In my last post, Glib Episcopal Church Advertising doesn't cut it I had some rather critical remarks to make about several offerings from the Church Center for postcards and other ads. So did several other people, notably The Black Giraffe and The Lead.
Those materials have been removed by the Church Center from the website for further work. They note this HERE.
I believe it is important to recognize that both the publication of these materials and their removal are positive signs. The Church Center believes, quite rightly, that advertising materials are useful and that presenting them in easily reproducible formats would be helpful. The attempt to say something that is both positive and hooks the reader, and to do it in a few words in an appealing font and graphics, is difficult.
The criticisms of the efforts produced was valid, but it is not meant in any way to diminish the importance of the effort.
So I appreciate the good grace with which the ad materials were taken off the website for reconsideration. I hope there will be more work done and new materials put forward. I believe the Church Center worked in good faith and with real energy to produce useful materials.
Reflecting on the whole matter, I think we are in a difficult time in terms of relating to the work of Church Center staff. Perhaps criticism could have gone to this or that individual at the Center and evaluated off stage. That might have been the better way, for surely the issue was not to dump on staff who are working in good faith.
But I must confess, even after being on Church Center staff and later on Executive Council, and knowing something of the structure of the Church Center and a fair amount about just how difficult it is for staff in the full flower of organizational trauma, I did not think to contact Church Center staff first. My first reaction on reading Black Giraffe's comments was to concur, and to do so on the internet.
Why? Because, frankly, I have not had the sense that it would make any difference if any of us had taken our criticisms there first.
But there it is. Somebody's concerns (Black Giraffe's, the Lead, mine, somebody's) did indeed make a difference.
So here is to the Church Center staff who took in the criticism, heard it, and pulled the ads with grace. I hope they will be back with more, and that I will see the work of friends, and not strangers.