Welcome Back effort reconnects Comcast to Jersey shore customers

As many New Jersey shore residents began returning to their homes after Hurricane Sandy, Comcast Cable ran a campaign to demonstrate its support and win back customers who had disconnected service.

Company: Comcast Cable Freedom Region (Prevose, PA)
Campaign
: Comcast Welcomes Back Jersey Shore Customers
Duration
: April 27 – August 20, 2013
Budget
: $8,000 -- $10,000

As many New Jersey shore residents began returning to their homes this year after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Comcast Cable Freedom Region ran a campaign to demonstrate its support and win back customers who had disconnected service.

“We wanted to relay clearly and with specificity how we were there for our customers before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy and drive confidence,” explains VP of PR Jeff Alexander. “We serve more than 2.1 million customers in Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey. A large portion of our service is along the Jersey Shore, but the storm really impacted our whole region so we knew our message would resonate with a large set of our customers.” 

Strategy
Alexander and his team worked with multiple Comcast departments to shape the campaign and craft messaging, which was driven through media relations and events.

Alexander says the PR team suggested a PSA-style TV ad campaign shot on location that features employees telling their Sandy stories in their own words.

 “It was important to deliver the story of our employees' commitment to customers, as well as relay the company's commitment to restoring damaged infrastructure in the region and raise awareness of new innovative products,” he adds.

Tactics
A May 15 press release detailed Comcast's “Welcome Back” efforts.

Ongoing outreach targeted hyper-local, regional, and national general consumer media outlets and cable trades.

The 12th Annual “Comcast Cares Day” volunteer event kicked off the campaign on April 27. Seven Jersey Shore-related volunteer events were held with clean-up and rebuilding efforts in hard-hit Highlands Borough, NJ, serving as the centerpiece event.

Comcast also sponsored 145 “Welcome Back” events in the region, including community movie nights, between April and August. 

For the ad shoot, Alexander's team prepared employees, such as technician Pete Imler that manned a Long Beach Island facility around the clock for two weeks to keep services up for emergency responders. Imler also gave print media interviews.

Numerous internal channels were used to recognize employees and raise awareness of the campaign. 

At the invitation of the mayor of Mantoloking, NJ, Comcast participated in an August 20 city council meeting and presented information about reconnecting and new services at a subsequent community meeting.

Results
Alexander says Comcast “won back the great majority” of Jersey Shore customers with inhabitable houses.

About 800 people volunteered for Jersey Shore projects on April 27. Nearly 500 helped out in Highlands Borough. Alexander says the numbers can't be compared to previous Comcast Cares Day efforts because venues change from year to year, but he calls this year's turnout “astounding.” 

More than 50 earned stories were garnered, including live Today show coverage of the Highlands Borough volunteer effort.

At least 100,000 people were reached via the 145 sponsored “Welcome Back” events.

About 150 people attended the August 20 Mantoloking community event.

Future
The campaign will continue with occasional ongoing events and a focus on raising awareness of beneficial products for customers returning to the Jersey Shore.

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