This page contains information and resources pertaining to my 2011 presentation at the Catholic New Media Celebration entitled "The Continuity of the Eternal Word in New Media". After that presentation is posted online, I will post a link to the full video and any other appropriate resources here.
Download this Presentation
You can download a PDF file with all the slides from the presentation here: The Continuity of the Eternal Word in New Media [750KB PDF].
We communicate an Eternal Word
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn 1:1)
Before we can proclaim this Word, we must ready ourselves—we need to nurture our own relationship with the Word of God. We can only do this when we are able to profess a relationship with Jesus. Here are two documents pertaining to the 'New Evangelization' to which we are called:
- At the Beginning of the Third Millenium (Apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II)
- Address to Catechists and Religion Teachers (by Pope Benedict XVI)
Social Media is Not Broadcast Media
Why are people not listening to our message? I posit that it is because we're not forming relationships with people in our communications. Instead, we're 'shouting at' people. We need to switch from 'broadcasting our message' to 'engaging our audience.'
Broadcasting is important, but only inasmuch as it moves people to act on an already-existing relationship. For example, the following words hold deep meaning to those who are in a relationship with Christ:
- "The Mass is ended; go in peace."
- "Christ is risen, rejoice!"
- "Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!"
Once you build up a relationship with someone, you next must give messages of truth and impact; otherwise, why would someone want to react to your messages?
Engaging Your Audience
Here are some of the major ways you can more effectively engage your audience by building a relationship built on respect and truth:
- Keep your message clear and simple.
- Make do with what you have, but also know your limits—pay for things like websites, designs, etc. that are important to your message.
- Build a consistent brand.
- Communicate for Comprehension (don't use acronyms!).
If we truly wish to make our communication relational and relatable, and truly effective, regardless of the where or the how, we must first commit ourselves to a strong relationship with Christ and his Church. After that, we must speak clearly and directly to people's hearts, and proclaim the Truth; the message of the Eternal Word.
- Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communication (Tim Schraeder, et all)
- The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops who Tweet (Brandon Vogt, et all)
- Prophets on the Digital Continent: Guidance for Spreading the Gospel Today (Jason Signalness)