I receive the monthly e-newsletter from the folks at the American Catholic Council – strictly for research purposes – and I’ve noticed a trend the last several months.
The most recent e-newsletter, from earlier this month, announced that the deadline to register for “Early Bird” discounts on admission to their June Council is April 10th. This is the “final deadline”. Now, that’s not news in and of itself. But when you consider how many “final deadlines” they’ve had the last nine months… Since July of 2010, the deadline has been continually extended. First it was late August. Then October. It got pushed out the following month. And still again. Each newsletter had a new “Final Deadline!” date for the “Early Bird” special.
Which means only one thing…well, two things. One, if they can’t agree on and hold to a “final deadline”, how will they ever agree to and hold on to their Newest And Bestest Ideas For WeAreChurch EVAH! And two, it means they’re not getting the numbers of registrants they had been hoping for. All together now: Awwwwww!
As of early March, they’ve had over 700 early registrants. The ACC’s been pushing this council for more than two years, and they only have 700+ committed ditherers (is that an oxymoron?) ready to descend into Detroit?
Sad and pathetic. And it could have been avoided.
It’s all due to poor marketing and branding. Where’s the pizazz? The excitement? Think about it: does the following statement, taken from the ACC’s most recent e-newsletter, actually mean anything? “As we seek to reform the Church that we love, let us pray our motives be pure, our actions be loving, our spirits be free, and our voice be faithful.” I don’t know about you, but I was yawning by the word “seek”. Doesn’t light a fire in the belly, now, does it?
It might be too late now, but the ACC should have hired a PR firm, or sought the advice of someone with the slightest notion of how to sell an event. Fortunately for them, the Marketing and Sales Division of AoftheA is willing to provide their services gratis.
It’s time to think big. Be bold. Push the envelope and all that jazz.
I say – they should have named their event the same way the Pentagon names their military operations. Yeah, “Operation Odyssey Dawn” – the current whatever-it-is going on in Libya – is a dud, but most of the mission titles have been epic. Names like Operation Eagle Claw; Praying Mantis; Noble Eagle; Desert Strike (all selected from this list). They evoke action, strength and resolve. They say something about the US military and their character – and that’s what the ACC needs in order to jump-start their lackluster upcoming conference.
So here are a few suggestions, free of charge, from the Marketing and Sales Division of AoftheA:
Operation Storm Canes
Operation Clenching Dentures
Operation Frequent Wind
Operation Bitter Reflux
Operation Anyone Bring A Spare O2 Tank
Operation Crash And Burn
Operation Broken Dream
Operation Open Schism
Operation Fading Hope
Operation Last Call
Operation Final Rupture
Operation Scheduled Naptimes
Operation Dam The Tiber
Operation Gray Fog
Operation Now That We’re Here, Does Anyone Remember What We Were Gonna Do?
See, with evocative names like those, there would be so many registrants, they’d have to double up on walker rentals and portable labyrinths.
Feel free to include your own suggestions. These folks need all the help they can get.