss Kyle’s friendship, pragmatic solutions and firm guidance, we’re grateful for his visionary leadership at NCTA and fully supportive of his decision to transition into his next endeavor. We’re also delighted that he intends to remain in our industry in another role.
“The NCTA Board will form a search committee to conduct a national search for a successor. NCTA has long been recognized as one of the most effective trade associations in Washington, and we are committed to ensuring it remains so.”
Technology is changing the way communicators work. The latest ACC brief entitled The Personal Technology Value System outlines why it’s important to develop a personal technology value system, how to effectively assess high tech products before you add them to your communications “tool kit,” and provides practical advice on using high tech tools to realistically reach your goals. If this topic intrigues you, you may also wish to view a short video from the paper's author, Peter Giles, during his presentation at FORUM 2010 in New York City on the ACC home page, http://www.cablecommunicators.org.
Social media and how individuals use it to communicate will and can create challenges for public relations and other communications professionals in the cable industry. A recent trend within the television watching public is to use Twitter to engage fellow viewers during prime time. This has been dubbed by Twitter’s Robin Sloan, who was hired to manage media partnerships and was previously with Current TV, as the “new” interactive TV after waiting almost 20 years for a platform to emerge. Many cable networks are promoting Twitter feeds and integrating them into their programming. Examples include Life on Discovery Networks, BET’s 106 & Park or Jersey Shore on MTV. Both programmers and viewers receive instant feedback regarding what’s on TV and the reaction to it, and with an additional benefit provided to viewers of belonging to a community even if they are alone watching at home. Sloan goes on to say that Twitter is his programming guide; trending shows are often a clue to if there’s something worth watching.
For communicators, social media tools such as Twitter open a wide range of possibilities to engage current and potential viewers and customers. However, harnessing the usefulness and power of these tools requires time, proper opportunities, the ability to demonstrate results and trial and error. Executives who are able to leverage Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flicker and other tools are seeding the future of their success. The use of social media is increasing by all age groups, with baby boomers just as likely to be on Facebook as their children or grandchildren. However, teenagers and younger adults are most comfortable adopting and using these electronic tools. This in turn will cause a change in how everyone conducts business. For instance, the independent research firm, Gartner, reports that by 2014, fully 20 percent of workers will use social networks as their primary vehicle for business communications. This will have a major impact on internal as well as external communications efforts.
For communicators who are actively using social networks, they may be surprised that only 19% of US Internet users are on Twitter (October 2009 Pew Internet). Additionally the study shows that younger adults, who are 18-29, are significant Twitter (33%) users. This is just one example, of many, that indicates as younger people move into the business world, major changes in how everyone will communicate is on the horizon. All communicators will need to adapt and add to their skills as the communication’s landscape continues to evolve around the Internet and integrates social networking tools.
This is the first in a continuing series of short articles that will examine social media and the Internet's impact on communications. For additional information on social media, visit the FAQs about Social Media section of the ACC Web site.
Are you interested in connecting with fellow cable communicators? ACC needs volunteers for our FORUM 2011, 2011 Beacon Awards and ACC Board Committees. Get involved and help mold ACC programs to meet the needs of cable communicators.
FORUM Committee Members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2011 to the industry. Beacon Award volunteers manage the complete entry process from promotion to judging to the Beacon Awards Ceremony. Board Committees develop association programs and help members get connected to one another.
For more information on the committees, go to ACC’s Web site. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact ACC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-210-33960. You can also print out a volunteer form and fax it to ACC at 202-222-2371.
On Thursday, December 9, Cablevision Systems Corporation, Rainbow Media and Madison Square Garden will team up with The Lustgarten Foundation for the 10th anniversary of the Holiday Rock & Roll Bash.
Since its inception a decade ago, the Bash has raised nearly $10 million for The Lustgarten Foundation’s efforts to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, making it the Foundation’s premier fundraising event. And Cablevision’s support of The Lustgarten Foundation ensures that 100% of every donation to the Foundation, including every dollar raised at the Bash, goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.
