2013 Annual Report – Communications

2nd Vice-President and National Chairperson of Communications Cecile Miller

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Members across Canada have taken seriously the mandate of the communications standing committee “to announce and communicate by word and action, the Good News of the gospel.”

The Canadian League magazine
The Canadian League continued to be a very important, useful resource, especially for discussions at meetings aimed at keeping members up-to-date on issues. The magazine policy was reviewed to familiarize members with it. Members who could no longer attend meetings stayed connected and informed by reading the magazine. They and those without a computer welcomed each issue.

Media for evangelization
Members were very active in promoting evangelization. They circulated Salt + Light videos; accessed Catholic newspapers, Salt + Light TV, Eternal Word Television Network, www.canadiandailymass.com, www.cccb.ca and other websites; used Christian/Catholic media and Flocknote; contributed to the National Catholic Broadcasting Council; submitted articles to newspapers; circulated Catholic leaflets and publications; and attended the taping of the League sponsored mass on Vision TV.

Media to promote the League
Members took advantage of many opportunities to promote the League at parish luncheons; with promotional brochures at parish events, posters, pamphlets, flyers, church bulletins, church bulletin boards, bulletin inserts, newsletters in parish bulletins, phone committees and phone trees; using the League crest on a monthly article in the parish newsletter; on parish websites or on a League page on parish websites, League websites at all levels, community webpages, local radio stations, cable television stations, and outdoor bulletin boards and electronic billboards; in local newspapers, diocesan and provincial newsletters and bulletins, sister churches, school newsletters, and schools and universities; and by e-mail.

Community-free advertising on radio and television were utilized, as well as Facebook, Twitter and BlogSpot to advertise events. Members were encouraged to access the national website.

Media evaluation and promotion of good content
Overall, members took seriously the need to be vigilant about media content. Letters were written to federally and provincially elected legislative representatives, television stations, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and to editors and publishers. Topics addressed were the televising of an offensive chant at St. Mary’s University; inappropriate television programs and language, movies and magazines; the removal of Vision TV as a television channel option by some service providers; and immoral content.

Appreciation letters were sent for good content. Members were encouraged to write letters requesting good programming, to speak out about bad programming, and to be aware and promote good television viewing and safe Internet usage. One council reported that members discussed television programming followed by a quiz and the giving of small gifts.

Media/newsletter and bulletins
Many newsletters were compiled at parish, diocesan and provincial levels. Some were monthly, others quarterly and some annual. Many were e-mailed, while others were mailed, hand delivered or placed on the respective websites. Some published two versions of their newsletter―one with pictures and one without. One parish council compiled a weekly e-zine, and one provincial council reported a monthly online newsletter.

Some councils printed the Be League e-zine and placed copies at the entrance of the church or posted it on the bulletin board, so many could enjoy the articles from their own and other councils. Members were educated on the resources found in the e-zine, and they were encouraged to make submissions.

Media Relations
Councils prepared press release kits, wrote thank you notes to local media for supporting events hosted by members and continued to invite local media to events.

Members responded to the call to make the campaign against pornography a priority. A few continued the White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) campaign with the signing of a white ribbon and the distribution and wearing of white ribbons. One council was successful in having its mayor and council declare a WRAP week for the city. Many members sent the two postcards supplied in the fall issue of The Canadian League. Councils extended the campaign by including the whole parish, making presentations at local high schools and distributing postcards to older students, requesting masses to be offered with the intention of bringing an end to pornography, speaking to parish congregations after mass, sponsoring the Pornography Hurts campaign jointly with the Knights of Columbus, or by planning to do the blitz during their designated months.  Letters were written to government officials on the effect of pornography on the family. Members also collected monies to support local Pornography Hurts campaigns.

Some challenges were faced by members who chaired this committee. One diocesan chairperson learned that its council website had disappeared, so it had to be rebuilt. One council set up a Facebook page. One council developed its own website. At least one council reported a lack of access to the Internet. One provincial chairperson was in the process of researching and planning the creation of a new website. The biggest challenge reported by one provincial chairperson was convincing a member to become the chairperson of the communications standing committee at the parish level!

Activities Undertaken
Following the results of a survey in the fall of 2012, a new website was designed. To promote Be League, each provincial council was given a month in which to highlight activities from their region; this was a successful initiative. The League embraced social media with the launching of Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Pornography Hurts campaign was launched.

Members were once again open to new and exciting ways to expand their ability to publicize their Christian values and to be heralds of the Good News. V