Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let's Hope No 1 Actually Does This

(Please God I am not tempting fate by posting this & the wrong person will see it & get an idea to actually do it. But this is so funny I had to post it.)

(AoftheAP) The effects of the weak US economy continue to reach nearly every sector - manufacturing, agriculture, education, services. Consumers are holding onto their cash at a higher rate than in years past, reducing their spending and carefully counting every penny.
The pinch is felt by the print media as well - subscription rates have slipped considerably, which has resulted in falling advertising revenues as companies, reluctant to increase expenditures in an area where exposure is shrinking, seek other ways to get a bigger bang for their buck. Several publications in the Catholic sphere, however, have pooled together their marketing savvy to increase exposure and grow market share.
Ad executives for two major publications - the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal - have struck a deal this week with several prominent left-leaning progressive organizations in an effort to stem the tide of red ink and restore some profitability to their respective publishers.
Sources from Commonweal and NCR spoke with AoftheA this morning, on the condition of anonymity, and provided some details of their plans.
"We're losing readers," the NCR source explained. "Mostly through attrition - we have quite an elderly demographic - but some have not renewed their subscriptions due to the weak economy. Our falling rates have nothing to do with the quality unbiased reporting on the part of our staff, of that I'm sure."
Similar sentiments were echoed by Commonweal. "I think part of our problem, too, is that so few average Church-going Catholics have heard of us. We're kind of invisible to them."
Invisibility will no longer be an issue when their new advertising blitz begins in March. The publications have struck a deal with several US dioceses to start marketing their offerings - in the churches.
"It might turn some people off at first," the anonymous NCR editor admitted, "but this is truly a win-win-win for all parties involved. A, we get our name out there in front of the parishoners; B, the parish generates income from our product placement; and C, the parishoners learn of alternative sources to augment their faith, and perhaps learn a little bit more of what's going on in the church at large.
"Unofficially, the first parish to unveil the marketing campaign will be Our Lady of Good Investment in the Cleveland diocese. The pastor, Fr McGuffinutty, declined to comment for this article. He did, however, agree to pose in his new vestments.

"It occurred to us that the most obvious place to place our ads are on the priests' vestments," the NCR source admitted. "No one really reads the bulletins, and to plaster ads on the altar or baptismal font or the ambo is just plain tacky and tasteless. But everyone looks at the priest - it just makes sense. Look, NASCAR drivers do it. Why not this?"
There is speculation that the publications will also provide sponsorship of the Liturgy of the Word. For instance, when the lector pronounces "A reading from the Book of Isaiah", he will follow up with "Brought to you by the fine people at Commonweal". Or, prior to the Prayers of the Faithful, the lector will first state "Today's prayers are sponsored by Call-to-Action".
"Believe me" the Commonweal source said, "we're going to push this aggressively. This could be a cash cow for dioceses around the country. When you look at parishes being forced to close because of declining attendance, well, the income generated from our advertising could help keep the doors open."
Which begs the question: if falling attendance rates are forcing churches to close, then will enough people be exposed to the marketing to make a difference in the lost sales? Will the publications gain enough subscriptions to offset the advertising costs?
"Listen," the NCR source said when asked those questions, "using logic like that is a cheap shot, and is really rather offensive. That kind of talk just isn't acceptable."
The effort here, they say, is to engage the parishoner and promote active participation. To generate dialogue and develop greater interest in the collaborating organizations. To get them to ask questions. To foster unity. And to spend their money.
"On one hand," the Commonweal source explained, "we have to be creative in our marketing approach. We have a captive audience. On the other hand is to help those groups who have helped us for many years. The bottom line isn't so much 'the bottom line', but keeping the Spirit of Vatican II alive."
(original vestment photos from Bad Vestments blog.)


  • At 17/2/10 3:24 PM , Blogger Larry Denninger said...

    Al - thanks for the link! I highly doubt that anyone will ever do this, though - for some reason, there are some lines that even a lib won't cross!

  • At 18/2/10 11:13 PM , Blogger TH2 said...

    LarryD, Rarely have I come across someone as creatively hilarious as you. Continue...


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