Saint John Fisher Parish Publicity Protocol
To publicize your ministry’s event, you must submit your proposal to your assigned Pastoral Staff member. If you are uncertain which staff member oversees your ministry or have other questions regarding publicity, contact Gayle Plecha, Parish Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-377-5571, ext. 106.
Publicity within the Parish
- Parish Website and Facebook page: (Note: www.sjf.org serves both the parish and external audiences because anything posted to the website is available to any internet user.) You must submit your proposed online publicity to your Pastoral Staff member in electronic form. Images should be landscape orientation. Text should be minimal. The website is updated on Mondays.
- Bulletin: You must submit your proposed article to your Pastoral Staff member no later than 9 am on Monday for publication in the following Sunday’s bulletin. Your brief article will be included in the appropriate staff member’s column or on the community page. (Due date subject to change for holidays.)
- Bulletin back page: This is scheduled up to one year in advance. You must contact your assigned Pastoral Staff member in May to schedule the back of the bulletin for the following 12 months, July through June. Some dates may become available throughout the year. Graphics should be in portrait orientation.
- Pulpit Announcement: These announcements are for activities occurring in the coming week or to direct people to your table outside after Mass. You must submit a proposed pulpit announcement to your Pastoral Staff member by Wednesday for use the following Sunday.
- Table outside after Mass: You must reserve a table in advance through your Pastoral Staff member. Tables are for distributing information only. If you wish to sell something at your table, you must go through the Parish Administrator to receive permission from the Pastor in advance. A maximum of three groups may have tables per weekend.
- Vertical banners by entrance doors: You must reserve these locations through your Pastoral Staff member. Banners posted without authorization will be removed and discarded.
- Spinner Racks in the Narthex. You must obtain the Director of Evangelization’s approval before placing any materials in the spinner racks. Material placed without authorization will be removed and discarded.
- Bulletin insert: This vehicle is reserved for information disseminated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ADLA) or the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Exceptions are approved only by the Pastor.
Publicity outside the Parish
For publicity outside the parish, you must obtain the authorization of your Pastoral Staff member and the Parish Administrator. Once you have obtained approval, the Pastoral Staff will send your information to the appropriate contact for publication. You will be notified if additional information is required.
- Other Catholic church bulletins in the area: SJF bulletin editor has Point of Contact list.
- Local newspaper advertisements: Contact the Parish Administrator to request changing the SJF periodic advertisement for a brief run.
- Angelus News (the online and print magazine for ADLA). Once your input has been approved by your Pastoral Staff member, then the Parish Administrator will contact the advertising department. To list an event of the Angelus News calendar of events, two weeks prior to the date of the event, the Parish Administrator will mail your input to Angelus News (Attn: Calendar).
- Relevant Radio, 930 AM. Once your announcement has been approved by your Pastoral Staff member, then the Parish Administrator will contact the advertising department.
- RPVtv is a local educational access channel provided to the community of Rancho Palos Verdes on Cox Cable channel 33, FIOS channel 38 and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/rpvchannel33). Once your Pastoral Staff member has approved your announcement, the Parish Administrator will then contact RPVtv.
- PV Street Fair. SJF sets up a booth to highlight the presence and activities of SJF. If you would like to participate in the booth, provide your prepared input to your Pastoral Staff member.
- City Banners at intersections. Please contact your Pastoral Staff member for approval.
Preparing to communicate a ministry event entails four basic steps: define who your target audience is; develop your message; define the methods to reach your audiences; and follow up after the event.
1-Define Who Is Your Target Audience:
- All people (Catholics and non-Catholics) living within the parish’s geographic boundaries
- People living outside the parish (visitors to SJF or other Catholics within the diocese)
- All Catholics living within the parish’s boundaries (registered and unregistered)
- Registered parishioners (this group can be segmented in many ways)
- By age – is your event for children? Teens? Empty nesters? Senior citizens?
- By marital status – is your event for singles? Married couples? Widows/Widowers?
- By language spoken – should your promotional materials be created in Spanish or Tagalog as well as English?
- By Mass attendance – are you targeting regular mass attendees? Not-so-regular attendees? Saturday or Sunday evening attendees? Sunday morning attendees?
- By parish involvement – are you targeting parishioners that actively participate in a specific ministry or commission?
- By family status – are you targeting Parish School families or R.E. families? Confirmation or High School families?
Once you identify your key target group(s), make a list and place them in order of importance to your event. This will help you later as you select the media. This exercise will also help as you write your materials because you will be more able to write to the needs of the specific audiences, instead of generalizations.
2-Develop Your Message
Your message will answer these questions: What? When? Where? Who? Why? How? The first sentence of your advertisement or announcement will answer the first three. The second sentence will answer the remaining questions. Here’s an example: “The rosary will be said Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the St. John Fisher Church chapel. Sponsored by the Tuesday SJF Prayer Ministry, all are invited to celebrate the Blessing of Our Lady of Guadalupe”. If you have a photo, send it as a JPG attachment to the story, not embedded into the story text.
Write with your reader in mind. Keep the message simple and to the point. Eliminate excess words. Express, don’t impress. Avoid pretension: “size”, not magnitude. Use active voice, not passive, “will”, not would. Be political by being non-political: avoid anything that might embarrass or create unwanted controversy. Proofread. Then proofread again. Then have someone else proofread. Don’t rely on Spell Check!
3-Define the Methods to Reach Your Audiences
Choose wisely the media (from the lists above) to use. Your choices will depend on how you defined your target audiences. Choose in order of importance of each target audience group.
4-Follow Up After the Event.
After the event, write a brief article about the event as if you were a reporter assigned to cover it. This gives the people who participated a chance to relive the experience and a chance to tell their friends about it. It gives thanks to the participants and for those who did not go to the event, it will make them think “wow, I really missed something. I will want to go next time this event is scheduled.” Consider providing your article to IMPACT magazine, IMPACT@sjf.org.