Word made fresh The 21st century is signaling great changes for the church around the world. In Rupert’s Land we are feeling these changes most keenly, not in issues of theology or liturgy, but in the ways we do life together in community. Times like these are both challenging and exciting as we explore new kinds of life being born amidst various kinds of death and ending. As we navigate the future of our diocese, perhaps the most important factor will be how we approach diocesan communication. With the retirement of our gifted Rupert’s Land news editor and the addition of 13 new parishes to the diocese, now is the perfect time to consolidate our communication network: the Rupert’s Land News, the News for the Pews, the
regular email announcements to clergy, yesterday’s communications and rethe twitter feed and the website. forming it in a way which meets the Our life together in Rupert’s Land is parishioners of today and tomorrow. like the life of a family, which grows and The days of “attractional church,” changes throughout the generations. when we waited for the neighbourhood Parents may be sad to see their children to come to us, are passing away and move away from home, but they are being replaced by missional church excited by the changes that come with models which meet people where they mature children, newfound are. A new communication model will independence and the arrival of become the innovative leader for such grandchildren. As Rupert’s Land liturgical and parochial reform, serving as undergoes just this kind of transition we a template for dioceses across the have the opportunity to embrace a future country. for our church and community which reimagines To become a part of creating the stories communication in a way which enfolds a new generation. with which we animate our lives… the Engaging the young does stories with which we build our dreams, not mean leaving the old sketch our goals and seize the future. behind. It takes the very best of
More than ever, the medium of communication does not matter. Everything is about the message. And that message is multi-directional. Forget the brand names like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; set aside talk of delivery vehicles like blogs, Tumblr and issuu. These tend to co-opt communication discussions, but they shouldn’t. They are simply modern versions of telephones… and we never cared what colour phone we used. What mattered with the phone was the people we could reach, not whether the handset was white or purple. What’s important is that we are talking with each other. It’s about the conversation.
Seniors online Seniors are getting wired and are ready for something new. Statistics Canada reports that 83% of all Canadians over 16 are online, including 48% of those age 65 and up and 27% of those 75 and older. Two-thirds of all adults in this country are using social media. In the US tablet ownership among the over-75 set increased 300% in 2012 alone. And at senior’s centres across Canada the demand is heaviest for computer and online instruction. "It [is] a surprise to find out how many seniors are very deeply online," says Trish Barbato, a VP at Revera, an international retirement home provider, where they are retrofitting units to accommodate internet usage. "There's a bit of myth-busting that has to happen. People have a vision of seniors either not being able to learn or being afraid of technology.” Perhaps we stereotype seniors and their abilities by saying they are unable or unwilling to accept new communication methods. The statistics suggest they are as eager to embrace new communication methods and anyone else.
Three tasks of church media 1. News - what’s happening here and elsewhere 2. Context - what it means; why it matters; education & instruction 3. Corporate - team building, recognition, transitions and other changes This proposal fulfills all functions using distribution channels best suited to each task.
Modern media The world once moved a little slower. Remember when we were patient enough to send letters by mail and wait days or even weeks for replies? News travelled slowly then too, and it had a longer shelf life. Such times were perfect for newspapers, especially weekly and monthly publications. Even month old information was news if you had never heard it before. This was the age of the messenger - editors ruled, reporters became stars and together they presented a particular version of reality. It worked that way for centuries, especially for a less educated and credible readership. Things are different now. The news cycle is faster. Attention spans are shorter. Information devalues quickly. Media consumers are less credulous and many have the skills and tools to produce their own media. None of this bodes well for traditional media.
Many media consumers resist topdown methods out of habit. But for others, the desire for something different comes from a sense that media is a two-way exercise. Today readers/viewers/listeners figure they have something they can add to the flow of news and events. Rather than media coming from above it’s now horizontal, a give and take conversation. It is a joint exercise in co-discovering a reasonable snapshot of reality. This conversation is a swirling mix of news, opinion, commentary, laughter, discovery, challenge and truth. It is open to everyone and includes people in unpredictable ways. This chorus of voices is vibrant, garrulous, meaningful, potent and personal… not unlike the conversations swirling around Christ.
...redeploy existing expenditures to better inform and engage Content creators A key element of this proposal is to redeploy existing expenditures from printing and postage into creating media of interest and consequence. Since distribution tools and channels are more eﬀective and less costly online, existing monies can be spent producing better products. Guiding this process is the editor, who will create some of the content, but the rest will come from volunteers. The diocese is full of talented people who, properly encouraged, managed and scheduled, will willingly oﬀer time and talent to this project. A key aspect of the editor’s role is to solicit and develop these contributions.
The Concept Innovation in Rupert’s Land Integrating faith into the daily lives of parishioners is one of the key tasks of all clergy. Finding ways to walk the ideas, instruction, intentions and gospel outside the walls of the sanctuary into the dayto-day reality of believers is indeed good news. And news - or more generally media - has a key role to play in the grounding of faith. This proposal envisions the existing newspaper continuing until the summer 2014 edition is published when the current editor retires. This time of transition provides an opportunity for a reimagining of how to bring news, opinion and commentary the people of Rupert’s Land. A change of leadership always means other changes and this year we propose doing something completely different. Our plan is to use the spring and summer months to overhaul diocesan media. New branding and new ideas will be followed by new ways to carry news and events throughout our 74 parishes. The redesign and launch of a website, designed primarily as a digital container, will backstop all content being pushed through other means. A part of this site will be a diocesan calendar and bulletin board. The latter will be formatted for easy printing and as such can be reproduced locally as a News for the Pews replacement. The regular diocesan news vehicle will be the weekly rich-media email and the Facebook page. Both of these will reach and engage subscribers with a variety of Rupert’s Land and other church news and views. The new Twitter account will be a way to push content, drawing others into understanding and conversation.
