Cox places IR under the umbrella of PR

ATLANTA: Cox Communications has restructured its communications operations to incorporate an expanded investor relations team and accommodate a new tier of managers under VP of communications and IR Ellen East.

ATLANTA: Cox Communications has restructured its communications operations to incorporate an expanded investor relations team and accommodate a new tier of managers under VP of communications and IR Ellen East.

The move to take the company's IR function - previously a small, stand-alone division - under the umbrella of PR reflects an enhanced appreciation for the value of IR and PR among senior executives, including CEO James Kennedy and CFO James Robbins.

"The old maxim is 'Portfolio managers don't buy stocks, they buy stories,'" said East. "By making the Cox story more compelling and consistent, and working together on strategies to reach all of our audiences with similar messages in similar time frames, we can be more effective in creating an image that instills confidence in our future performance."

The IR department will be headed by VP of IR Lacey Lewis, formerly CFO for the Cox Interactive Media division.

The company, which has seen its national communications staff double over the past five years to 15, promoted manager of employee communication Andrea Proser to the new position of director of corporate communications.

Bobby Amirshahi, previously communications director for commercial voice and data services unit Cox Business Services, was named director of media relations. PR manager Susan Leepson was promoted to director of public relations.

Cox Communications - the nation's fifth-largest cable TV company, with 6.3 million subscribers - is launching a PR campaign this week for its internet services aimed at parents and school administrators.

Titled "Line to learning," the effort will pair Cox with Turner Network Television to connect classrooms across the country with the CNN Center in Atlanta, from which CNN journalists and personalities will interact with students.

Cox PR is also participating in the company's "Your friend in the digital age" brand campaign. It is the first time the company has incorporated PR into a major advertising campaign.

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