Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 15
MSO Community Builder
Cox Communications takes a
360 view of serving the community.
For years, Hallmark Cards wore the crown for commercials that
socked you in the emotional gut. These days, it has some serious
competition in Cox Communications.
Over the past year, the video and internet provider has left us sniffling
with a series of spots that feature employees calling lonely seniors
during pandemic lockdowns as well as its " Full of Love " campaign
surprising healthcare heroes with home-cooked meals and video calls
from family. The company even created a short film that animated one
middle school's play that was canceled by COVID-19.
Those familiar with Cox's decades of public service know this isn't
just savvy marketing. It's part of a commitment to community building
that the more than 100-year-old family company was built on. Cox's
parent, Cox Enterprises, was founded when James M. Cox bought the
Dayton Evening News and dubbed it " the people's paper. " Cox, who
became governor of Ohio in 1913, added more newspapers as well as
radio stations to the business. It's continued to grow to include cable,
advertising and automotive, with an unwritten requirement that these
businesses help the communities they serve. That philanthropic spirit
became even more important during the pandemic.
" I think that our community impact was so significant, because
when COVID hit, we weren't starting from scratch, " says Leigh Woisard,
SVP of Public Affairs for Cox Communications. " We already had
really deep roots in the community, strong employee volunteerism,
and really well-gelled partnerships. "
That head start allowed Cox to quickly adjust efforts to best help
organizations dealing with school closures, financial instability and
health crises brought on by the pandemic.
" Cox has always demonstrated its commitment to closing the digital
divide for Boys & Girls Club youth and families through its Connect2Compete
program and implementation of technology innovation
labs in over 100 Clubs across the country. However, during the pandemic,
the partner's loyalty reached new heights as Cox immediately
shifted its focus to meet new needs of Clubs, " says Chad RoyalPascoe,
Acting SVP, Resource Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of
America. " By providing much-needed grants for learning support
centers, Club staff continued serving youth onsite for distance learning
in a safe environment, while supporting them with the use of
digital platforms like Boys & Girls Clubs of America's MyFuture and
other virtual Club experiences. "
Other examples of Cox's community-mindedness can be seen in the
hefty donations it made to food banks as well as its work with more
than 500 schools to make Connect2Compete, its affordable home
internet product for low-income families, more accessible.
On a smaller scale, some local hospitals in Cox's footprint asked for
Cablefax: The Magazine
Cox participates in a
Chromebook giveaway for
students in Baton Rouge,
help in spreading info about COVID. Cox stepped in and put their
content on demand, promoting it within the electronic guide-essentially
giving the institutions free ad packages. With so many small
businesses hurt by lockdowns, Cox offered up free, 30-second spots
on local cable advertising that included a list of all the area restaurants
that were open. " We had literally thousands of restaurants take
advantage of those goodwill ads, " says Woisard.
Some of Cox's efforts meant working with existing business customers
who were now dealing with work-from-home for the first time. It
quickly designed office bundle solutions, and even worked out bulk
billing for companies with several hundred employees that didn't
want their workforce to be billed for broadband for remote work.
As for those tearjerker video vignettes, Cox focused on how the
technology it offers can help with human connection. " One Call A
Day " had an impact on the isolated seniors who received friendly
check-in calls from Cox employees, but it was a two-way street.
" We have an employee portal and there's a section where employees
who participated in the program comment on their experience.
When you read how into it our employees were and how much they
looked forward to the calls, that was a little unexpected, " Woisard
says. " But that just goes to show you, when you're doing really
good things in the community, it comes full circle and makes you a
stronger company. " - Amy Maclean
Cox Communications bestowed a $100,000
grant from the James M. Cox Foundation on
the Boys & Girls Club of America to help fund
development of new digital programs.
Cox upped the speed for its Connect2Compete lowcost
internet package to 50Mbps from 25Mbps
in March 2020, in light of the pandemic. This past
May, it opted to make the speed boost permanent.
" Drawn Closer " is an animated short film that
premiered in May on YurView, the local origination
TV network managed by Cox. It was created by
real middle school drama students in Henderson,
Nevada, with Oscar-winning director Patrick Osborne.
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021
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