Communicating with Passion
December 3, 2020
IN THIS ISSUE
- Communications Commission Update
- [VIDEO] Promoting the Passion - Fr. Cedric Pisegna, CP
- Why Marketing?
- Advent Greetings from the Communications Working Group
- Communication Platforms
- Information Technology and Holy Cross Province
- Reflection from Pope Francis
Communications Commission Update
By Fr. David Colhour, CP
In my first assignment in Detroit, I found myself marveling at the promotional structure our elders created by which each parish had a retreat captain and the captain's responsibility was to promote the retreat at the parish level.
The retreat director worked with the retreat captain to match numbers and meet quotas. In marketing terms, it was a highly effective strategy taking our product right to the lap of our target audience without a lot of capital. Any personal testimonies from retreatants were a free bonus. This promotional model has been fundamental in our successful marketing of our retreat centers for many years. Beyond the retreat ministry, mission preachers promoted the Passionist Congregation through their missions as they toured and visited parishes throughout the US. These, of course, were the days before expensive television and radio advertising, the internet, cell phones, and especially before COVID-19.
We live in a different world these days. The technology always before us is filled with competing messages. These handheld devices, which we call phones, are far from their telephone predecessors. They are communication devices communicating using different modes and never ending messages.
As Passionists, our message is as important today as it has been for the past 300 years. And how we deliver that message is today's pertinent question. How do we catch the attention of the ones who are always filtering information, or the mind of those so easily distracted? Maybe there are some new tools at our disposal. I invite you to set aside whatever is distracting you at this moment and watch a very short video.
By Marybeth Hicks
FAITH Catholic Director of Marketing
What is the role of marketing in the context of the Church?
According to the American Marketing Association, the basic definition of “marketing” is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
That’s a wordy definition and doesn’t seem to relate to the Catholic Church! Perhaps a better definition is: marketing is the act of bringing a product or service to the attention of a particular audience, educating the audience about the attributes and benefits of the product or service, and persuading the audience to act in a specific way based on the benefits presented. The product can be tangible or intangible — and can even be an idea or belief.
The church has a different word for this kind of activity: evangelization!
To evangelize is to share the message of the Gospel in the hope of helping someone grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and become his disciple.
A secular definition of the word evangelize is “to advocate a cause with the object of making converts.” The concepts behind evangelism and marketing are so similar, the marketing world has adopted “evangelism marketing” to define a particular strategy in which “true believers” freely share their enthusiasm for a product or service via word of mouth (or on social media).
In the context of the Church, principles of marketing are applied to the mission of evangelization to more effectively reach people with the truth of the Gospel. Just as the secular marketing world has borrowed the concept of evangelization, the Church has seen how marketing strategies can help share the message of the Gospel. Pope St. John Paul II called the Church to a “new evangelization” in which we would use whatever means we find at our disposal to fulfil Jesus’ Great Commission: to go and make disciples of all men (Mt. 28:19).
Can marketing be used for evangelization?
Yes, but the issue becomes how can marketing efforts be measured, since the ultimate goal of an evangelization campaign is immeasurable — the saving of souls. In the case of an evangelization marketing campaign, the measurable goals would have to do with responses to a campaign, participation in a program, sharing of content, or other tangible measures of effectiveness. There is nothing sacrilegious about using marketing tactics to evangelize! Marketing is merely a systematic way to educate people about the message of the Gospel and doing it with the objective of demonstrating to people that Jesus Christ is our source of happiness in this life and the next!
In the content of Holy Cross Province...
What does marketing mean for us?
By Fr. Cedric Pisegna, CP
It is important for members of Holy Cross Province to communicate effectively. We are involved in both in-reach and outreach.
The Communications Vision Fulfillment Team wants to be able to assist any in the Province to find the help they need depending on the communication platforms they want to use. While we may not be the primary resource people to offer help, we want to be able to direct each inquiry to the right person to provide the needed solution.
Our Team has been most impressed by your use of various media to reach in and out. There have been many successes. We are learning as we go. We have seen Masses livestreamed, classes at CTU and from the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center held online as well as people engaging in print and broadcast media. The retreats and parishes and educational institutions are promoting their programs well. The pandemic has forced many of us to find creative solutions in order to reach out. Together, we are impacting our culture and promoting the Gospel of the Passion with great efficacy.
Here are some prominent in-reach/outreach platforms we are using:
- Live streaming: Zoom, Facebook and Skype. We are cutting down on travel costs and time of travel.
- Website: Offering programs, resources and advertising.
- Social media: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/YouTube.
- Video development: Use of iPhones and other cameras.
- Printed media: More authors, creative magazines and articles.
- Broadcast media: TV/Radio: Reaching out to many people.
and Holy Cross Province
By Sandra Arnould
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is causing everyone to revisit their information technology needs. Connectivity will be the new watchword as the Passionist Family seeks to adjust to this unpredictable future.
We are seeing an accelerating shift to a digital world. During the lockdown we have adapted quickly to new ways of working, new methods of engaging with those we serve, our workforce and the community. We are seeing a streamlining of decision-making processes and the use of technology and data to increase responsiveness and planning. As the response to the pandemic has shown, the need to for adequate information technology is a necessity and not an option anymore.
As a follow up to our 2019 Chapter, the Communications Vision Fulfillment Team has a goal to create a technology baseline. We want to better identify the current technical capability at each location as well as any areas of need for further implementing the vision of Holy Cross Province. To do this we’ve started with an online survey to each ministry location. This will be followed up by a phone call to gather further details.
Our locations are doing their best with limited resources and facing new challenges brought by the pandemic, from working remotely to providing online content. We would like consistency and a minimum standard so we can move forward with greater agility.
Holy Cross Province Vision Statement
Guided by the Holy Spirit and the signs of the times,
we create and carry out ministry that reaches
the suffering of today and form community
that spiritually nourishes the
Passionist Family of Holy Cross Province.
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