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CQCM Newsletter Winter 1999
(October 1998 to April 1999)
1998 - A Banner Year for CQCM

CQCM Newsletter Archive:
CQCM Newsletter Summer 1998

CQCM Newsletter Fall 1997
CQCM Newsletter Summer 1997


NEW YORK TIMES PARTNERS WITH KIDS FIRST!® ON BOOK

The New York Times is co-authoring a book with CQCM reviewing "the best of children's videos." This will be published by a major publisher. It will be an all inclusive guide, updated annually, reviewing all KIDS FIRST!® - endorsed titles. The publisher intends to release the first edition in the fall of 1999. This book will replace the CQCM - published Directory.

Any company which wants its titles included in the book needs to submit those that have not been evaluated to our office. (This includes new releases as well as any catalog title that is in active distribution but has not been submitted for evaluation previously.) We can only meet our deadline with the publisher if we allow our juries adequate time to evaluate new titles.

We're quite excited about this new development. This book will be widely distributed. Having a title included in the book sends a message to consumers everywhere that adults and kids together have chosen it as representing the highest standard of quality children's media.

If you need an application form, please call the Coalition's office (505) 989-8076 or email us if you have any questions. Applications may also be downloaded from our website.


14th Annual Early Intervention/Early Childhood Summer Institute

Child Development Resources and The College of William and Mary, School of Education present the 14th Annual Early Intervention/Early Childhood Summer Institute August 2-6 1999 in Williamsburg, VA.

Seminars include:
Touring the Brain: Understanding and Using Brain Research
Create Optimal Development of Young Children to Building Teacher-Child Relationships: The heart of Classroom Management

For more information contact:
Lisa McKean
CDR
P.O. Box 280
Norge, Virginia
23127-0280
757-566-3300
Fax 757 566 8977
[email protected]  


REVIEWS ON KIDSFIRST!® - ENDORSED TITLES

KIDS FIRST!® reviews of endorsed titles are now sent to more than 75 publications, both print and online.

We are pleased to welcome:
Baltimore's Child (MD);
Community New Harlem (NY);
Contemporary Pediatrics (Nat'l);
Parent and Kids Magazine (MS);
Pickleberry Pie (CA);
Sacramento Bee (CA);
Tumbleweeds (NM);
cyberteen.com;
familystyle.com;
familyresources.com;
twins.com;
child.net;
parenthoodweb.com;
circle1network.com;
dailyparent.com;
Drgreene.com;
npin.com;
wyoming.com


1999 ANNUAL MEETING

The 1999 Annual Meeting of CQCM will be held in Santa Fe April 29 - May 1. All National Board members, Trustees, Major Members and CQCM staff are invited to participate. Additionally, representatives from independent production companies, the CQCM jury, and organizations involved in a current project will participate as guests. Invitations will be mailed in early January. Please call the CQCM office if you do not receive your invitation by January 15.


WEBSITE NEWS:

If you haven't noticed yet, we've added a new feature to our website, "Hot Picks of the Week," listing six to eight newly endorsed titles. This area receives a lot of attention from our website visitors. The total number of endorsed titles on the site as of November 12 is 1010!

HITS: The CQCM website surpassed its previous record with 7,000 hits on Thursday, November 12. Currently, its visitors are increasing by 26% every month, averaging 150,000 hits/ month.


JUROR OF THE MONTH!

"If you're proactive, you don't have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own."

Stephen Covey

Kudos to Kathy Albrecht, Rocklin, California. She is a great Juror! Kathy teaches third grade in a full-inclusion school. She has 20 students and provides modification in her classroom so that her students with special needs do the same work as their peers. She has three daughters: Kristel, age 18; Amy, age 16; Karly, age 13. As a Juror, she is responsive, gives great comments on her evaluation forms, has helped us out when we have a time crunch and need quick turn-arounds on evaluations, and looks beyond the obvious. Thanks Kathy.


INDEPENDENTS TAKE NOTE: PUBLICITY TIPS
by Andi Blain

I see a lot of product cross my desk that I wish I had seen before production commenced. Often, producers are so involved in the creative aspect that they neglect to think about how to market the videos later. Publicity - generating product reviews, interviews and articles - is as important to the success of your video as is production, duplication and box printing.

Without large marketing/advertising budgets, independent children's video producers need to rely on publicity to "spread the word" about their videos. Journalists wield a lot of power. One great review with an 800# may net significant sales. There are things that journalists like and dislike in children's videos and will comment negatively or positively. Before you begin thinking about your script, here are six tips that you may wish to incorporate into your production that will help publicists do their jobs:

 

1. Journalists, especially in the children's market, like multi-cultural programs not tokenism. One African American child in a group of five is not multi-cultural. Similarly, journalists like to see gender-balanced productions. Again, one or two girls in a group doesn't cut it. If a production calls for five kids, why not make the majority girls?

2. Release more than one title at a time. Releasing one title into the marketplace tells the journalists that this is a one-shot deal so why should they waste space on your one title when some other producer is releasing a series? Also, some editors perceive that reviewing a single title resembles advertising.

3. Create a more news-worthy release. A "new release" is barely news. Give a publicist something to talk about. Use an expert in the field or a celebrity on your video and make that person available for interviews. Donate a portion of your proceeds to a not-for-profit organization. Offer promotions such as a coupon good for rebates off other titles or other products. Create a birthday club for kids, or anything a journalist can write about makes your video release more news-worthy.

