by Jay Gabler | 4/8/09
As previously, exhaustively, documented (see below), I get a lot of press releases…so why do I stay on the mailing list of some random church in Chaska? For the same reason that I donate a small amount annually to Mount Vernon—because their junk mail is so good. James C. Rees, executive director of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (don’t think too hard about that), sends donors annual Mount Vernon calendars, portraits of the Father of Our Country, certificates of appreciation, miniature flags, stamps (“you could keep this stamp…or you could use it on the enclosed envelope to send a donation”), dollar bills (“you could keep this dollar bill…or you could mail it back to us along with a few dozen friends”), and even an educational DVD.
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Paul Jarvis, pastor of Guardian Angels Catholic Church, first caught my attention with a viral marketing campaign to recruit customers for his students’ leaf-raking enterprise. He sends a long e-mail every week or two detailing church events and dispensing free theology in variously sized, variously colored fonts. Today’s announcement: an upcoming inter-parish basketball tournament, at least one game of which will be attended by the controversial Archbishop Nienstedt. (The prelate is not disclosing which game he will be attending—a decision that’s probably part concession to a busy schedule, part suspense-builder, and part protest-dodger.) My favorite thing about this press release is the promo image, which looks like the poster for a movie falling somewhere between The Thornbirds and Nacho Libre. “When you are a man, sometimes you wear baggy shorts.”