In March of 1994 the Methodist church of Texas sponsored a “Bring a Friend Sunday.” The program was set up to encourage each parish member to bring a non-affiliated or non-participating friend or relative to church on a specific day. After the worship, there was a “fellowship meal” in which the communities held some sort of potluck dinner. The following day, the church sent representatives out to each visitor’s house with cookies and spoke with them about their experience. Apparently the campaign was a success as Methodist church attendance rates increased by 25.6%. The success of this campaign prompted the Cedar Rapids Methodist Church District to sponsor a “Bring a Friend Sunday.” This is where the Cornell Marketing Team comes in. Gary Hoyt, a minister in Cedar Rapids, contacted Helen Damon-Moore who contacted Matt Laubhan, the president of the Business Interest Group.
We devised a marketing strategy based on research that we conducted over a month. We utilized a three-part strategy that we believed would reach virtually every person in the desired market. The objective of our strategy was three fold: 1) inform and entice active congregation members into participating; 2) invite non-active congregation members to come back to the church; and 3) reach the unchurched individuals in the district and invite them to participate. Our marketing strategy was composed of press releases, public service announcements, radio advertisements, and a direct marketing campaign subdivided into direct mailing and church advertising.
Matthew Laubhan, ’97
Annalise Lasater, ’98
Mike Alberhasky, ’98
Sponsor: Helen Damon-Moore