The Fun family photos promotion the Families Commission ran at the International Cultural Festival in Auckland on 26 February was a real hoot. During the course of the day we took over 250 photos of different familes, friends and other permutations of bodies and faces.
I was part of the team cajoling festival goers, handing out secret codes, and answering queries about the Families Commission. We are trialling the photo promotion at a couple of events to boost Couch members amongst demographic groups that are currently under-represented. The promotion is next appearing at the Pasifika festival in Auckland on 10 March.
Since posting each photo privately on The Couch, about a third of people who we snapped have visited the website to collect their photo. If the website statistics are reliable, most of the people who visited actually signed up to become a Couch member.
Some people turned away when we said it was an Internet only promotion. This felt uncomfortable as it goes against the inclusive nature of community engagement work. My motto is never turn anyone away. Others scratched their heads and then decided to get a photo taken when they thought of a friend who had Internet access, or were open to the suggestion of going to a public library or somewhere else where public Internet access is available.
After trialling the promotion at two events we’ll consider whether we use it again in the future. Having seen the excitment, trepidation and delight in the faces of those who participated, I vote for using the promotion again. But as we’ll have to consider this in the hard, cool light of day based on facts and figures, I’m not sure which way we’ll go.