A Communication from National Office
Communicating via Communiques
Communique: A communiqué is an official statement or announcement. (Collins English Dictionary)
The writing of a communiques is a necessary part of sharing information with our counterparts in the League. National communiques are meant to inform provincial chairpersons of national initiatives. Provincial communiques are meant to inform diocesan chairpersons of provincial initiatives, and national initiatives relevant to the province. Diocesan communiques are meant to inform parish chairpersons of diocesan initiatives, and provincial and national initiatives relevant to the diocese.
While no two communiques will look alike and will vary based on the personality of the writer, communiques have basic guidelines for content. These include:
1. Promoting actions addressing adopted resolutions
2. Informing the membership about approved League projects
3. Promoting programs or initiatives of other organizations that fall within the scope of the standing committee and that are vetted by the screening policy found in the National Manual of Policy and Procedure
4. Providing the names and sites of reliable resources that chairpersons may use when educating themselves and the members to which they report
5. Raising awareness of key positions taken by the League with respect to current affairs in the church and society
6. Encouraging spirituality, ministry, social justice, lifelong learning and advocacy, inspiring confidence among the membership, and advancing communications throughout the League
When writing a communique, the chairperson must be cognizant that she is representing the League in her communications. Every written and published document, regardless of level, can and will enhance or minimize the League’s credibility. It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that:
1. Facts are independently verified to credible sources
2. Personal opinions are not expressed
3. Strong or inflammatory language is avoided
4. Quoted material is provided with complete referencing in order to credit the source
5. Material is not plagiarized, particularly from websites
6. Appeals are not circulated unless they have been previously approved by the executive to which the chairperson is accountable
7. Information provided aligns with the official teachings of the church
8. Information provided does not contradict the formal position or decision of any of the more senior levels of the League
To avoid #8, it is important always to WRITE original material related ONLY to the level at which the chairperson has been elected and to INCLUDE material that has been written by more senior levels. For example, a diocesan chairperson of communications may WRITE about a diocesan newsletter, however, she should INCLUDE material about the pornography hurts campaign being promoted by her more senior counterpart at national level.
One of the most important steps that must be taken before distributing any communique is to seek approval of the council president. It is she who sits at the table of the next most senior executive and it is therefore she who is aware of any issues or conflicts that could potentially arise. Her review enhances the council’s credibility; the chairperson should ask for her blessing!
A communiqué is an official statement or announcement. Accurate, factual, credible and unified! This is the goal for the 14,400 women in the League entrusted to communicate on the League’s behalf! With research, respect and due diligence, it is possible to speak with one unified voice!