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We are excited to announce a new, immersive continuing education experience specifically for diocesan communicators -- the inaugural Diocesan Communicator Symposium. The Symposium will be held June 4-7, 2023. It is being offered at no cost to diocesan communicators, who will need to cover only their own transportation to and from the Symposium site in St. Louis. 

 

A Diocesan Communicators’ Bootcamp Experience

Professional development topics at the Diocesan Communicator Symposium will include: 

  • The uniqueness of the Catholic environment, the challenges and opportunities of the current apostolic age, and structures and support for diocesan communicators.  

  • Message development and external communications planning and execution, including media interview training and crisis communications strategy. 

  • Effective internal communications – to diocesan staff, clergy, lay parish staff and parishioners.  

  • Best practices in digital communication – including strategic paid social approaches, geofencing and retargeting, and more. 

Symposium Hosts and Presenters

The Diocesan Communicator Symposium is being hosted by KPC, a Church-focused communications and marketing organization composed of a consortium of professionals, most of whom have experience working for and with Catholic dioceses and archdioceses. Symposium presenters are expected to include: 

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Katie Pesha, MBA

Katie is the founder and president of KPC, vice president of strategic communications for the Catholic Leadership Institute, and former executive director of communications and planning for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She is an adjunct business professor and previously served as national director of higher education programs for USA TODAY.

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Steve Mamanella

Author and a former communications director for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Peoria. Steve has also served as a communicator in the fields of Catholic health care and Catholic education. He owns Owl Creek Communications and is a strategic marketer and writer for KPC.

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Anne Steffens

A six time Emmy winning television reporter, Anne has served as the Chief Communications Officer for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. She owns Steffens Communications and is KPC’s crisis communications and public relations expert.

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Jared Bryson, MDiv, DMin

Jared is President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He previously served as System Vice President, Mission and Church Relations, for Mercy health system in St. Louis.

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David Spotanski

David is the Chief Operating Officer for the Archdiocese of Washington, who previously served in leadership roles with the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Diocese of Belleville, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

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Jon Givens

Managing Director of Experience Fresh, a brand-building agency.

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Kelsey Brewer

Senior Digital Strategist for DDI Media, a digital solutions company.

Who Should Apply to Attend?

The Diocesan Communicator Symposium will be an ideal continuing education experience for…

  • New, early-career diocesan communicators.

  • Seasoned communicators who recently transitioned from a for-profit, secular role to a diocesan role.

  • Diocesan communicators who perceive they are stagnating in their current role and are looking to upgrade their professional skillset.

 

How Can I Attend the Symposium?

As noted previously, the Symposium is being offered at no cost – thanks to a generous grant from the Knights of Columbus. Attendees need only cover their own transportation to and from the Symposium site.

 

The Diocesan Communicator Symposium will be held at the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center. The Symposium will commence on Sunday, June 4, with an evening reception and dinner. The Symposium will conclude just prior to lunch on Wednesday, June 7.

To ensure an immersive educational experience, the Symposium will be limited to no more than ten attendees.

 

To apply to attend, use the application form below to tell us about yourself, including why you believe you would benefit from attending the Diocesan Communicator Symposium. Please respond by February 28. We will confirm our Symposium attendee list by March 31.

Note: We are aware that the dates of our Diocesan Communicator Symposium partially overlap with the dates of the 2023 Catholic Media Conference to be held in Baltimore. This overlap in scheduling was inadvertent on our part. We recognize the many benefits of the Catholic Media Association and its annual conference for diocesan communicators.

Questions?

If you have questions about the Diocesan Communicator Symposium, please contact Steve Mamanella at smamanella@gmail.com or 314.304.5035. God bless you in your continuing service to the Church.

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