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Public Strategic Consulting
 Establishing a New Corporate Citizen 
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Comcast Logo

Situation:

As Comcast Cable Communications prepares to enter a new market in Montgomery County, Maryland, the company is seeking to establish itself as a good corporate citizen. 

Meanwhile, Comcast was facing an arduous governmental process to win transfer approval as the County's new cable provider. At the same time, the city of Gaithersburg (also in Montgomery) independently elected to transfer the city's cable television franchise to Comcast.

Comcast hired Potomac Incorporated to be chief strategist on government relations and shepherd the company through the formidable maze of hearings and votes. Potomac was also asked to advise on appropriate community roles for Comcast. 

Comcast is the nation's third largest cable provider serving 6.5 million customers in 26 states. It has a sizable presence in Maryland. Its national call center is newly located in Silver Spring.

Approach:

First, Potomac helped Comcast capitalize on its role as the new cable television provider in Gaithersburg. Strategy was to showcase countywide all of Comcast's strengths and services in the City.

comcast - Team Gaithersburg  A centerpiece campaign was built around "Team Gaithersburg" - some 45 men and women who provide first-class customer and technical services. A slogan was developed and used in ads and banners: "Together, We're Taking Our Town To The Future." 

A series of ads were designed and placed - both for city and county publications. All the ads depicted Team Gaithersburg, as photographed at historic landmarks in the city. The ads emphasized Comcast's "first class customer service, high-speed internet access, cutting-edge technology and fantastic programs." 

The Team was launched at an evening Community Celebration featuring exhibits from leading providers, such as Discovery Communications (which brought baby leopards, tigers, and a wallaby), C-Span, Home Team Sports, Bravo, and American Movie Classics. The Mayor of Gaithersburg warmly welcomed Comcast to the city. Comcast pledged $10,000 toward the city's summer concert series and other community events.

Comcast - Cartoon Cartoon Fridays

Comcast Team Gaithersburg also joined with the Cartoon Network to bring "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"-- a free, fun family event -- to Montgomery County. 

media event is being planned at Comcast's Call Center to kick off a public awareness campaign to bring the 2012 Olympics to the DC/Baltimore region.

In preparation for the essential County Council vote to win support of the cable transfer to Comcast, Potomac arranged for Comcast executives to meet individually with each of the County Council members, who would cast the deciding ballots, as well as with newspaper editors and other opinion leaders. A series of ongoing media releases resulted in news stories that kept the public informed.

Outcome:

Several hundred community leaders attended the festive Community Celebration, where Comcast's "high speed education connection to all schools and libraries" was one of the major announcements. 

Several thousand participated in "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays" at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, where families watched their favorite cartoon shows under the stars and emailed their best-liked characters to friends. It was this national tour's largest turnout!

The general public became acquainted with the high quality of service that Comcast promises-- and its commitment to each community and overall region.

Because Comcast located its national call center, regional operations center, and production facility in Silver Spring where it employs more than 500 people, the company helping to bolster revitalization and economic development efforts here.

Most important, Comcast won approval for cable transfer

 

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