Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand. Its Florida Region is the largest in the company in terms of number of subscribers.
Hurricane Irma may have left major damage when it swept across the Atlantic in 2017, but a year later a group of dedicated volunteers was busy replanting the trees and vegetation that had been destroyed at places like Sweetwater Elementary School in Miami, Florida.
This was just one of many “good news” stories that came out of Comcast Cares Day, the company’s annual day of service that celebrated the participation of its one millionth volunteer in 2018. It’s the kind of initiative that makes for positive earned media coverage, which the Comcast Florida Region Public Relations team maximizes by making strategic use of the media database, distribution and monitoring capabilities of Cision Communications Cloud®, along with Cision Impact.
Cindy Arco, Public Relations Manager for the Comcast Florida Region, is based in Jacksonville, Florida and works together with her boss, the Vice President of Public Relations, who is based in West Palm Beach. Together they are responsible for external communications duties for Comcast’s markets across Florida. That means juggling a lot of things at once -- not all of which contribute to increasing earned media coverage.
“We would love to spend all of our time on proactive, positive media outreach about new products and services to local news media outlets in our major markets,” she says. “Of course, the reality is that’s not all we get to do. We also have to deal with reactive communications in response to different topics, like customer service issues.”
When it comes time to pitch media, Arco says the challenges facing many newsrooms at newspapers and television stations have had an impact on communications professionals as well.
“These days, no matter where you’re looking, there’s a ton of turnover (among journalists),” she says. “If they’re moving to another publication or going into a new field, it’s not always easy to keep up with those contacts.”
Comcast makes full-use of Cision Comms Cloud’s database, distribution, monitoring and analytics capabilities. With more than 1.6 million contacts in the Cision Database, Arco instantly gains access to complete, dynamic and vetted influencer profiles. She can then reach targeted audiences using Cision Distribution by PR Newswire, the industry leader with the largest and most comprehensive distribution network, which can be accessed directly within Cision Comms Cloud. Throughout the campaign process, Comcast employs Cision multi-channel monitoring and analytical tools to retrieve holistic media coverage, attribute value, and gain credibility with internal and external stakeholders.
Comcast also uses Cision Impact, a product that makes it easy for communications professionals to demonstrate the return on investment for their earned media results. Cision Impact uses a Cision ID to track things like the reach of a story, engagement such as click-throughs and conversion data such as shopping cart activity or lead generation.
Whereas sending out releases or story pitches and tracking media coverage was once a fairly manual process for the Comcast Florida Region Public Relations team, Arco says working with Cision has provided an automated means for managing the team’s workload and moving towards a more data-driven approach to assessing its success. Some of the highlights include:
25% Time Savings: Tracking the clips where Comcast gets coverage isn’t something Arco can ignore, no matter how busy she gets.
“I have to get it done no matter what else goes on,” she says. She estimates using Cision Comms Cloud has already given her a quarter of that time back, a number she expects to grow as she gets more comfortable with the platform. “It’s going to be closer to 50%. That’s huge for me.”
Omni-Channel Monitoring Capabilities: Arco says she previously used Google Alerts to keep her eye on mentions of Comcast in the news, but that has its limitations.
“Google Alerts won’t pick up what’s in print,” she points out. “We subscribe to the majority of the newspapers throughout Florida, and if I knew something was coming I would know to search for it there, but sometimes you might pitch something about a donation we gave, for instance, and it is two months before they run a story about it.”
Customized Queries to Build Lists: “It’s tough to have good connections with news media in every single market. It’s just not realistic,” Arco says. Using Cision Comms Cloud means Arco can seek out influencers based on their area of focus, items on a publication’s editorial calendar and more.
“There are so many different options for the search features, which is really nice,” she says. “I tend to put in a search I know is going to give me way more than I need, because you can always filter within a search. I find it to be very user-friendly.”
A Trusted Advisor Relationship and Personalized Service: Arco gives high marks to the Cision team, particularly her account manager, who keeps her updated on new features and training opportunities.
“I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet her personally,” she says. “I know that I can always go to her with questions or concerns. She makes sure I have the right information when I go to my boss. We’re saving money by doing this -- It’s a better solution.”
Arco is looking forward to using Cision Impact as a way to demonstrate the business value of her earned media efforts.
“Ideally we could say, ‘We got this story covered and made this much money from it,’” she said, adding that the insights from Cision Impact will likely be shared not only with her boss but with PR professionals across the company. “The more data, the better.”