The Challenge for Houston Area Boy Scouts
The Houston Area Boy Scouts or Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America had experienced a decline in membership over the last several years. Although the organization had a strong mission, “to build men of character”, its message was lost due to its inability to remain culturally and socially relevant.
My firm, ParkerHayden, identified the Council’s true target market as both potential scouts ages six through ten years old and their parents. It was critical to gain the support of both in order to boost membership.
In addition, we needed to gain the support of local leaders and secure the financial backing necessary for the Council to sustain its mission through the Houston area.
Our research showed that our biggest opportunity would lie in gaining membership in the Houston Area Boy Scouts of our target audience prior to them committing to other activities. Further research determined that one of the best opportunities for growth was with the Hispanic community who had in past years, embraced the organization’s ideals, which were cohesive with their strong religious viewpoints and family ties.
ParkerHayden needed to effectively communicate to both English and Spanish speaking prospective Cub Scouts and their parents the character-building activities, life leadership skills, and fun and exciting adventures Cub Scouting provides.
After securing donations from numerous media outlets for the non-profit, ParkerHayden launched a multimedia campaign to help the organization regain its momentum. Initiatives included English and Spanish TV and radio spots with actual Scouts giving unscripted testimonials of their experience, and the creation of separate website, BuildingStrongValues.org which served as the campaign’s information headquarters.
The campaign generated a surge in recruits and awareness, and an overall interest in the mission and values of the Houston Area Boy Scouts. Results included:
1. A record-breaking $6.8 million raised during the development campaign
2. More than 15% of calls were from Spanish-speaking individuals 3. The revamping of the organization’s websites produced a 322% increase in online recruiting, and a 341% leap in unique visitors over the previous year.