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Once is not enough

By Peter Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 13, 2012

Communications experts know that once is generally not enough. The more important the idea, the more important it is that you “message” that idea often and from different approaches. In addition, you need to use the best communications channel(s) available, and if possible work to establish a two-way dialogue with the community.

Transfer those principles to your diocese, where arguably the most important idea of the year is religious freedom. You’d expect that idea to be messaged often, through various approaches, with persistence. You’d also expect that message to be often (if not always) delivered through the pulpit, which is the most effective communications channel.  You’d then expect follow-up opportunities to discuss the issue with the pastor, representatives of the diocese, or other “subject matter experts”.

When an “important” message is delivered once and then rarely (or never) mentioned again, you risk the effect of that message being perceived as apologetic. “We’re sorry to have interrupted this broadcast for this important service announcement. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.”

So should we assume that the bishops don’t know basic Communications principles, or that they have misjudged their audience’s need to hear the message repeatedly, or that they don’t really believe this issue to be very important?

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