4. Aim to fill a void in the marketplace. Producers need to put more effort into evaluating the marketplace. Just because you think you have a great idea for a video doesn't mean it's needed. There are hundreds of videos for preschoolers but try finding an appropriate title for an eight-year -old. Journalists are tired of videos for pre-schoolers. Aim for an older market and you'll have a winner!

5. Go for awards and recognition. Journalists like to report about awards and KIDS FIRST!® endorsements. Their space is limited so limit your acknowledgement to one or two.

6. Establish a toll free ordering number and, if possible, a website. Journalists are reluctant to write about products that can't be found. Why? If a consumer can't find the title, the consumer may call the publication and complain. Printing the 800# or website avoids this and you may even get a direct sale.

Above all, make sure you set aside a budget for publicity. Include publicists' fees for several months and expenses, such as press kits, photos duplicating and postage. Often, producers neglect this. Since most independent children's titles get limited distribution, how else is the consumer supposed to find out about your title? Publicity can create a market awareness and influence distributors and retailers to stock your titles.

Andrea Blain is president of Andrea Blain Public Relations Inc., specializing in publicizing children's videos and CD-ROMs. She can be reached at 847-933-9884.


WEBSITE NEWS:

Now, when you visit our home page you can hear KIDSFIRST!™ Radio online. Conci Althouse, age nine, reviews newly endorsed titles and gives feedback from both our adult and child Jurors. We'd like to thank all the folks who take time to fill out our website feedback form. You help us improve and expand our site by beta testing it on a variety of computers, browsers, etc. CQCM's website clocked over 115,000 hits in the last four weeks - a record! Average User Session Length - 5 min, 55 seconds - up a full minute from last month is another record!


KIDS FIRST!® Directory

In the past year, over 35,000 copies of the KIDS FIRST!ª Directory have sold and/or disseminated through sponsorship. We wish to thank the Memorial Foundation in Nashville for its support and the Educational Foundation of America. We have fewer than than 10,000 copies left.

CQCM's most recent edition of its

KIDS FIRST!®Directory is now available!

The new 68 page, four-color directory describes over 700 KIDS FIRST!®endorsed videos and CD-ROMs, includingJuror comments and expert guidelines from child development specialists, educators, parents and kids.

To order your copy for $5 (includes shipping and handling).

Call 1-505-989-8076 or order on-line today! or send a check or money order to CQCM at 112 W. San Francisco St., Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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BECOME A MEMBER

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media relies on the support of its members. Many foundations require as much as 100% matching funds from membership fees. Please show your support by sending in your membership application today

Coalition for Quality Children’s Media is not just an organization that evaluates children’s media, it is a resource center, a clearing-house for children’s media; a clearinghouse helping parents and kids find good programming that’s adult approved and kid-tested.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP SUPPORTS

  • Distribution of the Coalition’s pro- active materials on quality media
  • Increased public recognition of quality children’s media
  • Initiatives that serve children and families
  • Special programs for hospitalized children and families at-risk
  • Media advocacy for children and families

MEMBER BENEFITS $25/yr: Individual/Family Membership - Benefits:

  • Free 64 page, color KIDS FIRST!® Directory
  • Subscription to CQCM’s Newsletter
  • Advance updates on new endorsements via email (upon request)
  • Discounts on subscriptions, videotapes, CD-ROMs and other products

KIDS FIRST!™
Adult-approved and kid-tested!
What does a KIDS FIRST!® endorsement mean?

An endorsed title meets or exceeds the following baseline criteria:

  • NO gratuitous violence or sexual behavior;
  • NO physical or verbal abuse;
  • NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion;
  • NO condescension toward children and
  • NO unsafe behaviors. Each title has been carefully evaluated by our national jury of adults and children.


Where can you get more information about KIDS FIRST!® - endorsed titles?

The most up to date information is available on CQCM’s website. Included: title description, a summary of Juror comments and age recommendation. Educational merits, social benefits and entertainment value are identified.


Where can I find a KIDS FIRST!® Title?

Most are available at your local video retailer or rental store. The KIDS FIRST! online endorsed title database has linked with Reel.com, the Internet's premiere movie source, which carries almost 65% of KIDS FIRST! endorsed programs. Search our titles and click on any title that says it can be ordered to find out more.


KIDS FIRST!® JURORS 

We'd like to welcome all our new Jurors and give a special thank you to all Jurors, new and old alike. Annually, our Jurors donate over $500,000 worth of their professional time serving as evaluators for KIDS FIRST!® On our not for profit budget, we could never afford to do what we do without your help. We couldn’t do it without you! NOTE: If you hold a degree in child development, education, library sciences, media or a related field, consider joining over four hundred professional colleagues by becoming an adult Juror for KIDSFIRST!™ - a nationally acclaimed body of children's media evaluators. For details, call 505-989-8076


WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW JURORS

A perk for Jurors is that you may keep any title that you approve. For many teachers and librarians, it is a nifty way to increase your collection.

If you are interested in becoming involved as a KIDS FIRST!®Juror, , phone: 505-989-8076.


KIDS FIRST!™ (CQCM) Web Site clocks over 115,000 hits monthly and has received several awards

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NEW ENDORSEMENTS

Information on How to Become a Member

As a benefit to membership, producers can link from our site to theirs - you could sell your title off the net. For more information, contact us.

Other organizations that support the KIDS FIRST!® initiative are offering the Directory to their members and will generate a small profit from doing so. If you know an organization interested in doing this, please have them contact our office.

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