by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
A bit of levity from Mel that might actually not be too far off target….
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bob Duggar,
Thank you for choosing Screwtape, Machiavelli and Bluth for your public relation needs. Your family brand has taken a hit recently, but I think we’ve created a plan to get you back on your feet.
Josh and Anna Duggar:
Due to recent events beyond your control, the marketability of Joshua Duggar is non-existent. Your main concern at this point should be to limit the damage he can do if he decides to publish some media that contradicts your public statements about the excellence of your handling of his “incidents” when he was younger.
For this to happen, he would likely need the support of his wife since alone he lacks appeal to a larger audience. If the two of them are separated, the threat of either of them breaking ranks with the family is greatly lessened.
Since Joshua has admitted to adultery, Anna is well within her rights to divorce him as a Christian. It is in your best interest to facilitate the divorce as soon as possible. Anna has no employable skills and four small children. Her parents are currently opposed to the idea of divorce, but this may be overcome if you provide financial security for Anna and her children. Your financial managers should be able to create a comfortable annuity for Anna contingent on maintaining the positive image of the Duggar brand. This will allow you to capitalize on the likability of Anna and her children without having the negative side effects of Josh around.
Likewise, Josh should be set up with a comfortable annuity contingent on maintaining an extremely low public profile. We have floated the idea of a lower yearly salary with a bonus due on successful avoidance of public problems if you are willing.
People love weddings and babies. There is a large groundswell of positive feeling towards your daughter Jana. Through your careful management of her labor, she has a reputation of a “Cinderella” left to do all the work while her sisters and parents enjoy life. Finding a husband for Jana should be a top priority. Thanks to her age, she could easily be married in the 2016 summer wedding season without too many questions being asked. It would be prudent for her husband to be seen as a “good catch” to the public since this will add to the happy ending of Cinderella marrying her Prince.
Jinger and Joy-Anna Duggar:
You also have two other daughters of or near-marriageable age. Aim to marry Jinger by 2017 and Joy-Anna by 2019. These daughters also have a great deal of positive public feeling and many people will be interested in their courtship, weddings and marriage. Through careful management, three Duggar daughter weddings could refresh your family image and add more new children to attract attention to your brand.
Your daughters have enough public recognition value that the cash amount settled on the new couples can be relatively slim since the girls can likely bring in some income based on sporadic special coverage of major life events like the birth of children and family gatherings with their sisters.
John-David, Joseph and Josiah Duggar:
Your sons provide two problems: finding suitable careers and finding marriage prospects. John-David needs to find employment outside of the family business quickly. With his long volunteer history, he may be a good candidate for military, police or emergency medical response. Joseph and Josiah should be enrolled in a credible, Christian college or university OR enrolled in a skilled trade training program within the year. This will reduce the public speculation about the ability of your offspring to find work outside of the family business.
Increased career focus may not alone be enough to attract desirable marriage partners. You should prepare to settle larger cash amounts on these sons upon marriage. This will increase the number of potential partners as well as increase interest in following sons and daughters for future marriages.
Jessa and Ben Seewald:
Ben’s future career prospects are slim. The couple, however, has helped your brand through their timely marriage and pregnancy. If either member of the couple becomes discontented with their lifestyle, we believe they have a higher potential for deciding to make money by discrediting your brand. Both Jessa and Ben have shown themselves willing to speak out even if it harms the family brand. Ben’s family has also been troublesome in the last few months. Because of this, it would be best to integrate Ben more thoroughly with the Duggar family brand. He is interested in ministry. We suggest moving Ben into the pastoral position of your family church over the next three years. Seek support for Ben producing good quality videos, podcasts and audio clips from his ministry. Doing this will cement Ben and Jessa’s financial reliance on your family for the foreseeable future and increase their loyalty to the family brand.
Your remaining assets are too young at this point to create a detailed plan for use in the family brand, but we do have a few suggestions:
- Your teenage sons must be on career paths by age 18 to continue reducing potential criticism of failure to produce employable offspring.
- Start a sports league for the local home-schooled families. This will provide additional positive public relations opportunities that are not directly focused on the Duggar family, but provide positive images nonetheless.
- Create a series of coloring or activity books “authored” by your younger daughters. This will create a new income stream that should be fully utilized long before the girls come of age.
- If any of your children “come out” as homosexual, the correct response is one of subdued sadness. Be prepared to say things like “We are praying for our dear child during this sad time” or “God never gives us more than he knows we can handle” while gently shaking your head.
*Author’s note: This is satire….ish. (If you didn’t pick that up from tongue-in-cheek literary, historical, television and theater names pulled for the PR firm, I apologize. I get obscure nerdy sometimes.) The Duggars have clearly been chomping at the bit to get back on TV, so I ran a thought experiment about what an unscrupulous PR firm would tell them. The problem is that I’m not sure that the Duggars wouldn’t actually DO this if they read it. Time will tell.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She’s a wise fount of knowledge about things involving living with a farmer and farming. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide