A COLUMN BY Dick Rolfe Chairman, THE DOVE FOUNDATION
One Person Can Make A Difference
The Dove Foundation has been working with video stores throughout the country since our start in 1991. We ask them to identify their videos titles that appear on our approved list with a Dove Seal. This helps their customers filter through the maze of titles to find a family-friendly movie. The Dove Seal can be found in several hundred stores to date.
We have a Dove Ambassador Program, which was developed to equip volunteers with enough information to call on their neighborhood video storeowners and encourage them to use the Dove Seal. They explain that, as a customer, they would rent or buy more videos with confidence, if the Dove Seal was displayed on the box. Much of our growth in video stores has been attributable to these fine Dove Ambassadors.
People often ask, "Is the Dove Seal in Blockbuster?" We have been in talks off and on since our first meeting with Blockbuster corporate executives in 1991. However, we have not had the opportunity to test the program in any of their stores, until . . .
One of our Ambassadors, Constance Daniels, a concerned parent living in Richmond, VA contacted the Blockbuster store in nearby Short Pump. She met with the store manager and invited several friends to approach the store employees and tell them about Dove. After several visits and a letter to the regional manager, Constance witnessed the results of her efforts.
Early this year, I received a phone call from Bob Proost, manager of a company-owned Blockbuster Video store in - you guessed it - Short Pump, VA. Bob asked how he could set up the Dove program in his store. We sent him a Dove Retailer's Kit, containing all the in-store point-of-sale materials and enough Dove Seals to label the approved titles in his inventory.
I spoke to Bob recently. He said that his customers love the Dove program. Once they learn about the Dove Seal, they enthusiastically congratulate him for caring about the children and families in his neighborhood. He said there is an elementary school right across the street from his store. Needless to say, everyone is pleased with the results, so far.
For any program to gain long-term acceptance, it must produce positive financial results. When a store puts in the Dove program, they look for an increase in "turns" of those titles that carry the Dove Seal. If the numbers increase, it becomes easy for them to justify keeping, and perhaps expanding, the program. That is our wish for the 3,000+ Blockbuster stores, and for any chain or independent retailer who considers the family-oriented customer important.
I just received a note from Constance since her Blockbuster store announced their new Dove Section. She wrote, "This has encouraged me that my 'one small voice' with your organization can improve a community. Thanks." Constance learned a valuable lesson. One person can make a big difference. Thank you, Constance, and thanks to everyone who has spoken out on behalf of Dove and family values in entertainment. If you would like information about becoming a Dove Ambassador, call or write me. Several hundred video stores now actively use the Dove Seal program. But there are several thousand more to go.
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Dick Rolfe is Chairman of The Dove Foundation a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and promote the creation, production and distribution of wholesome family entertainment. For more information about wholesome films and videos, write: 535 E. Fulton, Suite 1A, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, or call (616)454-5024.
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