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Church PR – Faith in Journalism?

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By Daniel Torchia
@dantorchia
Listen to this whole Media Ministry Minutes segment on this week’s SLHour.

I have a love-hate relationship with journalism. Sadly, I think I’ve accused media of all the vices under the sun. Yet throughout my adult life, the truth is I’ve reaped immeasurable benefit and fulfillment from the work of journalists. Recently, as part of our Public and Media Relations training workshops, I’ve reacquainted myself with their codes of conduct and ethics. Doing so has renewed me with energy and appreciation for their work.

Some elements from the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists include:

“Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.”
– taken from their principle, “SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT”.

“Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.”
– taken from their principle, “MINIMIZE HARM”.

“The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.”
– taken from their principle, “ACT INDEPENDENTLY”.

Understandably, like in all professions and vocations, not all journalists keep up with their codes, standards or expectations. I’m sure we can all relate.

That is why, though tempted, we should never give up on the fight for open and sincere dialogue with media – or any other stakeholder group, for that matter. Deep inside us all, as well as intrinsic to most professions, there is a raw and persistent longing to do good, to serve public interest.

So whenever something goes sour for you or the faith in the press, which it inevitably will, let’s rally together as a community (faith-based or professional) to forge ahead, grow and learn and renew our energy to keep up the dialogue – one sincere conversation at a time.


Read more from Danny Torchia at Dialogue and Grace.

The Saints Project

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What did saints look like and were they really like? This week photographer Kristyn Brown tells us about The Saints Project. We get a Marketing 101 lesson with Danny Torchia, Sebastian speaks with Fouad Twal, retired patriarch of Jerusalem on Connect5 and we speak with conductor and composer JJ Wright about the new Advent/Christmas album, O Emmanuel.

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Full program:

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Learn More:

Watch Sebastian Gomes’ conversation with Fouad Twal on Connect5.
Listen to past Media Ministry Minutes segments and read Dan Torchia’s blog posts.

And…. Deacon Pedro’s favourite saint photos from The Saints Project:

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Bl. Imelda Lambertini

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Joseph and Jesus

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Solemnity of Mary

Religious vocations wake up the world

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How can people in consecrated life “wake up the world”? This week we speak with Fr. Toby Collins, CR of the National Religious Vocation Conference who has some suggestions. Danny Torchia tells us why we should have faith in journalism (and about his new initiative Dialogue and Grace), Sebastian speaks with Sr. Veronica O’Reilly of the Sisters of St. Joseph on Connect5 and we meet singer/songwriter PJ Anderson.

Email us your comments, or send us a direct voice mail message by clicking on the tab on the right side of this webpage —>

Full program:

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

Learn More:
Watch Sebastian Gomes’ conversation with Sr. Veronica O’Reilly on Connect5.

Pray More Novenas

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Do you pray novenas? What is a novena anyway? This week, founder of Pray More Novenas, John Paul Deddens tells us and he also tells us about the Pray More Retreat; Also on Connect5 Sebastian Gomes speaks with Sr. Carol Perry, SU about the Biblical Jesus, Danny Torchia explains good PR and we catch up with singer/songwriter Josh Blakesley.

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

Learn more…
Watch Sebastian Gomes’ conversation with Sr. Carol Perry, SU on Connect5.

The Power of the Word

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Do you ever think about Catholic media and how important it is? This week we come to you from Buffalo, from the 2015 Catholic Media Conference and we learn all about the power of the word. Our Media Ministry expert, Danny Torchia joins Deacon Pedro as they speak with various Catholic communications professionals including Catholic Press Association, CEO, Tim Walker; conference organizer and photographer, Patrick McPartland and PR and marketing specialist, Sherry Brownrigg. We also speak with Penny Wiegert, the editor of The Observer Catholic Newspaper; the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Mons. Paul Tighe and we learn all about the work of Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe of Uganda. This program first aired in June 2015.

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

Church PR – How can I build a strong PR department?

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By Daniel Torchia
@dantorchia
Listen to this whole Media Ministry Minutes segment on this week’s SLHour.

Before building a Public Relations department or reviewing your existing PR function, it’s always a good idea to remember (1) How do I define Public Relations and (2) What are the goals of my PR efforts?

