Comcast - Community Relations Campaign
Company: Comcast, Plymouth, MI
Company Description: 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. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Community Relations
Nomination Title: Comcast Heartland Region One of First Companies to Aid Flint Community
Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.
Clean water is essential to life. The crystal-clear resource pouring from taps into families’ drinking glasses and flowing into babies’ bathtubs can easily be taken for granted when moving about our daily routines. But when something goes wrong, as it did in Flint, Michigan, and the fresh water citizens depend on for life isn’t available, people take notice.
Beginning in January 2016, the water in Flint – Michigan’s seventh largest city – was declared unsafe for consumption, leaving residents in the center of a public health emergency. Comcast, a business presence in the city for nearly 40 years, was one of the first local companies on the ground to help. They, immediately assembled a cross-functional team, under the leadership of State Government Affairs Vice President Chris Horak, mobilizing Flint-area technicians, store employees and other associates.
Comcast activated an internal water crisis response team and created a multi-dimensional plan to assist the city’s residents. In a matter of weeks, this cross-functional team organized employee communications about the initiatives, including information around testing for lead poisoning, and focused first on Comcast employees impacted by the crisis. They then turned their focus to help the broader Flint community.
Comcast technicians, who were already making scheduled home visits, were able to contribute in a unique way, delivering water filters and test kits to residents, which included more than 700 senior and public housing units. Front counter personnel in the Comcast Flint service center also supplied filters and test kits to residents.
Comcast employees from across Michigan and other parts of the country collected bottled water to be distributed to Flint residents via our service center and through two organized days of service, the first being Feb. 20, 2016 and the second April 30, 2016, which was in conjunction with the company’s National Comcast Cares Day.
Collectively, the team distributed more than 277,120 bottles of water, 783 water testing kits and 3,565 water filters. Together, employees dedicated 1,296 volunteer community service hours to this cause. Comcast also organized large recycling efforts, collecting over 21,000 empty plastic containers and signing up 182 Flint residents for curbside recycling. Out of this effort, Comcast forged partnerships with the Urban League, RiseUp Minnesota and United Way Worldwide.
Although the Flint efforts were born of necessity and nurtured through the company’s ongoing commitment to volunteerism, an improved brand perception has been one of the many positive consequences. Comcast has long strived to humanize its brand and by taking the time to interact one on one and help residents when they most needed it, they’ve accomplished this goal. In January 2017, Comcast also opened a state-of-the-art brick and mortar location, which has been another, much needed bright spot for the local community.
After more than a year of activity, employees still recognize the impact their efforts have had on the Flint community and want to continue to do more. Nearly 92 percent of employees surveyed feel Comcast’s efforts to help Flint residents during the water crisis were appreciated by customers. And, 75 percent feel Comcast’s efforts to help Flint residents during the water crisis helped humanize the company with area residents.
Comcast’s response to the Flint water crisis demonstrates what’s possible when businesses put the needs of others before its own. By simply doing good things, brands can deepen customer connections and improve many perception indicators. The Flint crisis is far from over and Comcast will remain front and center in its ongoing commitment to its Flint neighbors. The company is planning to build on its rich history in the region by continuing to showcase its belief in the people and the power of the city.
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).
-277,120 bottles of water and 783 water testing kits distributed.
-3,565 water filters, 500 Zero Water pitchers with replacement filters and 1,994 replacement cartridges distributed.
-1,296 volunteer hours.
-Over 21,000 empty plastic containers collected for recycling and 182 Flint residents signed up for curbside recycling.
-208 families fed (1,413 people total).
-Nearly 92% of employees surveyed feel Comcast’s efforts to help Flint residents during the water crisis were appreciated by customers. And, 75% feel Comcast’s efforts to help Flint residents during the water crisis helped humanize the company with area residents.
-A related Facebook-embedded video about RiseUp Minnesota’s collaboration with Comcast to help Flint residents organically reached 7,000 people and generated nearly 2,000 video views.
-The company’s efforts likely contributed to its year-over-year (2015 – 2016) business performance in Flint. Comcast improved annualized churn for high speed data by 10 percentage points and for basic cable by seven percentage points.