The Bash is a season favorite with more than a thousand guests expected to gather at an exciting new location, Hard Rock Cafe in the heart of New York City's Times Square. For more information on corporate sponsorships, please contact the Bash office at (516) 803-2354 or go to www.lustgarten.org/Bash10. To learn about Cablevision and The Lustgarten Foundation’s efforts to raise public awareness about pancreatic cancer through the curePC campaign, visit www.curePC.org.
Make plans now to attend the next ACC Online Chat: Career Planning for the Savvy Cable Communicator on December 15 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Carol Vernon, executive coach and principal, Communications Matters, LLC; a career coach and other experts will offer advice and answer your questions about how you can make 2011 a successful year for your career. All cable communicators are encouraged to participate in this chat and share how they have planned for career success.
How ACC Members Can Participate:
ACC's next, online chat will be accessible to all on Wednesday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. EST through its Web site: http://www.cablecommunicators.org/acc_chat.php
In an effort to educate teens on how to be smart about what they post and share online, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has joined the Ad Council’s new collaborative initiative, the Internet Safety Coalition, to provide research-based messages to teens and their parents.
The collaboration will utilize the collective strengths of corporate marketers, the media, nonprofit organizations and foundations to promote safe online and digital practices. Coalition members also include AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Google, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, IBM, Microsoft, MTV Networks, MySpace, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The New York Times Company, Time Warner, Inc., Verizon Wireless, The Wireless Foundation and Yahoo! Inc., as well as other leading cybersafety organizations.
Based on quantitative research and feedback from teens, the Ad Council, NCTA and the Internet Safety Coalition members worked with Merkley + Partners to develop a program entitled “Beware What You Share,” which communicates to teens that posting information online isn't private, and if they wouldn't broadcast it in real life, then it's not smart to share it online or digitally, where it can be passed on, and will remain forever.
Creative materials, developed by GrapeVine Productions, have been tested with teens and feature the tagline, “If you wouldn’t wear it, don’t share it.” Materials include online videos, Web banners, logo visuals, brochure templates and social media messaging.
Members will incorporate these messages into their marketing and communications efforts, such as online content and campaigns, advertising, social media channels, consumer promotions, grassroots programs, collateral materials and at conferences. Several other members have stepped up and made early commitments to integrate the creative materials into their communications platforms as well.
Cable in the Classroom, the national education foundation of the U.S. Cable Industry, is also supporting efforts to keep teens safe online. The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project have agreed to conduct a research project aimed at understanding teenagers’ behavior online. The research will examine how this behavior ties to digital citizenship – the behaviors, expectations and skills teens have around interacting with others in digital spaces. The research is jointly funded by the Pew Internet Project and Cable in the Classroom.
ACC Offers Trial Membership—Six Months Free
Now is the best time to encourage your peers to join ACC. The association has instituted a “test drive” trial membership initiative that allows prospective members to participate in the association’s various programs and professional development activities on a trial basis for six months free and without further obligation.
Congratulations to the ACC Members Who Are Among the Most Powerful Women in Cable
CableFAX: The Magazine recently published the top 50 and more most powerful women in cable for 2010. Congratulation to the following ACC Board of Advisors, Board of Directors and general members who were recognized by CableFAX: The Magazine. They include:
Char Beales, President/CEO, CTAM
Additionally, CableFAX: The Magazine also honored the top women in cable technology. Two ACC members, Nomi Bergman, President, Bright House Networks and Marva Johnson, VP, Technology Policy & Industry Affairs, Bright House Networks, were featured in this list.
Thank You, Corporate Members!
Join and support ACC by becoming a 2011 corporate member. For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
Friends & Associates
PO Box 75007 Washington DC 20013 · Phone 800.210.3396 or 202.222.2370 · Fax 703.782.0153