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RCN Corp / Comm org


Company: RCN Corporation
Entered by: Communicreate
Company Description: RCN Corporation ( headquartered in Herndon, VA, is a leading provider of bundled cable, high-speed internet and phone services to residential and business customers in Boston, New York, Eastern PA, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Its separately-managed subsidiary, RCN Business Solutions provides bulk video, high-capacity data and voice services to business customers.
Nomination Category: Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Communications Organization

Nomination Title: RCN Strategic & External Affairs Department

1. Tell the story about what this nominated organization/department achieved in the past year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

In 2005, RCN Corporation emerged from bankruptcy with a new highly accomplished executive team and board of directors. Richard Ramlall, a seasoned telecom and cable veteran, took over responsibilities for RCN public relations, investor relations and regulatory and government affairs.

Ramlall quickly found that since entering into bankruptcy, RCN’s voice had
pretty much been muted. While investors were clamoring for attention, the
company had nonetheless fallen below the radar scan of many press, regulators
and sell-side analysts. There was no consistent central strategy. There was
very little targeted Corporate PR support to the regional markets and no IR
infrastructure to support a robust program. There was no consistent PR or IR
policy, process, messaging or governance structure.

In addition, RCN faced new competitive threats by telecom & cable giants who
had decided to start offering bundled triple play services. They heavily
lobbied Congress to update the Telecom Act of 1996 and the Federal
Communication Commission to change the rules to create competitive
disadvantages to smaller companies like RCN. The financial community doubted
RCN could survive, never mind come back. And competitors were using the
bankruptcy to disparage RCN.

Ramlall developed a a unique, unified Investor Relations/Public Relations/
Government Affairs communication plan and organization that: supported RCN’s
sales & financial bottom-line; had consistent messaging, strategy & activities;
increased brand & product awareness; and positioned RCN favorably with
customers, industry, government & financial communities.

In 2006, under Ramlall’s leadership, RCN conducted proactive media and analyst
outreach to restore public and investor confidence; support the launch of new
products and services, and protect RCN’s interests at the FCC and Congress.
Results include:
Focus groups showed high awareness of RCN. Consumer Reports also ranked RCN the 4th best U.S. Internet provider.
RCN issued 90 news releases and position statements to the news media. (In 2005, RCN issued 40 news releases.) 170 news media inquiries and interviews held. (In 2005, RCN had 75 media inquiries and interviews. Coverage in
Associated Press, Bloomberg, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun Times & Washington Post,. Briefings with NY Times financial reporters and business editors of the Washington Post and follow-up interview resulting in a 2-page feature.

PR supported lobbying efforts, to secure valuable programming protections in
the FCC’s Adelphia/ Comcast/Time Warner Merger. Access to regional sports in PA market grandfathered – only company to receive such protection. House and Senate bills included OVS protections tailored for RCN and Verizon national franchising effort derailed as bills failed to pass. RCN also donated $3 million in cable television time to United Way through the "what matters" campaign. 

Through its communication outreach, RCN increased institutional ownership of
its stock from 74% to 93% and more than tripled sell-side analyst coverage from
3 to 10. RCN generated more than 500 IR contacts, and more than 20 road shows
and conference presentations. RCN won a 2006 Thoth Award and an Award of
Excellence from the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of
America for the company’s investor relations and integrated IR/PR programs.

2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated organization/department:

Richard Ramlall serves as Senior Vice President Strategic and External Affairs
and is responsible for Regulatory Affairs, Investor Relations, Public
Relations, External Affairs and Strategic Issues. Prior to joining RCN in March
2005, Mr. Ramlall served as Senior Managing Director and Executive Vice
President of Spencer Trask Media and Communications Group, LLC (a division of
New York-based venture capital firm Spencer Trask & Company) based in Reston,
Virginia, from June 1999 to March 2005. From March 1997 to June 1999, Mr.
Ramlall served as Vice President and Managing Director for Strategy, Marketing
and International Government Affairs for Bechtel Telecommunications. Prior to
that, Mr. Ramlall was Executive Director for International Business Affairs for
Bell Atlantic International and spent over 18 years at Bell Atlantic in a
number of areas, including strategy; corporate development; finance; marketing;
operations; regulatory; and legal. In 1990, Mr. Ramlall was selected to serve a
one year appointment under the Presidential Exchange Executive Program of the
White House. Mr. Ramlall holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
and an MGA (Technology Management) from the University of Maryland.