In something of a media case study  in “getting the word out” about a significant event in the life of one branch of the the Vincentian Family, coverage of the current General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission offers an opportunity to look at challenges, successes and failures in using websites and 0ther social media as well as what can be controlled and not controlled.

There is, of course, the official site for the Assembly on CMGlobal which provides documents, chronicles photos and videos , all in the three official languages (English, French and Spanish). The latter point about multiple languages presents its own set of difficulties! There is also the question of how large or small an official team there is at the actual physical location.

However, one of the lessons is that in today’s world, the “official” site is often only one part of the story. Oftentimes there are adjunct sites, or “fan sites” that do as well or better at covering a topic.

The Province of New England (in the US) and the Province of Poland are collaborating to bring news and images of the General Assembly to the web in true “Web 2.0” style.

How do they do that?

One method is the use of Twitter to post short updates about the Assembly. You can follow this link, or if you are a regular Twitter user, search for #CMPARIS1o to see a live stream of information from Assembly.

Another, for Facebook users is to follow FAMVIN on Facebook. Here you get current updates on the General Assembly as well as other news. If you are a friend, or a fan, the news shows up right there on your Facebook home page. Users are invited to participate in Facebook “events” such as  41st General Assembly of Congregation of the Mission” by the New England Province and XLI Konwent Generalny Zgromadzenia Misji created by the Province of Poland.

FAMVIN has maintained a Youtube channel, FAMVINGlobal and  FAMVINPolska where video for and about the Vincentian Family is made available. Some of these videos also appear on Vimeo.

There is also coverage, in Spanish, from the Province of Chile.

There is no end to the creativity of a person who is communicating out of love of the topic.

Another take-away is the fact there is no one way to get the message out. And, there is probably no way to always predict the method of communication that will be the most successful. Just like any successful teacher, you have to be willing to try different methods to reach different people.

Now – go forth and spread the Good News!

We would welcome comments, suggestions, etc. especially from those who have wrestled with the issues.

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