Friday, July 4, 2008

Cable, a Powerful Tool for Community

By Thomas Henning

I found out, last week, that we had received two Silver Telly Awards for our “We Have Work To Do” PSAs and the short promotional video used at our dinner entitled “Shimmer,” both produced in partnership with The Watsons’. Although everyone at Cable Positive was extremely honored for these recognitions we’re even more proud of the fact that a Cable Positive grantee and their cable partner from the Tony Cox Community Fund were honored with a Telly of their own.

For those who might not be aware, Cable Positive’s Tony Cox Community Fund (TCCF) is a national grant program that exists to encourage community-based AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and cable outlets to partner in joint community outreach efforts, or to produce and distribute new, locally focused HIV/AIDS-related programs and Public Service Announcements (PSAs). Since 1996, it has awarded some $1.5 million in grants to more than 275 ASOs. In addition, the organizations have leveraged their grant money to receive almost $5 million of in-kind donations to produce some outstanding HIV/AIDS-related awareness messages and events; Northland Cares is the most recent example of the power cable has to impact those fighting against HIV/AIDS.

I want to focus on the work of Northland Cares and their cable partner Cable ONE because it serves as an excellent example of how our industry has the unique ability to build awareness messages tailored to a local community from the ground up. What I mean by that is, take the vision of an organization, and turn it into a viable product that is able to achieve phenomenal results which includes delivering their message to homes across their services area.

Kenn Duncan, Director of Productions at Cable ONE, said when describing his work with Northland Cares:

“It’s so inspiring to work with people so dedicated to such an important cause. Cable is such a powerful tool to get messages out to the community and when we can help a dedicated organization like Northland Cares it makes what we do at Cable ONE that much more rewarding.”

Kenn recognizes that Northland Cares, like so many AIDS service organizations across the nation, face a very difficult task with limited resources.

“We realize that cable is a great way to help spread the information of services and need.” Kenn said “ Cable ONE prides itself on being part of the communities we serve and being able to work with organizations like Northland Cares and Cable Positive. Cable Positive provided much needed support and grants to complete the project so we greatly appreciate what you all do to make projects like this become a reality.”

Their video, titled “Bud’s Story,” gives a personal account of a community member, who, since accessing treatment at Northland Cares has undergone a physical and mental transformation to become the center of his family and an activist for those affected by HIV/AIDS in the Arizona region. The video was the highlight of a community event in Flagstaff, AZ, and at the organizations annual World AIDS Day breakfast. After the release of “Bud’s Story” and a Public Service Announcement both produced by Cable ONE, Northland Care’s client roster increased by 10% and due directly to the video, the organization augmented their donor pool by an additional 15%.

For me, what is wonderful about Northland Cares’ win is that it shows what effect partnerships can have. The idea of partners coming together and exploiting their core competencies for the maximum impact in benefiting their communities isn’t a new one but it is great one. Beyond that, it is win-win. Delivering good product, whether that produce is related to health and human services or entertainment, and making the communities you live and work in great is a win for profit and non-profit. Not everyone gets a Telly for it but it is nice to see such great organizations like Northland Cares and Cable ONE get the recognition they deserve for this collaborative social initiative. Congratulations to both of them!

1 comment:

chichalf said...

thank for helping new orleans. please help us break the stigma of hiv