Why Family First do so well

Rarely does a day go by, without Family First in the news. This is because Bob McCoskrie is a very very smart media operator. Not only does he do a press release a day, but he thinks outside the square.

Sure they do still sometimes do dumb stuff like trying to get Californication off the air through an advertiser boycott. Probably sent ratings soaring. But they are very smart when they do releases like this one in my inbox:

Family First NZ has offered to pay for a child to join their family on a dream holiday to Disneyland if they win the ‘nightmare’ trip in More FM’s current radio competition.

First prize in the competition is a family trip (worth $20,000) to Disneyland in both LA and Florida for 10 days. However, if the winning family tosses a coin and it is ‘tails’, one of the children has to stay behind.

“The competition has been ill-conceived and is potentially traumatic for a young family,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, “and our understanding is that More FM has received a number of complaints about it, and that even some staff have concerns.” …

Family First hopes that the winner gets ‘heads’ on the coin, but in the event that it is ‘tails’, they are offering to fund the extra airfare so that the whole family enjoys a brilliant family trip together.

“Who wants to be at the departure lounge when little Jeremy waves goodbye to the rest of his family as they embark on their dream trip to Disneyland?”

This is seriously brilliant PR.  Instead of just complaining about the More FM competition, they front up with the $2K or so for the extra child, in case the family flips tails.

Today they have launched a ‘Have dinner with your family” campaign on billboards and in newspapers.  Not at all political – just pushing a families message.

If all they did was go on about smacking and rude shows on TV, they would be marginalised.  But Bob M manages to find a family angle to almost every issue, and get in the news on it.  A quick check of NZPA finds around 40 references to Family First – just in February.

Now don’t take this to mean I agree with all of Family First’s aims. Of their four current action alerts, I oppose them on three of the four – Californication, Hell’s Pizza, and Boobs on Bikes. I do agree on the anti-smacking law.

But one doesn’t have to agree with a group on something, to admire their media skills.  Likewise I don’t agree with the EPMU and Andrew Little on a lot of things – but I do admire his media operation.

Comments (64)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment