Case Study for Information & Communications Technology
TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY CHALLENGE:
Winning Passage of Statewide Video Franchise Legislation
Telecom providers sought state legislation that would abolish outdated local cable franchise systems and introduce a new statewide franchising model allowing them to provide video services to consumers. However, entrenched cable companies dug in, making the reform movement more difficult. The state efforts were often opposed by powerful local officials, cable monopolists, county associations and more. VOX was retained to create a campaign-style program that would methodically condition the environment to win acceptance and passage of statewide franchising legislation across the country.
Promote Consumer Choice and Competition to Win the Day
In order to dilute the arguments of the cable industry and local officials who raised unfounded fears about losing local franchise revenues, we tailored our messages around consumer choice and competition. Some of the tactics used included:
- Consumer-focused messaging: Campaign messages were based on focus group results to hit on the concepts of competition, choice, cost savings and control.
- Stakeholder education: VOX took our client’s messages to stakeholders, consumers, third party groups, employees and retirees through a series of community visits designed to educate and mobilize supporters.
- Legislator briefings: VOX developed a series of legislator briefing sessions to earn the support of key policymakers and establish a sense of urgency for action.
- Third party engagement: We worked with third party groups and think tank scholars to engage them in the debate.
- Opposition monitoring and rapid response: VOX actively monitored opposition activities/outreach and leaned on war room operations to refute erronesous claims quickly and effectively.
- Online consumer mobilization: VOX developed online mobilization tools and connected with supporters via e-newsletters
- Media outreach: We actively sought out favorable reporting and editorial positions through aggressive and consistent media relations.
- Paid advertising: VOX leveraged strategic ad buys through third party groups to mobilize support when needed.
Prior to our engagement, no states had passed this kind of legislation. Today, more than 22 states have
Following passage, we engaged in comprehensive “good news tours” where new investment and jobs announcements have allowed us to applaud policymakers across the country for their vision in voting for video reform.
Telecom providers have been widely lauded for making good on the promise that reform legislation would deliver new investment and consumer choice.