[TBC: It has been reported in the past how the Mormon Church has invested huge sums of money to change their public image. Instead of fresh scrubbed, enthusiastic young men appearing at your door without warning, they are proceeded by hours of "public service" commercials dealing with family issues. As the following report shows, their strategy has worked.]
The reason for their success lies in strategic advertising. Before Mormon missionaries appear at anyone's door, the church's high-tech public relations organization moves in with its sophisticated advertising techniques, electronic broadcasting, satellite dishes, print media, telecommunications, motion pictures, and radio. With $550 million set aside worldwide, including $100 million for the U.S., they are determined to see that their message reaches every home. And, what is their message? Not that individuals can become gods, or that temple rituals are required for full salvation, or that heaven can only be gained through the certification of Joseph Smith--these doctrines and others are concealed. Rather, they bombard the public with Christian values. More specifically, that happiness and family solidarity can be gained by following the teachings of Jesus Christ as contained in the Book of Mormon, the latter offered free through an 800 number.
But, recently, they have devised a better strategy. Instead of a free Book of Mormon, they are now offering a free Bible. What greater way to avert the public's attention away from their unbiblical theology! The free Bibles are then delivered by enthusiastic missionaries intent on telling people how the Bible has been so mistranslated that it is untrustworthy; but the Book of Mormon is the pure word of God. In third world countries, rather than portraying family values, their advertising may focus on health and hygiene, law and order, or obedience to authority--whatever is applicable to that country's situation. Even sports are used. In South America, BYU basketball games were broadcast free for five years. When the Mormon missionaries were finally sent in, they were instructed to look only for houses that had TV antennas. Introducing themselves as BYU students, they inquired if anyone in the household had seen the games. It was an automatic door opener. Advertising in foreign countries requires time and perseverance. For example, the church had to invest ten years of broadcasting in the Dominican Republic before they were able to organize a mission. But it worked. They attributed the first one thousand baptisms to their advance publicity (Hutchinson, "Strategies of the Mormon Church, http://www.apologeticsindex.org/m01.html).