New CTPAA Director Eyes Revamp

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Newly appointed Cable Television Public Affairs Association executive director Steve Jones plans to update the group's member Web site and to use e-mail in a more savvy manner.

Jones-who joined the CTPAA in early March, just weeks before the group's annual conference this week-said in an interview last month that he hopes a revamping will encourage members to check the Web site on a more regular basis.

Jones hopes to create a searchable member directory on the site (www.ctpaa.org), to post the CTPAA newsletter and perhaps to post more information about panelists at its CTPAA Forum 2000, including links to the panelists'e-mail addresses so members can ask questions after their presentations.

It's not yet clear whether the CTPAA will hire a dedicated Webmaster to rework the site. Jones predicted that many of these issues would be determined following the Forum, which runs through Tuesday (April 11) in San Antonio.

"Our volunteers are very committed and involved with the conferences, and I'd like that to continue," Jones said, adding that he wants the organization itself to do more of the conference work in the future. "Our volunteers do an awful lot of work they shouldn't be asked to do," he said.

Jones said his goal is to increase membership in the CTPAA-which is now at 500 to 700-to between 800 and 1,000 over the next few years. He'll start with the basics. "We'll put together a membership brochure, which is something we actually don't have," he added.

Under his leadership, the CTPAA plans to offer new products and services, including educational material designed to help members do their jobs better, Jones said.

At press time, the CTPAA expected about 350 people to attend this week's CTPAA Forum 2000.

Monday's opening session, "What Game Are We In?" plays host to AT & T Broadband CEO Dan Somers, Courtroom Television Network chairman Henry Schleiff, Wink Communications Inc. president Maggie Wilderotter and Diva Systems Corp. president David Zucker.

Other sessions will focus on managing forced access, marketing to nontraditional audiences, integrating public affairs into an overall marketing campaign, using the Internet for media relations and the public-relations challenges of launching new services.

National Cable Television Association CEO Robert Sachs is scheduled to give a state-of-the-industry address Tuesday morning.

Forum 2000 wraps up Tuesday night with the annual "Beacon Awards" ceremony and celebration.

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