- Published Date
Last Wednesday night a dynamic group of 20 or so marketing-minded UUCR'ers gathered for a Marketing Kick-Off dinner to discuss how we might best spread the word about UUCR and all the many wonderful gifts we have to share with the world. Christine Lusk, an At-Large member of the Governing Board, led us through an informed and thought-provoking evening of shared stories and informative statistics geared at laying the groundwork for the formation of a UUCR Marketing Team. The charter of the Marketing Team has yet to be formalized but essentially it will be something to the effect of "increase UUCR visitors in order to meet the growth goal set out in our Long Range Plan, Living Our Vision, of increasing membership by 10% per year".
After a delicious dinner, including the wonderful soup and bread provided by Jen Hayes (Thank you Jen!), we spent an hour learning about marketing tools and UUCR growth history and statistics and then broke up into smaller breakout-groups to answer questions geared at evoking our marketing ideas.
Many people contributed information during the evening including Lorraine Dennis, a long-term UUCR member, former Governing Board President and current Executive Director of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Lorraine shared with us a short history of the steps UUCR has taken over the years to accommodate growth and her personal experience of the process. UUCR history highlights include: (1) Jane Rzepka, our former minister's, decision to move on from her ministry here in part because she felt that her style of ministry would inhibit our ability to grow from a Pastoral-sized church into a Program-sized church; (2) Our capital campaign and construction which resulted in our expanded campus, including our beautiful Atrium and Fellowship Hall; (3) Our calling of Reverend Tim Kutzmark as our minister due in part to his experience with and passion for growing churches; and (4) Our decision to introduce a second Sunday morning service. Christine Lusk then shared statistics from the UUA which highlighted how many visitors we would need to attract each month in order to reach our goal and a video about the revolution of social marketing tools. Then Reverend Tim shared UUCR growth statistics from the past decade. Brian Kohn, one of our Webmasters, shared with us all the website features which currently exist or could be enabled to support marketing efforts. Finally, Amy Burton, our Member Services Coordinator, shared the new weekly tools that UUCR staff will be using to get the word out about UUCR.
The highlight of the evening for me was hearing other people's answers to the breakout group questions: "What drew you to UUCR?" "Was that need fulfilled?" "What keeps you here?". Some answers given were: "I was looking for a replacement for family". "I needed community". “I needed friendship”. "My need for spiritual growth brought me here". "My children needed a strong moral peer group". “Many people in the community whom I respect seem to come here”. “I wanted ongoing opportunities to learn”.
What's your answer to these questions? I'd love to hear them!