The Instagram account is a way to engage with younger people and to reposition ideas of faith. It’s not all about the written word. This is a good venue to run contests and and help us see God at work, everywhere. Longer form, more reflective items like editorials, commentary, devotionals, backgrounders, profiles and such will appear in the monthly online magazine. This full-colour, interactive, easy-to-use journal will be published ten times per year. The editor (coordinator/facilitator) will drive this process. Tasks include finding news, assigning, copy editing, image sourcing, volunteer solicitation, deployment and support, production schedule overview, website posting, bulletin board and calendar updating and weekly email formatting and distribution. The editor will also maintain and update the social media streams (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and will assign and oversee the layout of the monthly magazine. More focus on content development and creation means a better product that is more relevant and effective. Diocesan benefits are several - a cutting-edge 21st century media program; a pilot program that will be watched by the wider church. Lessons and examples from this Rupert’s Land trial can and will be shared and adopted by church bodies across the country. All eyes will be on this experiment in recreating church media for the 21st century. The new media will enable more effective outreach and integration of church life into daily life. It will cultivate a conversation of faith among Anglicans in this diocese, bringing belief into the quotidian and making it matter every day of the week.
Distribution A basic website This is where we post virtually all content that will then be delivered by other means. Think of it as a bookshelf, reliably storing information items for easy retrieval. Also features a printable bulletin board and diocesan calendar. A weekly email A rich media email with a strong graphic presence; easy to engage and consume, delivering news and links to content of interest. Facebook Another primary communication vehicle, drawing on Rupert’s Land media from the website and items of interest from elsewhere. Twitter A news and headline service. Instagram An engagement strategy, venue for contests and visual exploration of our common life of faith in Rupert’s Land. Monthly magazine Hosted on issuu, this digital platform will allow long form presentation of opinion and commentary, fully integrated into social streams. These distribution methods are simply ways to reach people and draw them into engaging with lives of faith in Rupert’s Land. As platforms change, so too will our delivery.
Financials and Process
Advertising Advertising will be welcome in several of the new media platforms (website, weekly email and monthly online magazine). Those wishing to reach the Rupert’s Land readership with their messages will be better served through links to their online materials and better integration of their content. Other options to explore include finding per-issue sponsors for emails and magazine editions. It is anticipated that ad revenue will fund content creation.
There are several components to birthing this new media venture and creating more effective and dynamic media distribution methods for Rupert’s Land. The existing newspaper will continue publishing until the usual summer break. Upon the adoption of this proposal, application will be made to source and secure a grant to fund the one-time redesign and relaunch. This project will benefit the wider church, especially in the vital areas of media and constituent engagement. The hope is that these funds will be committed quite promptly. Starting in the late spring and continuing into the early fall, a small team will redesign, reimagine, rebrand and launch the new media for Rupert’s Land. This process will be overseen by Allison Chubb, the new editor, with the help of consultant Bramwell Ryan. The process of creating something entirely new also includes the design and delivery of numerous workshops for wouldbe media contributors, project volunteers and for anyone wanting instruction on how to use and engage with the new delivery methods. We anticipate delivering these workshops in a variety of places throughout the diocese and producing them as online
There are two stages to this proposal. 1. Concept & product development, training April-September 2014 2. Launch and on-going production September 2014…
$24,000/p.a. ad revenue not included
Stipend Printing Mailing Subs/misc
tutorials, accessible by anyone not able to attend in-person. The team would also design marketing and promotional material to support the September launch as well as ongoing promotional material to continually keep the new media products front-of-mind. The consultant will broker the recreation and launch process and at the same time ensure Allison acquires the necessary additional skills to move this forward and carry it week to week after the launch. The consultant’s term will conclude soon after the launch and is thus a definedterm contract. The money is there to create this exciting future. Assuming cash currently allocated to media in the diocesan budget is redeployed for this new venture, this project is viable as a going concern. We have not included ad revenues however when they are added to the budget the opportunities to create innovative and effective new media becomes even greater. In fact, the new connected Rupert’s Land media may increase ad sales. In summary, assuming a relaunch grant and the retention of all existing and new revenue, this overhaul will be selfsustaining.
Distribution Production Editor
This proposal outlines how the Diocese of Rupert’s Land can create and deliver media of consequence and vibrancy, brokering a new conversation among people of faith. To move this plan forward in a timely manner your agreement in principle is needed by the end of March, 2014. This report and a magazine-style version of the proposal is available online at RLN.stbenedictstable.ca (use of the SBT server was kindly offered by Jamie Howison but does not imply endorsement). Allison Chubb | 204-996-6172 | email@example.com | chaplainschancel.blogspot.ca