FOR YOUR MARRIAGE: Suggestions for Local Promotion
The Committee on Marriage and Family asked a cross section of diocesan family life and communications staff for practical ideas to promote locally the For Your Marriage website and Public Service Announcements. The Committee also discussed how to raise awareness about the National Pastoral Initiative For Your Marriage and how to prepare people to receive the forthcoming bishops’ pastoral letter on marriage. Below is a compilation of their responses.
To promote the Public Service Announcements (PSAs):
- Order customized versions of the PSAs, with the name and contact information of the diocese. Our PSA distribution company, TV Access, has set up a special Web site for receiving orders at: http://www.tvaccessreports.com/ccc/. Prices for customizing spots and for purchasing additional copies are posted on the Web site. [Note: Each diocese is entitled to a free copy of the DVD with the PSAs]
- Show the PSAs at diocesan-sponsored marriage events and other diocesan activities.
- Contact the radio and TV stations in your area that have received the PSAs. A list is available at http://www.tvaccessreports.com/ccc. Ask stations to consider airing the PSAs. Thank them if they do.
- Buy air time for the PSAs. Dioceses that share a media market may want to make a joint purchase, as did the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
To promote the website, www.foryourmarriage.org:
- Link to www.foryourmarriage.org from the diocesan website. Suggestion: Put the For Your Marriage logo on the diocesan homepage and make it a link.
- Mention the website in print and e-mailings to parishes. Ask pastors to include an item in the bulletin that describes the website and gives the address.
- When people register for a marriage program (e.g., Pre-Cana or anniversary Mass), promote the website in the confirmation letter or e-mail or other print materials.
- Include articles from the website as part of the Pre-Cana curriculum. For example, the “Preparing for Your Marriage” section includes resources for “must-have” conversations on children, finances, sexuality, and other topics.
- Produce a refrigerator magnet with the For Your Marriage artwork and website address.
- Order For Your Marriage bookmarks and use them to publicize the website. Bookmarks (product #7-037) are available from USCCB Publishing, http://www.usccbpublishing.org/, 1-800-235-8722.
- Order For Your Marriage bracelets and distribute at marriage events. An order form is available at: http://www.foryourmarriage.org/media/cms/files/FYM_WristbandOrderForm.pdf.
- Purchase billboard space to promote the For Your Marriage campaign. CCC will make the artwork available at no charge. When the artwork is available, ordering information will be posted on http://www.foryourmarriage.org/. Click on “Media Toolkit/Multimedia Gallery.”
- Print business cards with the question “What have you done for your marriage today?” and the website address. Distribute at Pre-Cana, marriage enrichment events, etc.
- Localize the February celebration of World Marriage Day and use this as an opportunity to promote the website.
- Promote small faith sharing groups around the theme “For Your Marriage.” Use the website for resource materials.
To promote the National Pastoral Initiative For Your Marriage and prepare for the pastoral letter on marriage
- Put the Initiative on the agenda of Province meetings. Perhaps invite diocesan family life office staff to attend. Some possible discussion questions: What has your diocese done to promote marriage? What has worked? What else are you planning? Are there resources that could be shared among dioceses?
- Form a diocesan Blue Ribbon Committee on Marriage; use the Commission to plan diocesan involvement in the Pastoral Initiative. Large dioceses with diverse populations may want to form commissions at the vicariate level. For an example of a Blue Ribbon Committee in the Diocese of Knoxville see http://dioknox.org/
- Promote the For Your Marriage campaign in the diocesan newspaper. Include stories about the campaign, the PSAs and the website; print substantive articles based on website content; and use the bishop’s column to raise awareness about marriage.
- Organize in-service days for clergy and lay ministers on the topic of marriage and be sure to include information about the National Pastoral Initiative For Your Marriage.
- Build a local For Your Marriage campaign. For example, ask local people “What have you done for your marriage today?” Videotape the responses, make a DVD, and post on the diocesan website.