McCoy Law Firm: Building Awareness & Action for Social Change Case Study

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To expose the failure of state and local child protection agencies, and their ineffective adherence to family reunification processes, attorney Waukeen Q. McCoy of McCoy Law Firm engaged Bob Gold & Associates to produce a single public news conference that would galvanize the public and get agencies to respond and change, based on his powerful lawsuit.

The case focused on the biological mother of a 4-year-old and a 3-year-old–who were murdered by their foster parents.  Our news event highlighted the lawsuit for wrongful death and violations of civil rights after the Kern County toddlers were unlawfully taken by California public agencies.

The objective of our campaign was to not only bring awareness to the case – aiding in the delivery of justice and expediting much needed reform – but also to create a momentous press event generating local coverage and stories that would capture nationwide attention. To add to this challenge, our client was working with a small budget but needed a campaign with a massive impact.

Our agreed upon PR scope of work included:

  • Secure TV news coverage of the press conference
  • Secure combined Sacramento and Bakersfield affiliate broadcast stations to pick up of the story
  • A minimum of 8 original placements in national and local (print and digital) outlets, with a combined 5 million total online readership

We began by identifying an ideal time frame and location to host the press conference where we could maximize exposure and increase coverage. Simultaneously, we began identifying publications and journalists that had previously covered the case, similar issues, or topics of crime, family law and negligent childcare who were most likely to cover our news.

We then developed a media alert that was distributed to press, began scheduling interviews in advance of and immediately following the press conference, and provided updates to key journalists covering the case.

To maximize media interest and capture nationwide support, we offered interviews featuring the attorney as well as the children’s biological mother and grandmother.

Prior to conducting interviews, BG&A prepared key messages, notes, and media training for our client, ensuring they were well prepared to communicate their message effectively.

We also conducted and secured 3 embargoed advance TV and media interviews to break concurrent with the press conference. Attendees included Bakersfield California, KGET-TV, AP and 23ABC TV News in attendance.  Both AP and KGET-TV (Telemundo) shared their video interviews with ALL San Francisco stations and then ABC shared the story in their national news feed to broadcast affiliates. We also scheduled interviews with the San Francisco Chronicle, AP, The Bakersfield Californian, KGET-TV and 23ABC TV and all press conference attendees also requested standalone interviews. All media interviews occurred within a crucial three-day period.

In less than one week, BG&A’s approach led to a tier-1 exclusive interview with the Associated Press, and eight additional briefings with the client and the mother of the two murdered boys as well as a steady stream of TV/video coverage in local and national news the day the lawsuit was announced.

In less than two weeks, we garnered 98 original placements with a combined 1.378 billion total online readership views in television, radio, and online outlets including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, SFGate, CBS News, Oxygen, Los Angeles Magazine and over 20 local and national television news broadcasts including KABC, KTLA, KTTV, Univision 39, KCBS, KRON-TV, KGO-TV, KSEE-TV, KTVU-TV, KGPE-TV, Black News Channel, KVCR-FM (NPR) Los Angeles and more.


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