Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Fei Xue, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

This study provides insight into consumer perception of First Hattiesburg’s image strategy, physical space/environment, and personnel/human factors and how they have enticed the community to attend and even become partners at First Hattiesburg. Furthermore, this study provides a unique look at integrated marketing communication (IMC) in a religious organization. Results of this study indicate that First Hattiesburg’s branding style, particularly the consistency of its IMC, contributes significantly to members/attendees’ positive view of the church. Because First Hattiesburg’s branding is so different from most southern Baptist churches and the church is currently experiencing a season of growth, it can be inferred that the image strategy, physical space/environment, and personnel/human factors of First Hattiesburg play a major role in its growing numbers. The results of this study provide theoretical insight into our understanding of church marketing as a whole and strengthen the credibility of practical branding tactics that, paired with other factors, could lead other churches to similar success.

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