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Church Marketing Blog

Church marketing personnel need to be up-to-date with the latest church marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the church / parish marketing plan. This church marketing blog enables church marketing personnel to engage in blog discussions relating to the church marketing issues of today. The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - an Overview with Links

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What a most enlightening experience. To be present when so many key people within the Catholic Church all spoke in unison about the need to use the social media as a key component of evangelisation, was something quiet special and unique.I have tried to do the impossible by noting the key points of the congress below!

The congress booklet set the scene with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the 45th World Day of Communication. He emphasised the need to be actively involved with the social media and to evangelise through the various means available here.

“The new technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation. This means of spreading information and knowledge is giving birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship.”

 (Pope Benedict XVI – Message for the 45th World Day of Communication)

[“I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness. In this field too we are called to proclaim our faith that Christ is God, the Saviour of humanity and of history, the one in whom all things find their fulfilment (cf. Eph 1:10). The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive, which stimulates the heart and moves the conscience; one which reflects the example of the risen Jesus when he joined the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35). By his approach to them, his dialogue with them, his way of gently drawing forth what was in their heart, they were led gradually to an understanding of the mystery.”]

(Pope Benedict XVI – Message for the 45th World Day of Communication)

Key speakers at the congress emphasised various points, which supported the Pope’s appreciation of the place of social media in the digital age:

Bishop Bill Walker from Broken Bay (http://www.dbb.org.au/ourbishop/Pages/default.aspx) emphasised that

– new media is not an optional extra – is essential for today. Critical to know who the message is for, and how they receive it.

The more fervent we are at articulating our personal faith with the new media the better will be the response to Jesus.

Community of faith – best done when the base is a solid Catholic community. What makes it Catholic? – A critical mass of mature Catholics.

Monsignor Paul Tighe from Vatican (Irish Priest) – now is a clash of the institutional Church and Internet possibilities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tighe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEObQbrToQs

Option for subsidiarity needed. Church needs to develop structures to stop centralisation. Address - Personal and Institutional / Method / Media / Message / Communications – Strategic consideration. People resources are extraordinary worldwide.

Social Media is everything Church does is communicating. It is beyond the pulpit now. Every user of new media is an educator

A highly informed and qualified panel then discussed this in detail. The panel comprised:

Fr Richard Leonard (Jesuit – Director of Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting + Visiting Professor at Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, etc.) http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3281765.htm

Scott Stephens (ABC – ABC Online Religion and Ethics Editor + on Drum, etc) http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/scott-stephens-33390.html

Geraldine Doogue (ABC – Compass, etc)  http://www.abc.net.au/compass/team/geraldinedoogue.htm

Emma Rossi (Media Executive at Australian Communications and Media Authority) http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/HOMEPAGE/pc=HOME

Scott Stephens – Church needs to re-embrace locality / parish – not bastardised social communities. Go against the trend – don’t go where people are – too much opinion out there. Don’t tone down the lesson – turn it up! Quality matters – most popular blog pieces have depth. Church has to exemplify to a watching world – worship, sacramentality, repentance and social ability. What they will get from no other outlet – the ability to think and reason. ABC is a rare outlet trying for this.

Emma Rossi – ACMA – do go where crowds are… eg in Australia teenagers are on Facebook 13hrs/wk avr. Should be a Cardinal Pell Twitter account being regularly updated. Schools and parishes need also. Catholic Church cannot ignore what is being said about it – response is needed.

Geraldine Doogue – ABC – wary of fads – does Twitter suit us? Energy needed to keep social media fresh – huge challenge, otherwise pull back to what can’t be compromised on… Need to provide media with quality content. (Media senses blood for Church today. Lost interest in politics of Church, curiosity of the Church and even great encyclicals…) Media is inspired by trivia and various formats – not content.

Fr Richard Leonard – Hard teaching needed – need to present in a compassionate, gentle and charitable way – particularly to opponents.

Warren Mundine –( Aborigine, former national president of ALP + CEO of NTS Corp) http://www.ntscorp.com.au/index.php/annual-report/executive-team

More aborigines in Sydney than NT. Most aborigines in Australia are urban dwellers. Stop romanticising about aborigines living off the land. Only 9% of Aborigines  and 16% of other Australian’s believe media is fair to aborigines. Yet 99% of Aborigines and 87% of other Australian’s believe a good relationship between both groups is needed. Honesty needed in media portrayal – good and bad.

Archbishop Colleridge – Archbishop of Brisbane – Pontifical Council for Social Communications, etc. http://www.catholicleader.com.au/news.php/features/leading-a-missionary-church_79228

What we are seeing now is profound and intrinsic – just as was the invention of the heel, car, printing press. We should be at the vanguard of the of the cultural revolution. How do we humanise the ‘coldness’ of the  screen – screen shows a denial of the body.

Open up a vision of possibilities – the world is exciting, especially for young who are bored with the real small world and desire the global world opened up by the digital age. Parishes are not what they used to be – people are moving around – it is being redefines by the car and technology.

