Jane Osler

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." While true, a name can have unintended consequences. For example, the Diocesan Communications Committee _ what would its name suggest it does? If you said, works with parishes and the diocese on matters pertaining to communications within the parish, the diocese and the larger community, you would be correct.

However, that is only part of the work of this committee. In fact, the committee's mandate is to communicate information on diocesan programs in general, to facilitate communications to and between parishes, to assist the parishes in their own communications, and to determine what the diocese can do to support parish evangelism. Furthermore, for there to be effective communications, there should be an overall marketing strategy that directs the efforts of communications. Communications is part of the larger marketing picture, as the following story indicates:

"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, "Circus is coming to Fairgrounds Sunday," that's Advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him through town, that's a Promotion. If the elephant walks through the Mayor's flower bed, that's Publicity. If you can get the Mayor to laugh about it, that's Public Relations. If you planned all this, that's Marketing!"

Since there is no Diocesan Marketing Committee, the Communications committee has been the natural choice as a place to bring marketing issues. It is also the natural group to provide assistance to parishes and the diocese on the development and execution of marketing strategy. So, we suggest the Diocesan Communications Committee be renamed the Diocesan Communications and Marketing Committee.

In addition, the committee is looking to recognize the broader mandate of marketing, and look not only at internal communications, but also at how we market and communicate who we are to the wider community.

In order to jump-start the idea that the Communications Committee is not just about individual types of communications (advertising, promotions, publicity and public relations) but also about marketingĀ - pulling it all together to work synergistically, the committee has decided to create a marketing handbook for the parishes.

We hope that this handbook will provide valuable information and assistance to parishes in understanding what you can be doing to better market your parishes and ministry to the wider community.