Who Should Advertise What in Catholic Periodicals and the Internet
The price per page of many Catholic Periodicals is higher than the secular media. This is probably because advertising pays a greater portion of the secular media's cost. We might be able to bring down the cost of Catholic media and thereby increase the readership if we could figure out who should logically be using Catholic media in their advertising campaigns and send them suggestions.
For Example, Short Wave Radio to Listen to EWTNFor example, I sent an e-mail to a company in the short-wave radio business suggesting that they use advertising in Catholic media to tell Catholics that their radios can bring in EWTN. One person I contacted thought it was a great idea and said the company would start an advertising campaign, but I think the idea fell through, at least I never saw any of their ads.
More recently I found the company had a special page for EWTN listeners on their web site, so maybe my idea was used in a way I did not expect, or perhaps they had that page before I even made the suggestion, and I just forgot it. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by what may have been a success, but at very least was a near miss.
The short-wave radio company and I were exchanging e-mails when suddenly they stopped responding. This type of thing has happened to me several times with different companies and even a charitable organization. Perhaps their lawyers are worried that I will sue. If so, let me say here on the Internet that the advice is free. Of course I could change this page, but it is cached on Google, and what is perhaps better five times on archive.org going back to February 2003. You could simply go back and get copies of these.
If you wanted to be really super careful perhaps you could get a public notary to download, copy and sign the the web pages.
If you want me to put the promise in writing I will be glad to send you a letter. I am working on other ways to assure companies and other organizations on this, if you have any suggestions you can put a note in the guest book. Let me repeat that the advice is free, I am doing this to serve the Catholic Church.
In addition to the short-wave company I have also provided free advice to Sirius Satellite Radio which has added EWTN to its programming. They contacted me as a result of this page. So you can see this is actually working.
But short wave and satellite are not the only possibilities. EWTN is on AM, FM, or Cable TV, which might give us many opportunities for Catholic advertising. As I have a web page on tips for better AM radio reception I can see many possibilities, for example, companies that produce and/or sell good quality AM radios: CC Radio, and GE Superadio.
Book StoresSuper bookstore chains also might profit by advertising in Catholic media. Many Bible bookstores are run by people from other denominations and do not carry Catholic material. Small bookstores do not carry enough titles to provide an adequate Catholic collection, and frequently they simply assume the local Bible book store has taken care of the religious market and therefore they carry very few religious books. The big super bookstore chains on the other hand usually carry a fairly large collection of Catholic books. So it would make sense for them to announce this in the Catholic media. I have written to several of these super bookstore chains and I received an encouraging e-mail back from one.
Let me also note that Catholics can encourage local bookstores to include more Catholic material in their offerings by mentioning to the person doing the stocking decisions that the local Bible bookstore only carries books that are in agreement with their religion. Other denominations including Catholics are not properly served. I have a web page on suggesting to bookstores that they carry more Catholic material.
Professional Sales PeopleNaturally, I try to sell Catholic media in general and make it clear that I do not represent any one periodical or other media source. Even though I have had fairly good luck with this, I do not necessarily recommend this to all readers. After all I am a former business college instructor and have passed the orals on a PhD in Economics. I also had success making at least one purely secular suggestion before I made the first Catholic suggestion.
If this web page actually succeeds and collects useful ideas from the Catholic community, the actual sales job is likely to be done by the professional ad salesmen at the various Catholic periodicals and other Catholic media outlets, or perhaps successful Catholic businessmen or salesmen could be encouraged to sell the idea of using Catholic media to companies that could profit by doing so.
Advantage of not being dailySpeaking of Catholic periodicals, one advantage of many Catholic periodicals is that they are not daily. An ad in a daily newspaper usually only works for one day. People throw away the paper and if the ad has not done its work it on the first day it will simply fail. Weekly or monthly periodicals can influence people for a longer time.
I sent a letter with this argument to my local free computer newspaper, California Computer News, CCN. CCN liked it so well that they not only ran the letter they turned it into an advertisement for their advertising and ran it over and over again. Perhaps Catholic periodicals could run similar ads.
A key element in this type of strategy is for Catholic periodicals to establish themselves as a place where people go to make certain types of buying decisions. For example, the reason why the free computer newspaper could use my argument is that it is obviously true. If people want to buy computers in our metropolitan area, CCN is where they go to find the information. For Catholics I suppose Catholic periodicals are where we go to find ads for Catholic funeral services. It might help if we established Catholic periodicals as the source for other services. Figuring out what those other services might be is a principle objective of this web page.
Job listingsPerhaps Catholic periodicals could become a center for job listings. A policy of just hiring Catholics is likely to get a business into trouble with the law rather quickly, but as far as I have been able to determine there is nothing illegal about including the local diocesan newspaper in the mix of places you advertise for employees.
