About our Consultation Services
The Catholic Press Association provides the opportunity for member publications to participate in an analytical review of its business operations. A team of experts with business, editorial, advertising and public relations experience work with members of the publication and make recommendations to improve the publication's ability to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and His church through print and electronic media.
If your publication is struggling financially, or evaluating ways to serve your specific Catholic market, this service will be beneficial to you and your diocese.
The consultation can be used to evaluate:
· Office job descriptions & work flow
· Circulation and advertising revenue structures
· Staffing needs
· Effectiveness of content to serve the archbishop and the archdiocese
· Satisfaction of the publication on a parish and readership level
· The entire operation or just a specific department
The scope of the consultation is entirely up to you and will determine if a team of one or of four is required to meet your needs. The goal is to give you a Best Practices model for moving forward.
Financially, the CPA provides member publications the opportunity to use up to $5000 in grant money sponsored by the Catholic Communications Campaign to offset the expense of a consultation visit and report. Member publications rarely spend more than $2500 and the CPA office provides in-kind services of staffing to facilitate the consultation.
In order to formally start the process, we simply need a letter of request along with an outline of your desired outcome. Once received, we will discuss the priorities, schedule the visit at a time that would allow us to meet with those who can be most helpful and pull together the most appropriate team to reach your goal.
Here are the steps of the process:
1. A consultation is initiated by a request from the ordinary of a diocese or superior of a religious community to the Catholic Press Association.
2. A contact person should be named through whom the CPA will work; this is usually a member of the publication’s management or a communications officer.
3. The CPA delivers a preliminary request for information from the ordinary (religious superior) or from the publication’s management, inquiring about the perceived need for the consultation. Knowing the need(s) will determine the make-up of the team of experts and focus its efforts.
4. Before the team arrives for a two- to three-day onsite visit, its three or four members prepare by analyzing a number of items. This is a lengthy list of information about the diocese or target audience, about the history and current operations of the publication or communications efforts. It requests data regarding revenue and expenses, circulation, salaries and commissions, advertising (if carried), plus information about governance, current content policies and production methods.
5. During the onsite visit stage, the team will need to initially meet with the ordinary, then with other stakeholders, including members of the publication’s board of directors, management and staff, diocesan communications officer, and others to whom the viability of the publication is important, including pastors, heads of ministries, and a sampling of readers, if possible. Should some important stakeholders not be available, the team will make arrangements to question them via other means.
6. As a final onsite stage, the team meets with the ordinary or religious superior (or a delegate) to deliver an oral preliminary report and to ask follow-up questions, if any.
7. The consultation team prepares its final report, which is delivered to the ordinary or religious superior without obligation for action. The ordinary or religious superior is free to act or not act on the team’s recommendations.