California Children and Families Commission/Univision Partnership
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California Children and Families Commission/Univision Partnership

This partnership effort has contributed significantly to the dramatic increase in awareness among Latinos about the importance of a child’s early years.

Paul Holmes

This partnership effort has contributed significantly to the dramatic increase in awareness among Latinos about the importance of a child’s early years.

 

In California, 47 percent of kids ages 0 to 5 in California are Latino, and Latinos now account for half of all births in California.  Recognizing the importance of reaching the Latino audience, Rogers & Associates, retained by the California Children and Families Commission (CCFC), partnered with the Univision Television Network to educate Latino parents about early childhood development issues.  Rogers & Associates has developed a public education partnership that consists of a series of television news segments about the importance of the early years as well as community events and PSAs.  The segments and PSAs aired on Univision, which reaches 80 percent of the Spanish-speaking audience.  The result:  This effort has contributed significantly to the dramatic increase in awareness among Latinos about the importance of a child’s early years.

 

Challenges & Objectives

 

In response to extensive research showing that 80 percent of brain development occurs during the first three years of a child’s life, and that early experiences affect a child’s ability to succeed in school and in life.  The California Children and Families Commission (CCFC) was formed by the passage of Proposition 10, in November 1998, to fund early childhood development programs for children age 0 to 5 and their families. 

 

As part of its public education campaign, CCFC’s agency, Rogers & Associates, negotiated a comprehensive partnership with Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the county, to educate Latino parents about early childhood development issues.  The objectives of this public education partnership were to:
Ø Raise awareness about the importance of the early years among Latino families with children under 5 years old.
Ø To connect families to information and resources to help them support the physical, emotional and academic success of their children.

 

In a state where 47 percent of children (0-5) and half of births are Latino, it was critical that the CCFC develop outreach strategies that reach this community in a culturally sensitive, credible and relevant manner.  Given that the concept of childhood development can be difficult to define, Rogers & Associates’ strategy was to find concrete, actionable examples of how everyday activities can have a lasting impact on the health and future academic success of children.  The goal was not to translate or adapt a concept already applied to general market audiences but to create a complete campaign tailored to a Spanish-speaking audience with unique needs and issues of interest.

 

Therefore, Rogers & Associates developed a public education partnership with the Univision Television Network, which reached more than 80 percent of Spanish viewers. 

 

Research

 

Latinos are a large and growing segment of the California population with most being under 30 years of age.  In 1997, Latinos were 29 percent of California’s population but already 48 percent of total statewide births.  In that same year, a statewide survey conducted by The Field Institute for the California Center for Health Improvement (CCHI), showed that 46 percent of Latino parents, the largest group of parents in California, were aware of the importance of brain development in the child’s first three years.

 

Strategy

 

Our goal was to reach Latino families in California with children 0 to 5 years old.  In particular, the partnership targeted Latino parents, caregivers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and all who influence the lives of California’s youngest children.  The project was tailored to reach families who may not have access to this type of actionable information.

Campaign Execution

 

Rogers & Associates, along with its client, the CCFC, met with Univision’s senior decision-makers and proposed a unique partnership that would create ongoing educational programming that focuses on early childhood development.  Univision recognized that the CCFC’s vision of healthy, ready-to-learn children was in sync with the network’s philosophy of community service, local involvement and advocacy, and they devoted resources as well as attention to the partnership. 

 

The partnership consisted of the following components:

 

News Segments
Developed more than 22 news segments called “Nuestros Niños Primero” (Our Children First) that featured veteran reporters who garner significant respect and credibility within the Latino community.
Identified issues and developed segments that address the unique needs of Latino families such as infant CPR, car seat safety, SIDS and nutrition.

Worked with early childhood development experts and Univision production staff to ensure that CCFC messages were accurate and culturally appropriate.

Worked with Univision staff to identify and secure service providers, families and experts featured in each segment.

 

Public Service Announcements
Identified topics and developed scripts.

Worked with Univision staff to identify on-air personalities who could deliver the messages effectively.
Developed and produced an early childhood development PSA featuring Teresa Quevedo, Univision news anchor and mother of three children under the age of 5.

Developed and produced anti-smoking PSA featuring Don Francisco, Univision variety show host.

 

Community Events
Participated in four Univision sponsored events that reached more than 100,000 Latinos statewide.
Disseminated CCFC collateral materials in Spanish and English.
Coordinated and staffed booth featuring activities that encouraged parents to interact with their children.

 

Results

 

To date, the CCFC/Univision partnership has generated:
Ø More than 22 news segments aired on Univision stations throughout the state during the highest rated Spanish-language news programs.  These segments reached more than a million people in Los Angeles alone, with an estimated advertising dollar value of $468,060.
Ø Two public service announcements featuring Univision personalities that reached millions of viewers statewide.
Ø Four community events reaching more than 100,000 Latinos statewide.
Ø Calls to the CCFC 800 number increased by almost 50 percent when news segments or PSAs aired.

 

This effort has contributed significantly to the dramatic increase in awareness among Latinos about the importance of a child’s early years.  According to a recently released statewide survey conducted by The Field Institute for the California Center for Health Improvement (CCHI), more than 71 percent of Latino parents, the largest group of parents in California, were aware of the importance of brain development in the child’s first three years.  This is up from 46 percent in 1997. 

Given the partnership’s success, the project’s second phase for next year has resulted in:
Ø Collaboration in the development of a national show on early childhood development featuring CCFC.
Ø A statewide public affairs show on the importance of early childhood development and its relevance to a child’s success in school and life.
Ø Regional news segments featuring local programs that service the community.

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