Inside This Issue:
Company restructuring, franchising law modification and technological advances in the cable industry over the past few years have had an impact on the role of community relations. ACC has invited several cable communicators to discuss how community relations help them achieve company goals in today’s environment during its next online chat on Wednesday, February 23 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST. All cable communicators are encouraged to participate in this chat and share their experiences and successes with the changing role of community relations in cable communications.
John Borack – director of community affairs, Time Warner Cable
Klayton Fennell - regional vice president, government affairs & community investment, Comcast - Florida East Coast Region
Tamar Hoapili - manager, community relations/video production, Cox Las Vegas
Reinaldo Llano - director, corporate community relations, Bright House Networks
How ACC Members Can Participate:
ACC's February 23 online chat will be accessible to all through its Web site: http://www.cablecommunicators.org/acc_chat.php
If you have a question that you would like to ask the experts but will not be able to participate in the live chat, please email Michelle Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org your question. Following the event, ACC will post a transcript of the chat in the members-only section of its Web site.
Building on its brand “Real Life. Drama.,” A&E Network has created “Real Life. Change.,” a new, year-round multiplatform community outreach initiative that turns the network’s storytelling into positive action. “Real Life. Change.” is a movement about people taking action, big or small, which begins to change their lives in positive ways. It’s about taking that first small step toward making a bigger change.
The focal point for “Real Life. Change.” is a dedicated Web site at www.RealLifeChange.com that inspires people to make positive changes in their lives, and connects them with others looking to make the same changes in their lives. For every change pledged, A&E Network will donate $1.00 to a charity of their choice from a selected list of charities supported by the network’s talent and programming that includes: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Animal Welfare Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, DonorsChoose.org, Environmental Defense Fund, Mental Health America, Oxfam, Shape Up America!, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Support Police, The Innocence Project, The National Center for Victims of Crime, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, and Wounded Warrior Project.
The campaign will also feature PSA’s from network talent and customizable on-air vignettes. A&E will be inviting advertising partners to participate in the initiative. In 2008, A&E embarked on the award-winning The Recovery Project, to help raise awareness that addiction is a disease and recovery is possible. Due to the overwhelming success of The Recovery Project, A&E has evolved and expanded its cause platform with the launch of “Real Life. Change.,” a broader campaign to engage viewers and provide them with a platform to participate in many facets of change, both personal and for their community. For more information, please contact Mead Rust at email@example.com.
May 4-6 are the confirmed dates for the 2011 edition of the Communications Institute held in New York City. The Institute program is developed in conjunction with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and will be hosted in Syracuse University’s Lubin House, adjacent to Central Park West and 61st Street.
The Cable Communications Institute was created to provide an intense learning experience designed for mid to senior level communications executives who would like to move their knowledge and careers to the next stage. It includes expert speakers from the cable industry, communications profession as well as full time and adjunct faculty from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. The program features lively discussions and participant interaction with sessions focused on current and industry issues within communications profession.
Key topics for the 2011 program include Crisis Communications (integrating social media strategies), Utilizing Story Telling Techniques for Communications and hands-on Social Media Training using popular applications and their strategic value. “The Institute was a great experience, I am walking away with some great ideas and tools,” as quoted from an executive who attended last year. Make sure to mark your calendar for May 4-6. For additional information on this year’s program and to review the 2010 Institute, please to go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/resources_inst.php or contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373.
As communicators, most of you are very comfortable pitching story ideas to print and broadcast journalists and reporters. However, with the dramatic rise of social media commentators and bloggers, what are some of the best methods to reach out to these influential individuals with outposts on the Internet?
Bloggers usually write on very specific subjects. When compiling your target blogger list, be as specific as possible regarding their topics. If you can, it’s very helpful to add as much information you (or an intern) can gather on them. Using a spreadsheet, you may want to collect data points such as how often they blog, the days they post, favorite television programs, married/single, do they have children, where they live, product reviews, competitors reviewed, and on and on.
Just like with reporters for city newspaper and television stations, you need to develop a relationship with individuals on your targeted blogger list. This means you subscribe to their blog and hopefully have left replies on it. And of course you can try to reach out personally to bloggers by meeting them at conferences or other events.
