Outreach to Gay and Lesbian Community Takes Root in Bell Atlantic's New York Market
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Outreach to Gay and Lesbian Community Takes Root in Bell Atlantic's
New York Market
Employee Organization, Marketing Team and Community Outreach
Open Channels for Communication and Commerce
June 25, 1999
NEW YORK -- During Pride Month, Bell Atlantic made clear its interest
in New York's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.
Most visibly, a product promotion campaign targeted to New York's
GLBT community --- the largest served by Bell Atlantic -- has begun in
both the local GLBT press and on the World Wide Web. A special offer
of the company's ValuePack offering up to 11 call-management services
for the home acknowledges how these services can help manage lifestyle
issues that matter to the target audience.
In another instance, the company's lobby at its 1095 Avenue of the
Americas headquarters features a colorful and informative Pride display in
support of equality and other pride issues, and acknowledges the
employees and leadership at Bell Atlantic who are guiding the company's
vigorous interaction with the community. Executives, employees and
marketers appear on video at the centerpiece of the display, addressing the
theme, "A Prideful Past, A Powerful Future."
The message delivered throughout these initiatives is that Bell Atlantic
cares about the GLBT community, and through its employees and other
corporate programs intends to engage its members.
"It's symbolic that 30 years after the Stonewall Rebellion in New
York, when the community burst into the public consciousness asking for
recognition, Bell Atlantic's commitment to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and
transgender individuals, as people, as a community and as customers, is
becoming more visible," said Bob Baublitz, president of the
GLOBE, the Bell Atlantic employee resource group for GLBT employees
and their allies, and manager of ethnic and premium markets for the
company's consumer line of business.
"Both the exhibit and the new market presence are a reflection of
Bell Atlantic's good corporate citizenship and show that we value our
GLBT employees and customers."
Bell Atlantic, for the fifth year in a row, has been listed in the Gay and
Lesbian Values (NY) Index of leading companies. In addition, Bell
Atlantic abides by all eight principles of the Equality Project of Gay and
Lesbian Consumers, Employees and Investors.
Bell Atlantic has sponsored many Pride events in New York City and is a
major corporate sponsor of the Empire State Pride Agenda, the largest
GLBT political organization in New York State.
GLOBE is formally recognized by Bell Atlantic and is a supported
employee resource group organized to address the needs and concerns of
employees. Since its formation in 1993, there has been a transformation
of attitude and openness within the employee body.
"The Pride display will tour work locations across the Bell Atlantic
serving area," Baublitz said, "and will serve as a
reinforcement for the work of GLOBE in orienting the company and its
people to an understanding of an alternate way of living. During Pride
Month, we've also displayed rainbow flags at most major company
locations to support awareness."
"In the community at large, Bell Atlantic has recognized the need to
package and promote our products to favorably meet the needs of all our
customers," Baublitz said. "We intend to approach the GLBT
segment of our customer body with the same kind of focus that motivates
us to promote and deliver services that reflect lifestyle issues and solve
communications problems for other customer segments."
Demographics, lifestyle and economics are among the factors considered
in this kind of marketing.
The print ads and web promotion feature a graphic with the customer at
the center, surrounded by communications targets connected by dotted
lines representing calling features that would support those
communications. The link between the customer and an "old
partner," for example, is represented by Caller ID, the service that
lets you see who's calling before answering the phone. The Three-Way
Calling link shows how an individual, the Pride Committee and the
mayor's office might conference together.
The promotion, available through August 14, offers the package of 11
services for $17.99 per month, and may include a free Caller ID display.
That's a savings of 49 percent on the cost of all the services ordered
The same promotion appears in the New York market on the Web via a
banner ad and link posted at the www.gay.com home page and features a
toll free ordering line.
"Combined, the GLBT community that Bell Atlantic supports as a
corporation, that GLOBE supports as an organization and that our GLBT
marketing supports as a business function represent a solid beginning for
Bell Atlantic as it engages this group of diverse customers,"
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.