A Call To Communicate
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew needs to use every possible way to communicate its message of bringing men and youth to Christ, VP for Public Relations and Communications Jeff Butcher told the 48 men attending the National Council meeting June 23.
“Our growth potential is enormous,” Brother Butcher said. “The Brotherhood represents less than three percent of the male population of The Episcopal Church. We are miniscule in the grand scheme.
“However, in pockets throughout the country where we are active, our impact is quite noteworthy.”
Brother Butcher said he realized we had a communications problem after a visit with the nationalchurch’s communications director, who had no knowledge of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. “She (Anne Rudig) knew all about the Daughters of the King but nothing about the Brotherhood. This gap has been closed.”
A former communications officer for the 1984 Summer Olympics and 1990’s Operation Desert Storm, Brother Butcher has designed a communications strategy based upon defining our purpose,identifying target areas to concentrate on, the use of today’s technology to reach men and young men and establishing measurable goals with benchmarks.
He recommends that each assembly construct a Web site that contains a mission statement, chapter locations, officer group photos, contact information and a place to offer prayers. “Your Web site will be a work in progress,” Brother Butcher said.
The VP for Public Relations and Communications urged assemblies to draft a mission statement tobe prominently displayed on the Web site.
“The birth of the Brotherhood was a grass roots effort,” he said. “Our rebirth needs to be done in a similar fashion but using today’s technological advancements.”In addition to constructing a Web site, using Facebook, Twitter and even blogging techniques,Brother Butcher stressed “boots on the ground” as an important communications strategy.
“Your Brotherhood banner should be prominently displayed,” Brother Butcher said. “When you start a new chapter, the old chapter should buy the banner for the new chapter.“Your celebration of St. Andrew’s Day in November should be a major event in the life of your parish. Remember that St. Andrew’s Day is a ‘floating holiday’ and doesn’t have to happen on Nov. 30. I’d recommend you celebrate St. Andrew’s Day prior to Thanksgiving.”
Diocesan Coordinators should spearhead the effort to find a Web master to construct a Brotherhood of St. Andrew Web site in each province, Brother Butcher said. “You will be able to find talented people in your chapters who would gladly put a Web site together for you,” he added. “The key is to encourage them – tell them what a great job they are doing.”
The key to finding talented people to build and maintain Web sites, make banners and otherwise promote the Brotherhood is to visit a different chapter every Saturday – or whenever the chapters meet.
Another “must do” is to man a booth at diocesan conventions, Brother Butcher said. Male clergy members should also be informed about the Brotherhood. This can be accomplished by attending deanery and clergy conferences.
“One statistic jumps out,” the VP said. “In households where there is no father, only 23 percent of the children will come to church. In households with a father at home, 85 percent of the children attend church.
“It’s a powerful argument to make to men: you need to join our organization for your children.”