How one nonprofit is fighting a PR battle

A nonprofit Chicago TV station uses media relations and advocacy in its battle for survival against heavyweight AT&T. Video Audio

A nonprofit Chicago TV station uses media relations and advocacy in its battle for survival against heavyweight AT&T

A recent Chicago Tribune article profiled the city’s largest cable TV providers, Comcast and AT&T—two heavyweights in a battle for cable supremacy.

Reporter Eric Gwinn didn’t mention that AT&T treats public access channels, like Chicago’s CAN TV, different than Comcast or any other cable provider does—a notion deeply troubling many public access supporters, who call the treatment unfair and unprecedented.

“[The article] focused on what we thought a typical reader would care about most,” Gwinn told Ragan.com. “CAN TV and [public access] channels are important and necessary viewing options, but they aren’t as popular as sports or movies, so our article didn’t mention them.”

Ensuring the public and media care about its message is the struggle CAN TV, a nonprofit organization with only one full-time communicator, has faced since early 2007. It’s also one of countless examples of PR battles nonprofits face as they try to communicate their story in the shadow of large companies.

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