Inside This Issue:
Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently announced the winners of its three-month-long Born to Shine contest to find the next generation of television personalities who will host segments of the debut season of TWC's new talk show premiering this fall on TWC On Demand. The new program will spotlight African Americans who are paving the way in entertainment, in sports, and in their communities. As part of a company-wide multi-platform campaign, the talk show hopes to inspire others by providing diverse images on television.
The winners were among hundreds of contestants who took part in casting calls in Charlotte, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles or who uploaded audition videos to the "Born to Shine" Facebook page. The winners are: Kornelius Bascombe of Raleigh, N.C., Carmela King of Dallas, Isis McKenzie of Los Angeles, and Ashlei Stevens of Brooklyn, N.Y. Bascombe launched the highest-rated television talk show on North Carolina State University’s campus, where he is entering his senior year, and recently participated in Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Your OWN Show” competition, where he placed fourth garnering 5.9 million online votes nationwide. King is a Spanish teacher and records music in English and Spanish. McKenzie owns her own production company and was crowned Ms. Black California USA in 2005 while Stevens is the host and producer of DPVN Entertainment, an online entertainment show where she goes behind the scenes at major events to interview performers.
The contestants auditioned at the casting calls in front of celebrity judges including actress, producer and singer Tatyana Ali, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, hip hop artist Q-Tip, Grammy-nominated jazz artist Lalah Hathaway, BET's "106 and Park" host Rocsi, and rap-duo Kid 'n Play.
When you register between now and August 19 for FORUM 2011, October 5-6 in New York City, the full attendee fee is only $800; however, on August 20 the fee increases to $900. ACC’s conference is the event during Diversity Week for industry executives who work in any phase of communications. To register, please go to the FORUM 2011 page and click on the FORUM 2011 registration link. Again, the current registration fee is just $800 for the two-day conference, held in the Hilton New York and includes the closing Beacon Awards luncheon and reception.
The FORUM 2011 Committee has completed the development of seven general and breakout sessions. Breakout panel topics on both Wednesday and Thursday will include a look at the integration of communications and marketing; a deep dive, hands-on session on the greatest and latest social media platforms; a instructive review of research and measurement tools to prove the power of public relations with special emphasis on social media; and a panel looking at the changing structures companies are using regarding their communications efforts. Check the ACC Website often for conference programming information and updates.
Invitations have gone out to industry CEOs for a key general session Thursday morning where they will update communicators regarding their views of the industry, its strengths and challenges, and how the unique skills of communications executives can help their companies to exceed expectations in the coming years. A reporters general session will wrap up Wednesday’s program with their informed viewpoints of what they see for the industry and how reporters and communications executives can work together to meet their respective needs. The conference opens Wednesday with a luncheon session looking at the global implications of social media, how it has changed communications and what’s the outlook for the future.
Room reservations may also be made at the Hilton New York online by going to, http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/N/NYCNHHH-NCDW-20110930/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG. This registration page is specifically designed for all executives attending any of the events during Cable’s Diversity Week, including FORUM. For additional information or to join the FORUM 2011 planning committee, contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373.
Comcast is donating $50,000 from the Comcast Foundation to the Western Massachusetts Tornado Relief Efforts being administered by the United Way of the Pioneer Valley to help those hit the hardest and support the restoration efforts taking place across the Greater Springfield area.
Additionally, Comcast is making a $1,000 donation to The Evangelical Covenant Church in Springfield for allowing the company to use its parking lot as a staging area for their construction engineers and technicians as they rebuilt the area network. Comcast and its local employees worked non-stop to restore communication services to the towns of Monson, Springfield, Westfield and West Springfield, resulting in full services being restored to the vast majority of customers.
As a cable communicator, you may or may not want individuals to follow you on Twitter. However many businesses, including cable, encourage consumers to follow them on Twitter for a variety of reasons. Twitter users follow your company to receive “first looks” at new products, special programming information, discounts and to be part of a community. Cable industry companies have the potential to turn followers and fans into brand leaders through easy techniques to make them feel appreciated. This in turn can lead to increased brand awareness, enhanced customer loyalty and ultimately to drive sales. Below are half a dozen techniques you may want to consider for your Twitter followers.
Offer something for free. Some companies Tweet offers of free tickets to events or buy one get one free. Be creative. What could you offer that would excite your followers and help build the brand?
Let your followers be in control. Are you planning a community event but haven’t finalized the location? Let your followers offer suggestions or vote on a location. Is there a selection process for covering multiple local events? Let your followers vote on which event to cover.
Twitter followers get a kick out of attention. Follow your customers back if possible. If appropriate, retweeting their Tweets or thanking them for a tweet goes a long way in building a positive relationship.
Individuals will only follow you if they receive value from you. Add value by teaching them something, be it only trivia or fun facts about your products or brands. Or go further and provide links to important facts about your community or items related to your brands. If you can be a source of useful and timely information, your followers will not only stay with you but encourage others to follow you also.
Give your followers the inside scoop. Twitter helps to humanize products and brands and your followers will appreciate a look behind the screen. Keeping them up-to-date with the latest news from behind the curtain really makes your followers feel like they are in the inner circle.
Finally, give them a chuckle or two! Can you joke about some of the inner workings of the brand or company? Did something funny lead to a product enhancement? People love a good story and laugh. Sometimes a good Tweet is a Tweet that just leaves them smiling.
Again, all of the above tips should help you keep your followers engaged and build loyalty for your brands. And if all goes well, you should see a positive reflection on the bottom line.
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.
Support ACC by becoming a 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.
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