The Ties That Bind
Celebrating: its 75th anniversary this year
Headquarters: Sweet Springs, MO
Merchandise: institutional lists, sold via catalogs, for the healthcare, education, religion and government markets
Annual circulation: 350,000
Size of housefile: 5,000 on the 24-month housefile, and 65,000 to 70,000 on the prospecting list
Number of employees: about 100, five of which are responsible for catalog production
Market: MCH compiles and rents, via its specialized vertical catalogs, lists of companies and individuals in the education, healthcare and other business-to-institutional markets. It mails two 48-page big books annually. And it sends smaller-sized speciality and prospecting catalogs and mailers throughout the year — for a total of 13 mail campaigns annually.
2002 sales growth: About 20 percent, with profits up 36 percent.
From a journal to a catalog: MCH, which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary, originally started in New York as the Educational Clearing House, a journal for secondary school principals. Founder Forrest Long, Ph.D., grandfather of current CEO Peter Long, was a professor of education at NYU, and the journal included case studies and information for school principals. It became very popular, and in the 1930s the founder starting renting the journal’s mailing list to marketers. Eventually he moved the company from New York to Sweet Springs, MO (from which he originally hailed). He died in 1989 at the age of 94.
Next up at the helm was Dr. Edwin Long, the founder’s son and a retired cardiovascular surgeon who had implanted the first commercial internal pacemaker in the United States. His son Peter Long joined the company in 1992 after a 10-year stint as a business consultant for a big accounting firm, during which he advised Fortune 500 companies. At the time, Long says, the company had just a “slim jim, two-color catalog of lists.”