Katharine Jefferts Schori’s Public Relations Efforts
Over on TitusOneNine, Kendall Harmon had linked to something with the headline “Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori invited to Anglican Provinces throughout Asia.”
I nearly passed it by, but I was struck by the, um . . . sweeping generalization of the headline. See, when you’re trying to spin something as successful, but want to be vague on the details, you say stuff like [name of person you want to pump up] [verb indicating achievement] and “throughout [an entire continent].”
Here’s an example of how this would work if Matt Kennedy had a public relations flack who wasn’t very good [but was trying really hard.]
“Famed New York Preacher Matt Kennedy Launches North American Tour”
You could even say “Famed Acknowledged Well-Respected Preacher Matt Kennedy Launches Grand North American Tour.” For the novice reader, this could be considered really neat, even if he doesn’t know Matt Kennedy. After all, if he’s made it in New York, then he can make it anywhere, right?
But upon reading the article, one discovers that “New York” means “New York State” not “New York City.” And the “North American tour” consists of preaching stints in Georgia and Texas.
Technically speaking, all of the things mentioned in the headline are correct. Matt Kennedy is famed, acknowledged, and well-respected in his circles. And Matt is in New York. And were Matt to preach in Georgia and Texas, one could truthfully say that he is engaged in a “North American Tour.”
But . . . the sweeping vague grandiosity of the headline gives the game away. And it does an actual disservice to who Matt Kennedy is because it attempts to inflate someone who needs no inflation. The only thing such a headline would demonstrate is that either 1) Matt Kennedy seeks recognition beyond his current standing—he wants to leap a rung or two in public recognition and credibility before he is ready or 2) he hired a klutzy pr person.
That’s my general thesis.
But let’s dig a bit more into the details of this actual news release.
First off, this is announcing an “achievement” received from a particular set of people—leaders of Anglican Communion provinces who have, in theory, issued invitations [I have my own speculation even about the idea that they were “issued” but that’s for my own musing]. So immediately one recognizes—from the headline of the news release—the goal: to tout an achievement given by a certain niche segment of Anglitania. You’ve got someone who is quite desperate to rid herself of the taint of “anathema”—which has apparently led to someone news releasing tea with Primates of Provinces!
Note how carefully the release is phrased too. We are informed that KJS “has accepted the invitations of Primates of Anglican Communion provinces in Asia to visit, address diocesan gatherings, celebrate Eucharist and preach during February and early March.”
But . . . but . . . where precisely will she be addressing “diocesan gatherings,” and where precisely will she “celebrate Eucharist and preach”?
Ah . . . perhaps that is answered by the list of four Anglican Communion provinces in the third paragraph: the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.
But no . . . because we are told that what she will be doing in those four provinces specifically is “visit and meet with the Anglican Primates” there.
Now—it may be that our Presiding Bishop will “address diocesan gatherings, celebrate Eucharist and preach” in all four of those Anglican Communion provinces and if so, that’s an achievement . . . for her.
But we don’t know that from this news release.
We know that she is having tea with the Primates of four Anglican Communion Provinces. And we know that she will “address diocesan gatherings, celebrate Eucharist and preach” . . . somewhere or other . . .
But the most important thing we know is that Katharine Jefferts Schori needs to announce publicly that she is invited to go to some Anglican Communion provinces.
Matt Kennedy helpfully points us to another excellent model for this kind of news release:
Day of Shining Star to Be Commemorated in Foreign Countries
Pyongyang, February 6 (KCNA)—Events to mark the 70th birth anniversary of General Secretary Kim Jong Il (the Day of the Shining Star) were held in different countries.
They included a meeting and film show in Pakistan on Jan. 28 and a lecture in Benin on Jan. 30.
The chairman of the Pakistan Association for Self-Reliance Studies and other speakers highly praised the exploits performed by Kim Jong Il for the noble cause of ensuring the prosperity of the country and wellbeing of the people and peace and security of the world, adding that it is quite natural for progressive humankind and Juche idea followers to commemorate his birth anniversary.
He would be always alive in the hearts of the Korean people and global progressive humankind forever and his exploits in the international working class movement and global independence would shine forever, they noted, and continued:
The chairman and secretary general of the Benin National Committee for the Study of General Kim Jong Il’s Works said Kim Jong Il pursued original Songun politics, putting forward the Korean People’s Army as a mainstay of the defense capability for self-defence and a main force for building a thriving nation. He was, indeed, a peerlessly illustrious commander of Songun.
Socialism has won victory after victory in the DPRK and the invincibility of the Juche idea has been strikingly demonstrated worldwide despite the U.S.-led imperialist allied forces’ persistent moves to stifle the DPRK for several decades thanks to the treasured sword of Songun provided by him.
The revolutionary cause of Juche is sure to triumph as long as the dear respected Kim Jong Un follows the Songun politics, they concluded.
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