The Catholic Church's first communications director has announced
an 'aggressive' PR campaign to tackle poverty, racism and drugs.
Weber Shandwick Worldwide senior consultant Mark Morley, who takes up
the newly-created post in October, said it was vital to focus on these
issues to engage the general public.
He said: 'We need to make our message mean something to people in the
street. We need to be seen as a social organ, as well as a spiritual
one, and get this message across aggressively.'
His appointment follows a four-month communications review, conducted
pro bono by Radio 2 controller Jim Moir and Grayling Group director
This brought together the Catholic Church's press, publishing and
training functions to create a unitary communications service for the
first time (PRWeek, 15 June).
By February 2002, Morley plans to have completed a full restructure of
his 20-strong team, which is likely to lead to an increase in research,
public affairs and media relations work.
He said: 'Unlike a commercial outfit, we can't compromise on our
message, which is the gospel. We have to appeal to 21st century people
in a Christian and Catholic context.
'I think the Catholic Church has been somewhat nervous in dealing with
the press. We need to be more assertive.'
Morley has worked in WSW's broadcast and interactive division for 12
months and was previously head of press for Liberal Democrat Susan
Kramer's unsuccessful London mayoral bid last year.
There are 4.2 million Catholics in the UK, but the church, which is
headed by the most reverend Cormack Murphy O'Connor, estimates only a
quarter attend Sunday Mass regularly.