Element of surprise is important eg live radio is better than pre-recorded television. Media is rarely the enemy or either the mate! Must be in the culture but not of it.

Julie Posetti – PhD thesis: Twitterisation of Journalism – former ABC journalist at AM, PM and World Today. Now lecturer at Uni of Canberra. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Posetti

Stories v. important – tell stories on websites continually. Stories are more sources for journalists than ever. New journalist values – transparency – new objectivity – to be open, engaging… / authenticity / collaboration / respect for audience

Today the audience knows more than the journalist knows. New journalist skills – engagement /  curate – share your’s and others’ work, facilitate / build – debates and discussions (start these), crowd sourcing – coop audience into research / contacts / verification, making content out of the process – talking to audience eg what you are doing / how you are doing it etc

Journalist branding is now a reality.

Twitter: breaks stories faster / audience engagement / clash of the personal and professional spheres / verification challenge

Melinda Tanchard Reist – Collective Shout – for a world free of sexploitation - http://melindatankardreist.com/about/ http://collectiveshout.org/

‘Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls” text 2009 + Submissions to government.

Activists for cancelling sexploitation advertising – hugely successful eg Target, Harvey Norman and Telstra adverts stopped

Fr Dr Matthew Tan PhD – theologian and philosopher / lecturer (Blog – the Divine Wedgie) http://www.campion.edu.au/our-people/faculty/110-dr-matthew-tan http://divinewedgie.blogspot.com.au/

Need to draw people out of cyberspace and back into the physical world – to become part of the Eucharisitic community. Become online missionaries – new search of global energy. Cyberspace is a parody of a monastery.

Use Facebook, Twitter and websites to evangelise. More website involvement of my story / thoughts etc

XT3.com– Mary and Therese Nichols – Sydney youth services

An interactive, content-driven website, with a focus on providing Catholic multimedia resources – also social networking – subscribers have a profile page – an added extra from people’s facebook and twitter pages.

Chris Downey and Paul Thomas – Video on the Web (Workshop)

Global Vision Media – see Erikson promo + Baptcare (bringing care to life) + e-learning examples – GVM demo areas. Final cut pro editing software. Backgrounds (generic) can be purchased . Creative commons - free videos, photos, etc.

Plural + - http://pluralplus.unaoc.org/ - youth worldwide video competition - PLURAL+ supports youth in addressing the key challenges of their communities related to migration, diversity and social inclusion. See Faith in London as an example at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDbgFwOI8uI

Therese Nichols and Daniel Saban – Evangelisation and Media (Workshop)

Video blogs. Mt 5:14-16. “We need you…” (Address to artists by Pope Benedict) We need to evangelise the new digital continent – ie social media world. Real Talk – sexuality videos. Salt and Light Television – built after 2002 WYD in Toronto – promo is very good. http://www.saltandlighttv.org/

Why I’m Catholic – website - http://whyimcatholic.com/

One Billion Stories – website - http://onebillionstories.com/

Word on Fire – website – Fr Robert Barron - http://www.wordonfire.org/ - suggested this be linked to each parish website

Catholic Answers – website – includes Catholic encyclopedia and interactive discussion forums - http://www.catholic.com/

Catholics Come Home (website) – former Catholics – estimate 200 000 so far have come home - http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ - suggested that this is linked to each parish website

*** Strong suggestion to link good Catholic websites to each parish website (2 v.g. examples above)

Each parish should try and include blogs / vlogs (video blogs) / podcasts of priest homilies, etc.

The Gospel in the Digital Age – NY Archbishop Homilies

See’ Why I love religion and love Jesus’ in response to ‘Why I hate religion and love Jesus’ on YouTube.

Blogs Facebook pages - Conditions of Use – note what is acceptable and not + ramifications - withdrawal of comment. 

For my personal summary of the key points from this congress see the blog 'Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - a summary of key points for the digital age'.

The 'Australian Catholic Media Conference 2012 - an Overview with Links' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Follow the moon beam – everyone is special in God’s eyes

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wherever you are, you cannot escape the capture of the moonbeam.

As you look towards the moon on a clear night, you become the centre of its gleaming light. You are the one literally at the centre! No-one in this world is at the centre of the light shining on you! You are extremely special!

God is signalling you out! You are the special one! You are the full focus of God’s attention – you are it!

Everyone is special in the eyes of God. The moonlight shows this more than anything else. Wherever you move, no matter the speed, no matter the time, you are always at the centre! You cannot escape this centeredness. No matter how hard you try, you are always at the centre of the moonbeam – centre of God’s attention!

This is a very special invitation to realise the reality of God and the place you play in this loving relationship.

The same reality occurs when under the influence of a direct ray of sunlight. (We believe it is best not to look at this most powerful beam, due to the impact it may have on our eyes and our vision.) Yet, this awesome sunbeam, with all its power and heat and intensity, says much to us about God and God’s relationship with each individual person.

