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Member Implements Successful BT Distribution Program

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Member Implements Successful BT Distribution Program

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Portland, Oregon—Gerald Bilyeu, a member of the Portland, Oregon, congregation distributes excess Beyond Today magazines to local donut shops, a restaurant and a few laundromats. After two new people showed up at services in response to a magazine insert, I interviewed Gerald about his local distribution program and the techniques that have worked in that area.

Gerald Bilyeu has been distributing magazines, a total in the thousands, for 12 years. Before his most recent move to the Portland area, he ran this program in the Eureka, California, and Eugene, Oregon, areas. He currently distributes Beyond Today to two Heavenly Donuts locations, a Chinese restaurant (Chu’s Eatery) and a few local laundromats. Gerald worked with his pastor, Rex Sexton, to get an insert printed, describing what the magazine is about and inviting readers to attend local Sabbath services. These 5½ x 8½ custom sticky notes stay inside the magazines, but are easy for interested individuals to remove. Recently, another member, Coltin Kifer, has assisted Gerald with refilling magazines.

Every two months, Gerald distributes another 180 magazines. When the new issue is printed, he waits a month to order, and John LaBissoniere will send excess copies of the most recent issue from the home office. One of the Heavenly Donuts locations, in particular, has a high number of magazines picked up on a regular basis. In the middle of December, for instance, 12 copies were taken in a single week. The staff at one of the distribution locations mentioned that some of their customers had been asking about the magazine when it ran out one time, so its presence is being noticed.

If you’ve ever wondered about starting a magazine distribution program in your area, now is a great time to start! I asked Gerald what advice he would like to share with others who want to get involved. He mentioned that it’s important to choose locations wisely. An indoor location where magazines won’t be out in the elements is best, and ideally a place where magazines are safe from getting thrown in the garbage. Magazines are most effective in a place with high traffic and good visibility. One of the most important keys is to develop a relationship with the employees. Always say hello, ask how they are doing and thank them. Build a rapport with staff and ask them questions, such as if people have been taking the magazine, and what type of demographics have been drawn to them (i.e., families, individuals).

The Portland, Oregon, congregation appreciates what
Gerald has done to help spread the gospel. He is a good example of a local member who is making a significant contribution. We are now seeing some fruit from his efforts!

To begin distributing excess or back issues of Beyond Today, reach out to your pastor or to John LaBissoniere at john_labissoniere@ucg.org. We’re excited to have you join us!