It seems likely that advertising in Catholic or other religious periodicals might help you find more ethical and responsible employees. Of course care is needed because some crooks try to sell themselves as religious, and some non-believers are good employees. For example, I think I was a pretty good employee before my conversion. Of course if you are planning on doing something dishonest in your business I hope that Catholic periodicals are not the place you want to advertise for employees.
Renters and RoommatesReal estate ads, particularly roommate ads, could be another opportunity. Several Catholics or several people from any religion might want to live together to help build up one another's faith. One can not advertise for a Catholic roommate in a secular paper, but one can advertise in a Catholic paper.
My friends often complain about rules like this. Why is it that you can say you are looking for a baseball fan, but can not say you are looking for a rosary fan. But we could advertise in Catholic media and achieve much the same results while staying well within the law. Because of the principle of freedom of the press it would be hard to set up any law that prevented religious people from advertising in their own journals.
Digression on Prejudice vs. Freedom of AssociationLet me note here that I do not approve of simply excluding religions one does not like. If for example, a group of Christians who are not particularly dedicated want to exclude Jews, Muslims, atheists etc. that is objectionable. After all if a person's religion is a surface thing like the color of their skin, and most would agree that we should not exclude people on the basis of race. On the other hand both the law and reasonable people would agree there is nothing wrong with a group of Catholic monks setting up a house that excludes everyone who is not a Catholic monk.
I am suggesting that a group of dedicated people of any religion should be able to set up group living quarters that exclude people of other religions, even if they are not monks or nuns, if their objective is to mutually build one another up in their faith, rather than exclude people they do not like. In that case the religion is not like race, rather it is the deepest, most significant part of the person's life, and choosing roommates on that basis is not evil, in fact it is admirable.
This is particularly true if the ability of people of different religions to find housing is not significantly reduced. For example, the fact that Catholic monks do not house Jewish people in their monasteries does not leave Jews homeless. If evangelical Christians set up religiously dedicated households, which they frequently do, this does not significantly limit the ability of Catholics to find housing.
As a society we need to find ways to protect people against prejudice and at the same time give people the freedom to associate, and to live serious religious lives without government interference. But enough digression, back to Catholic ads.
Catholic OrganizationsMany Catholic groups use telemarketing and junk mail to get their message out when they could use Catholic periodicals and other Catholic media instead. Catholic charities, and periodicals be encouraged to make their pleas through the Catholic media instead of tele-marketing and junk mail.
Catholic Informational AdsThere might also be a number of Catholic organizations that should put out informational ads. For example, the Charismatics could use ads to explain their movement, and Catholic radio stations could use ads to inform the public on ways to get better AM radio reception. Yes, the last idea is a bit self serving.
In fact a Catholic organization recently contacted me asking for advice on this. I actually did not have much that was very original to say, but perhaps I helped, and I was honored to do it.
PoliticiansPoliticians could use Catholic media ads to reach a Catholic audience with a message specifically aimed at Catholics. Perhaps they could tell us what they have done for us without upsetting people who are not Catholic who would be upset.
It should be noted that people who attend church regularly have very high voter turnout rates. For the relatively uneducated it is twice as high as the voter turnout for uneducated people who do not attend church regularly. So the readers of Catholic periodicals and other media should be particularly important to politicians.
Taking Advantage of Anti-Catholic BusinessIn some cases businesses that logically should use Catholic media might not, perhaps because they do not want to support the Catholic cause. Catholic businessmen might want to set up businesses specifically to take advantage of this. For example, if the normal web based retailers of radio equipment do not want to advertise in Catholic periodicals one could set up a Catholic web based business that did. The Catholic web site could provide all sorts of information on how best to use its equipment to bring in EWTN, and advertise in Catholic media.
Those are my ideas, where are yours?Here are some of my ideas. But the idea of this web page is also to collect your ideas. So far I have had no success on this, people contact me asking for my advice, but no one has offered theirs. Nevertheless I keep trying. If we put our heads together perhaps we can really increase the advertising support for Catholic media.
You can leave a message for me in my guest book. Leave an e-mail, and I will contact you.
Past marketing suggestions and consultingLet me mention some of my other volunteer activities in marketing. I wrote a letter to the editor published in the New York Times suggesting that Internet bookstores put an excerpt, the table of contents, and the index on line. Amazon had already put a few excerpts up, but several months after my letter ran Amazon implemented their Look Inside system. Did influence this, or simply predict it. If you are going to take up my offer of free advice it does not really matter.
I sent e-mails to several Internet appliance companies suggesting four sales points they could use. Two made no change, but the third used two and maybe three of my ideas.
I mentioned above how I sent a letter into California Computer News that was used as an Ad. That was my intention all along. I think it is was my first attempt at writing ad copy and it worked. But perhaps it was not my first attempt, my memory can be a little selective.
Pages for carrying on the "New Evangelization"Here are some more web pages with tips, suggestions, and ideas for carrying out the "new evangelization" that Pope John Paul ll is calling for.
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