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A Communique About… Communications

Fr Rich AndreFr. Rich Andre, CSP
March 17, 2023

We had a wonderful problem last weekend: we couldn’t fit all the news in the bulletin! We considered several options:

  1. Should we use a smaller-sized font? Not a great option for those among us who are visually impaired. (Although we provide a text-only version of the bulletin each week at org/weekly-bulletin/)
  2. Should we print an extra page? It’s an added expense, and it destroys more trees.
  3. Should we remove some graphics and trim some of the announcements? It’s harder to read and leads to confusion about omitted details.

Like most other Catholic communities, the news cycle here usually peaks in Advent and Lent, and tapers to a low point in July. We’ll probably be able to muddle through with option 3 for the next few weeks. When Advent approaches again, we can re-evaluate.

Communications are a continuous challenge for any organization. The proliferation of media has made it more time-consuming to disseminate information over multiple channels. Many of our staff members work on our mass communications, especially Dorothy Messenger and me. (Which is part of the reason why I’m perpetually behind on my personal communications. My most profound apologies to everyone, including all the generous donors to whom I owe thank-you notes!) Here are three ways you can help oil the gears to keep our communications humming:

  • If you’re planning a meeting, please email your staff liaison with an announcement, and cc: with your room reservation request as far in advance as possible. It’s hard for PCC members to support your ministry if we don’t know what you’re doing! When writing, be clear about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your news. These days, people often only read the first 2 paragraphs, the first 2 sentences, or the first 2 words of an announcement.
  • Please at least skim the bulletin and electronic Missive each week. We can’t announce everything at the end of Mass, and we try to limit our social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to once per day. Rest assured, our members read the Missive! Our average weekly readership (open rate) is an astronomical 62% with a click rate of 11%, much higher than the all-industry average of 35% opens and 1% clicks, or the faith-based organization average of 45% opens and 3% clicks.
  • The obvious weak links in our communications are the website and the outdoor signage. Also, our Instagram account is lackluster. The signage rules for Beacon Hill are restrictive, and we haven’t figured out how to free enough time for staff members to keep all our webpages updated. If you have expertise to offer us in any of these areas, please reach out.

Lastly, here’s some other information that we’ll be cramming into the bulletin in upcoming weeks:

  • 7:30 pm Sat, Apr 22 – The Paulist Fathers’ 3rd annual “Spirit of Hecker Awards,” recognizing collaborators, friends, and associates around the country who exemplify the Paulist mission. We’ll host a watch party in the 3rd floor library with light refreshments. Or watch on your own at
  • 9 am Sun, May 7 – The Walk for Hunger will be a 3-mile walk around Boston Common. Go to org/the-walk-for-hunger and search for “The Paulist Center: Home of Wednesday Night Supper Club” to either donate or join the team.
  • Fri & Sat, May 12-13 – Jessica Coblentz (former Young Adult Minister at the Paulist Center) will talk with us about faith, depression, and mental illness.

Don’t forget some other events previously mentioned: adult confirmation (Apr 25), the Auction (Apr 29), First Communion (May 14), and the conclusion of the FREP year (May 21)!