A definition worth considering

My preferred definition of Public Relations goes something like this:

“Public Relations is the management function that helps to nurture relationships between an organization and its stakeholders – groups that can either enhance or constrain the ability of the organization to deliver on its mission. And all of this with the good of society/all in mind.”

I must give credit to James E. Grunig, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. This definition comes mainly from him and his seminal book, Excellence in Communications and Public Relations Management.

That’s a loaded and rich definition. It’s worth meditating on it.

It all starts with measurable goals

Good goals will guide you and all you do. Consider some of these:

  1. Improve relationships with any – or all – of my key audience groups
  2. Convey our true story / vocation / mission
  3. Become more responsive to our core audience groups
  4. Foster a greater leadership team and put them “out there” with greater confidence

Your options are endless. What’s key, in my experience and opinion, is that they find their inspiration from the above definition of PR – and that they are measurable.

So what can I do?

Here are some ideas on how to build your PR department:

  1. Find experts who are willing to act as mentors and advisors. Consider PR directors at Catholic organizations, dioceses etc. or retirees that have experience in PR.  Ask if they’d consider helping you with strategy or finding qualified volunteers.
  2. Establish a solid “source” of potential PR volunteers or interns. Many PR programs at academic institutions demand that students find a co-op placement (for credits). A partnership with your local Catholic campus or vocational school can work wonders.
  3. Take the time to read about PR from quality sources. Consider Tactics Magazine from the Public Relations Society of America – one of the most insightful journals in the business, or join the mailing list of the Institute for Public Relations (http://www.instituteforpr.org/).
  4. Build a team that combines Technicians and Strategists.  The former have the skills to program websites, write quality content, design a nice poster or organize events, for example. The latter understand the strategy and the overall program management. Both are needed.

Once the department starts yielding fruits, your organization might be in a position to consider ways to retain all of the necessary resources to do more. What’s certain: when proper Public Relations programs are implemented, everyone wins and new bridges are made between your organization and the audiences on which your organization depends – from media to internal audiences and everyone in between.

The Power of the Word

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Do you ever think about Catholic media and how important it is? This week we come to you from Buffalo, from the 2015 Catholic Media Conference and we learn all about the power of the word. Our Media Ministry expert, Danny Torchia joins Deacon Pedro as they speak with various Catholic communications professionals including Catholic Press Association, CEO, Tim Walker; conference organizer and photographer, Patrick McPartland and PR and marketing specialist, Sherry Brownrigg. We also speak with Penny Wiegert, the editor of The Observer Catholic Newspaper; the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Mons. Paul Tighe and we learn all about the work of Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe of Uganda.

Email us your comments or send us a direct voice mail message by clicking on the tab on the right side of this webpage —>

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

St. John Bosco’s anniversary meets the year for Consecrated Life

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This week we continue with our series on Consecrated Life with Salesian Fr. Mike Pace; Fr. Rosica has a reflection for the Feast of Pentecost; Dan Torchia learns a PR tip from the message for the World Day of Communications and we learn about the St. Elisabeth Convent in Belarus and their New Voice Orthodox Choir.

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

Learn more…
Watch Deacon Pedro’s full conversation with Fr. Mike Pace on a special edition of Perspectives.

The Church in Quebec

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This week on the SLHour Jasmin Lemieux-Lefebvre, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of Quebec teaches all about the Church in Quebec. Dan Torchia tells us how to build a PR department, a good tip for Catholic organizations; we learn about the Veritas Christi Catholic High School, a new school for students with disabilities and Michael James Mette has a new album, Arts and Humanity.

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.

Learn more…
Listen to Michael James Mette’s first appearance on the SLHour from our January 26, 2013 program.

And here’s where you can find more Media Ministry Minutes.

Roamin’ Catholic Apologetics

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Would you be able to defend your faith? This week Chesterton expert, Dale Ahlquist shares some arguments that he uses in friendly debates. Dan Torchia says that there’s no such thing as bad publicity and Rebecca Roubion has a new album, Christmas Lights.

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This program is available thanks to the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your donation to keep the SLHour on the air.