2015 Annual Report – Communications

October 01, 2016

Fran Lucas
National 2nd Vice-President and Chairperson of Communications
2015 Annual Report

Sub-committee chairperson for pornography: Life Member Rosanne Sogan

The communications standing committee reports demonstrated great enthusiasm for the role of chairpersons and the creative and meaningful activities accomplished by councils. With the theme One Heart, One Voice, One Mission, the communication mandate was easily carried out.

The Canadian League magazine

A consistently reliable resource, The Canadian League was used as a source for articles and items for in-depth discussion at meetings or as information for chairpersons to share. Explanations of the national theme One Heart, One Voice, One Mission, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace initiatives and the Pornography Hurts campaign kept members current on these topics.

Almost every provincial report mentioned councils having submitted items for publication and the specific appreciation for national profiles and the listing of resolutions adopted at convention in the magazine. Sharing magazines or leaving them for pick-up by non-members at churches was a common practice.

Media for evangelization

Councils promoted religious programming by supporting Salt + Light TV, Vision TV and Eternal Word Television Network. Other councils submitted articles and photographs to local publications and advertised events such as “A Day in the Life of a CWL Member”, World Day of Prayer, vocations masses and Life Chain.

Members subscribed to Western Catholic Reporter, The Catholic Register, Marian Helpers, St. Anthony Messenger, Prairie Messenger, National Catholic Reporter and The New Freeman.

Media to promote the League

Tried-and-true methods to promote the League included using display boards to advise of special events, creating or refreshing websites, starting Facebook pages, posting newsletters on parish bulletin boards, using a parish bulletin to invite women to hear a speaker at a membership coffee party, displaying posters on community boards and hosting information tables at events. Many councils noted visiting the websites of various councils and levels to gain ideas.

More councils took advantage of placing announcements of events on radio and television and in community newspapers. Pamphlets placed in churches were readily picked up. Councils used the new testimonial video to attract members via information events, often including a time for hospitality. A release in December of a resource to use in promoting the League was the Salt + Light TV documentary Woman on a Mission.

Media, evaluation and promotion of good content

Members were increasingly made aware of and encouraged others to become aware of the importance of supervising and promoting good television viewing and safe Internet usage. Movie, book and magazine content was also monitored and, when needed, letters were written to the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission as well as federal and provincial politicians.

Media, newsletters and bulletins

The monthly Be League electronic newsletter was noted in every provincial report as a way to gain insight on activities of other councils and as a means to follow the national president’s latest activities. Parish bulletins were used to report on council activities such as meetings, fundraisers, special Eucharistic celebrations, potlucks and picnics. Parish, diocesan and provincial levels published their own newsletters monthly, quarterly or annually.

Media relations

Realizing the importance of good media relations, councils took the time to thank media for coverage of events. One council sent out 100 “thank you” posters to the community to thank the media and retailers that helped promote or attended council events. The local newspaper reciprocated with the printing of the thank you in its “Letters to the Editor” section. One council advertised its Nativity Tea and displayed numerous nativity sets at the function, always inviting the media to attend.

Pornography

Councils overwhelmingly supported the Pornography Hurts postcard campaign during their designated months and for many additional months as well. Most identified the campaign as a priority and had the opportunity to support it through parish bulletin inserts and messages from the pulpit. Letters and petitions were sent to government indicating the need for more awareness of and work to curb pornography, with a specific letter-writing campaign asking for legislation that would govern Internet content with regards to pornography. Videos on the various consequences of pornography were shown at council meetings and to youth groups, prompting awareness about the pornography issue in some schools. The book Good Pictures Bad Pictures that speaks to “porn-proofing” children was promoted. Councils monitored the news media regarding pornography issues and shared the information with members. Others engaged speakers on the topic at their council meetings or conventions. Some councils continued to take action on past resolutions falling under this standing committee that were still current. One diocesan council continued the use of its Pornography Hurts Bus Campaign and the use of roadside, television advertisements and billboards. This initiative gave daily exposure to more than 150,000 people! One diocesan chairperson of communications led the development of a pornography brochure and PowerPoint presentation that was shared across the country. Some councils supported local White Ribbon Against Pornography campaigns.

Initiatives undertaken

The members-only online forum saw some traffic but not as much as was hoped. Those who did use this resource found it helpful. A fall initiative “A Day in the Life of a CWL Member” realized minimal participation. Press releases were more frequently issued during the year, a total of seven, and were issued at the launch of each national initiative.

The project to tape testimonials of members from across Canada was successful and well received. It continued to be accessed with ease from the national website. The attendance and participation of Salt + Light TV at the national convention was the starting point for the creation of the documentary Woman on a Mission. Having been shown on Salt + Light TV at least 15 different times, with more anticipated, and with the availability of the documentary on the national website, many members and the public accessing the site were able to see the good works of the League. A recap video of the convention was also created and remains on the website as a resource to attract more members to attend conventions.

Having a crew from Salt + Light at the convention post to its Facebook and Twitter accounts gave the League exposure to over 17,200 followers. The use of Facebook and Twitter was more prolific this year, and it was expected to continue to increase moving forward.