After the list is compiled, reviewed and narrowed down, look for the blogs that have the most relevance to your pitch. Equally important, identify the bloggers with whom you feel you have built the best relationships. Then, you must determine a connection between the pitch and their blog. For example, if you are pitching a brand new DVR feature, you may want to narrow your list to cable techies who write about time shifting technologies. Hopefully, you have recently posted on their blog a comment in response to a recent review or opinion. But, you must be authentic, insightful and honest regardless if you agree or disagree with the blogger. Give them a reason to remember you.
In your pitch you may want to mention something they have written about in the past and how your product, service, brand or solution relates to that post and their readers. However, if they haven’t recently covered a topic you are pitching, go ahead and pitch anyway. Just be professional, to the point, honest, and identify how readers will appreciate the information. You may want to even consider setting up a phone call to develop a long-term relationship about the topic and ways you can work together. And make sure that you have developed a pitch that creates a win-win for both you and the blogger.
Just like pitching to other media outlets, the more time and skill you use to handicraft your message and target specific bloggers, the better success rates and a fuller return on your investment of time and research you should experience.
This is part of 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.
Learning how to prepare wholesome, portion-controlled meals on a budget is a challenge for many, but even more so for women in crisis and struggling to avoid homelessness. Food Network and N Street Village recently co-hosted a workshop in Washington, DC, for women transitioning to independent living to assist them in making life-changing food choices.
The women; many of whom are making the move from N Street Village’s transitional housing to their own rental apartment, permanent supportive housing or reuniting with family, received advice from Food Network’s Sunny Anderson for stocking the pantry with wholesome ingredients, ways to lighten classic recipes and small, affordable changes in meal preparation that can make an important difference. Anderson is the host of Cooking for Real, an instructional series featuring uncomplicated dishes with affordable, easy-to-find ingredients on Food Network.
The workshop also covered another related topic portion control. Food Network announced at the workshop that it will provide the funding for new, portion-controlled food trays for use at N Street Village, which serves meals to more than 100 women a day. N Street Village is a community of empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women in Washington, D.C. The primary social causes for Food Network and its companion network, Cooking Channel, focus on fighting childhood hunger and educating consumers on nutritious eating to avoid obesity and other health problems.
FORUM 2011 will be held October 5-6 in New York City in the Hilton New York. Registration and program information will be posted soon on the ACC Web site. However, you can reserve your room for FORUM 2011 and Diversity Week by going to, http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/N/NYCNHHH-NCDW-20110930/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG, the registration page specifically for everyone attending events during the week. Hotel sleeping rooms are priced at $344/night plus tax. You may also reserve a room by calling 1-800 HILTONS, and reference Cable Diversity Week to receive the group rate. You must make your reservation by Friday, September 9 to receive this rate. For additional information or to join the FORUM 2011 planning committee, contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or 202-222-2373.
Fast Company just announced the 50 most innovative global companies. Included on its list were cable industry leaders and 4 ACC corporate members including ESPN (#16), Turner Sports (#17), Univision (#34), and Cisco (#41). FX was the 49th company listed. The top five were Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Nissan and Groupon.
The Cable Center’s Cable Mavericks Lecture Series, now in its fifth year of connecting students and cable, is adding a new program component that will give students a chance to hear from multiple speakers in one location and to interview for jobs and internships in the industry. The Cable Mavericks Masters Forum: One Day Degree in Cable will be held at the Paley Center for Media in New York on October 28, 2011.
As well as targeting students in the immediate area, The Cable Center will also make the program available for live streaming for students around the country and world, and for on demand playback after the event is complete. All of the programming and content will be provided at no charge to the students. Already signed up to speak are Nomi Bergman, Bright House Networks; Joan Gillman and Peter Stern of Time Warner Cable; and Steve Scully, C-SPAN with additional speakers to be announced later this year. In addition to the conventional lecture and discussion that makes up a typical Cable Mavericks day, the One Day Degree program will also include two student competitions: one focused on the development of new technology, and one focused on media content.
The Cable Mavericks Lecture Series was developed by The Cable Center five years ago to serve as a direct channel in educating and encouraging students to explore careers in the cable telecommunications industry, and since then has reached thousands of students across the nation. The series is supported by a significant donation from the Motorola Foundation. News and updates on the One Day Degree program will be available leading up to the program at www.cablemavericks.org, as well on the Cable Mavericks Facebook page and on Twitter at @CableMavericks.
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.
Welcome to Minnesota Cable Communications Association, ACC’s latest 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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