God loves us so much that he wants us to respond to his loving kindness, compassion and forgiveness.

If we can find God in the warmth and the power of the sun, or the gentle peacefulness and quiet of the moon-bean, we are open to experience the real God in our lives!

The moon-beam and the silence of the light gleaming over the sea towards us, as we sit quietly on the seashore, is a holy, Godly experience. We need to be open to experience our God in the silence, quietness and gentleness of the moon-beam.

The 'Follow the moon beam – everyone is special in God’s eyes' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


Love is the Meaning of Life - Lifestyle Becomes a Distraction

Friday, May 04, 2012
Love is the meaning of life. To love and to be loved being the main purpose for our whole existence. Why then do so many people allow all the other lifestyle issues, values, resources, relationships, etc, become a distraction? Why then do so many people let the distractions interfere and often dominate their lives?

Most people would believe that the desire to love and be loved to be an intrinsic part of life - you are born with it. You are born to love and be loved. That people living a balanced life, where they are loved and loved others within their family and friendship circle, truly appreciate this message. Once this message is appreciated and lived, then it is the normal thing to do when relating with others and the world.

However, somewhere along the way, many get distracted for so many reasons and then lose that true focus. The human frailties of greed, selfishness, envy, failure to forgive and be forgiven, lust, gluttony, etc, come to the fore and seductively entice people to follow this distracting and destructive pathway.

This transfer of priorities may even occur in early to mid-childhood, where parents or other significant adults or people within the young person's life, live an alternate destructive lifestyle, which is seen by the young person as the norm, and hence worthy of following (even if subconsciously). This then becomes the accepted lifestyle as they grow up.

People may then follow this pathway until challenged to do otherwise. Challenged to see the destructiveness of these chosen ways, challenged to confront the situation they then find to be wrong, challenged to become a better more loving person. This challenge often comes at a time of complete lowness / loneliness within their lives.

To love and to be loved is the meaning of life. It is the primary and quite raw need within all people. It is not only a basic emotional and social need of each person but it is also the main spiritual desire and need.

Appreciating that love is the meaning of life brings with it the challenge to love and to be loved in all its manifestations. To not get distracted and damaged by allowing all the other stuff to get in the way. This belief should be at the core of all church and religious school philosophies and theologies.

When 'Love is the Meaning of Life' then the future holds no bounds.

Love rules! Most people would believe that the desire to love and to be loved is an intrinsic part of all humanity.

The 'Love is the Meaning of Life - Lifestyle Becomes a Distraction' blog post is written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com 



The e-Newsletter and i-Newsletter for Church Marketing

Sunday, April 01, 2012
The Church Newsletter is often the best regular form of information-giving to parishioners. The standard paper newsletter still has its place, however there is a growing interest in either: the e-newsletter (sent out via email) or the i-newsletter (placed on the church internet website) or both, in this digital age. Every church marketing plan needs to incorporate this essential church marketing strategy.

e-Newsletter / i-Newsletter + Newsletter Essential

Both e-newsletter or i-newsletter will add to the target readership. Not only would it appeal to the internet / email savvy, it also becomes available to the non-weekly church attendee, the ill and for those away from the parish for varying lengths of time for innumerable reasons. That is, it is available for anyone requesting an email out from the church or to have the option of reading it on the parish website.

Supplement these with the regular hardcopy available from the church for those in attendance or on a mail-out list and interested, or not interested in an e/i-newsletter, and the target base should be considerably more.

This section within the 'Church Marketing - Internet Applications with Samples and Instructions' chapter will concentrate on the e-Newsletter / i-Newsletter. The hardcopy Newsletter will also be covered in the ‘Church Marketing: Necessities’ chapter. Both within the 2011 e-book: Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed) by Bryan Foster.

Regular Weekly Publication

Regular weekly publication is needed for best success. Regularity rules!

The readership should often be expanded to church schools and other interested parishes and even to other willing sources e.g. parent and school businesses for display in reception rooms, offices, etc.

The parish’s website needs to be updated weekly with each e-newsletter uploaded to it. A collection of the year’s i-newsletters on the website is appreciated by many parishioners and others wanting to get an overview of the year’s progress.

The e-newsletter would be either emailed to all interested parishioners and others as per a developed database and / or placed on the website as an i-newsletter. I would suggest both as people are more likely to read the email sent to them. Having the website archive as a backup helps considerably for people checking for previous e/i-newsletters / news, etc.

Other sections covered in this chapter include:

  • Professional e-Newsletter / i-Newsletter
  • Photos
  • e-Newsletter / i-Newsletter Homepage +
  • Production In-house or Outsourced
  • Effectiveness
  • Brevity Rulz
  • AdvertizingLayout Development

 Other articles on this website of similar interest include:


  • Funding Challenges for Church Marketing
  • Church and Parish Marketing Necessities
  • Church Marketing Resources and Production
  • Church Marketing Manual... Contents Pages

The 'The e-Newsletter and i-Newsletter for Church Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com



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