Media blitz ad-vances

Participating dioceses receive seed money for national ad campaign
September 30, 2004

After several weeks of review and alterations, the blueprint for the Episcopal Church’s national advertising campaign is receiving final touches.

“The plan, part of our overall comprehensive communications strategy, fully affirms partnerships among congregations, dioceses and the national church’s Office of Communication in implementing the national advertising plan approved by General Convention last year,” said Robert Williams, acting director for communication.

Disbursement of $1,000 grants offered to participating dioceses is underway to the 74 dioceses that applied for seed money before the July deadline. Besides domestic dioceses, the dioceses of Puerto Rico, Honduras and the Convocation of American Churches in Europe are participating.

Williams also announced that the Episcopal Media Center in Atlanta and GraceCom, a communications extension of Grace Episcopal Church in San Francisco, had been affirmed as “vital partners" in what is described as a National Advertising Collaborative.

Oversight of plan
The task force to oversee the advertising plan has been broadened to include representatives of communications-centered organizations and committees -- Neva Rae Fox from the Episcopal Communicators board, and Douglas Briggs, from the Standing Commission on Church Communications.

The television spots, directed at both English- and Spanish-speaking viewers, will make use of the familiar slogan: “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!’ with the added invitation to “Come and Grow.”

Plans call for the ads to be designed around specific themes: “Grow in Gratitude,” “Grow in Peace,” “Grow in Understanding” and “Grow in Service.” The final line invites viewers to “Come and Grow in a Congregation Near You.”

By the end of November, a new “seeker site” will be launched. Based on the four “Come and Grow” themes, the site will offer visitors a message, views of the TV spots and print ads, links to related pages and a search capacity to locate congregations by address.

Williams said the plan remains focused on a major purchase of television ads starting in Spring 2005 and continuing throughout the year. Various ads broadcast at different times will target specific audiences.

“Creative content of the television spots has been subject to a thorough review and course correction in line with the strategic recommendations,” Williams said.

Two advertisements are being prepared in advance of next spring’s media blitz: an ad designed for the week preceding Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.

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