NASHVILLE, TN: The United Methodist Church is working with Dittus Communications to wage an earned media campaign designed to draw attention to its upcoming $2 million advertising push.
The advertising campaign, slated to run from late August to mid-September on 18 separate cable networks, will be the fifth annual effort since 2001 for the 11 million-member church. Its aim is to draw new members during the back-to-school season.
The media relations work, lasting only a matter of weeks, will promote the beginning of the campaign and attempt to pique the interest of the public. "It focuses on the brand message of the church: Open minds, open hearts, open doors," said UMC executive director of public information Stephen Drachler, echoing the upcoming ad's tagline.
The $2 million advertising budget is separate from the PR budget with Dittus, Drachler said. He did not reveal the size of the PR account.
The campaign has already garnered coverage in USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, among others. The church also conducts training sessions of local leaders to prepare them for new members who may come as a result of the ads. 30,000 have received the training in the past four years.
"You can always invite somebody in," Drachler said. "The important part is to be friendly and welcoming to a point where they'll want to come back again."