Council Resources

Salesian, Communicator : Social Communications Handbook



Department for Social Communication




1. This handbook has a single aim: to help whoever works within Social Communication in the provinces, provincial conferences or regions by offering practical directions, helping to spell out the frame of reference already provided in The Salesian Social Communication System (SSCS). It was first published in 2001, but this current edition is a complete re-writing of that, given that a year or two is a long time in this age of 'Rapid Development' (the title of Pope John Paul's last letter before he died, and, appropriately, on Social Communications), and since so much has happened within the Congregation in this sector, following GC25 and the appointment of a Councillor specifically for Social Communication.

In his Letter 'With the courage of Don Bosco on the new frontiers of social communication' (AGC 390), Fr Pascual Chávez called for a change of strategy on the part of confreres in this area – not the creation of new guidelines but practical steps to 'release the life lying dormant in the doctrinal patrimony of the Congregation, and to find ways of embodying it in our educative and pastoral communities and in our localities' That is as good a statement as one could find to express the intention of this handbook.

Who is the handbook for?

2. The handbook has in mind primarily those with responsibilities at province level: The Provincial and his Council, Province Delegates for social communication. Others who will benefit include those working in social communication at any level, provincial or local (amongst whom Salesian Bulletin editors, writers and publishers of texts of any kind), leaders and animators in social communication, members of commissions and advisory groups People working in formation – of the young, of young confreres, of confreres generally in the area of social communication will find useful direction from the handbook, along with SSCS and the Formation to SC -  Guidelines, the latter produced jointly by the Social Communication and Formation Departments.

3. It could be of interest here to mention one other group of possible beneficiaries of this text:  national, conference or regional Social Communication Delegates and Commissions. Where a nation has more than one province, or provinces have formed a Conference, it has been found useful to organise social communication coordination around a national or conference Delegate. There is even the possibility of an as yet undeveloped regional communication structure

How is this handbook arranged?

4. The handbook draws from Part II of the Salesian System of Social Communication (SSCS): The functioning of SSCS, with further reference to aspects of Part III of the same document: organisation of SC Effectively, the structure of chapters here is as follows:

CHAPTER ONE: the province social communication plan the why, the what and the how; this needs to be read in conjunction with the outline for the plan provided in the relevant appendix at the back of SSCS.

CHAPTER TWO: the management and organisation of social communication within and beyond the Salesian community and Salesian Family;

CHAPTER THREE:the delegate and groups or teams involved in social communication as run by a province, conference, region.

CHAPTER FOUR:structures and services involving public relations but also internal matters such as documentation and archiving.

CHAPTER FIVE:coordination between provinces.

5. In each of the above areas there are responsibilities at every level: the Province Delegate has tasks to carry out in coordination with the Educative and Pastoral Project (EPP) of the Province, and by delegation from the Provincial He avails himself of an advisory team and/or a commission according to local circumstances.

6. Where there is no Province Plan it will be difficult, if not impossible, to work effectively with and in social communication in a Salesian way. Without a plan, whatever is done remains isolated and scattered, without impact.

7. Where delegation from the Provincial is missing, the Delegate's task often becomes complicated.

8. Since we are dealing with a continually evolving sector, there is a need for guidance and authoritative help: only the Provincial, supported by his Council, can give force to some of the choices involving local communities, and practical activities in education and evangelisation.


Communication at the service of the Province

9 In the view of social communication built up and developed by the Congregation especially over the past decade, 'our communities, works and activities...become part of a much wider system of communication within which they are compared and interact' (Fr Vecchi, AGC 370) The Salesian Social Communication System, as it is now termed, is a unified and integrated project very much at the service of the shared vision and values identified as the Salesian charism, and seen in practice  in a Province, its sectors of activity, its communities.

10 Social Communication is a distinct sector of Salesian activity; this sector is represented at Congregational level by a Councillor with a team known as the Social Communication Department, and assisted by an advisory body drawn from experts around the world. At Province level, this sector is also represented by a Delegate acting in the name of the provincial and with a team, usually known as the Social Communication Commission. There may also be an advisory body The social communication sector is placed at the service of the entire Salesian project as represented by the Province in all its activity.

Communication Plan basics

11. The Province Social Communication Plan (PSCP) is at the heart of our social communication action at provincial and local level This plan forms part of the province educative and pastoral project The Salesian community applies a pedagogical method in its educative and pastoral work: a model which is both gradual and circular.

Gradual: appropriate for the overall development of the young person and adult It does not offer everything all at once or indiscriminately; nor does it delay with what is needed when it is needed It pays attention to the path of growth, accompanying it, supporting and encouraging it. It avoids repetition and is not afraid of confronting new situations.

Circular: as opposed to linear, or to a model that sees things in terms of chronological order and which is not interactive. The circular model gathers up the richness of particular moments and experiences, instead of dealing with things according to a rigid time-line Our concern is that what has been acquired is able to influence steps yet to be accomplished, that it enhances research and response The process never finishes, but is something constantly in process.

The Social Communication Plan itself

12. A plan is the formulation of a detailed method or design by which a thing is to be done. It is something to be accomplished in a particular reality and which begins from that reality. The Communication Plan responds to needs and to questions arising from a broad frame of reference and as part of the province project

At this point reference can be made to the appendices to the Salesian Social Communication System, the second of which is an outline and 'check-list' of aspects and situations to be included in the PSCP of a province.

In the letter of Fr Chávez referred to above, a reference to these appendices makes it clear that they are in themselves an urgent programme to be read and to be put into action: 'by following the points listed...and accepting the suggested guidelines we are led to diagnose, plan, implement and systematically verify the state of social communications in the provinces'.

The plan is the concrete and final result of a planning process which is 'drawn up and implemented with the greatest and best possible participation at different levels; it should be constantly animated and periodically verified by the animation and government bodies of the province'.

In integrating The Province Social Communication Plan into the Overall Province Plan or OPP, the following elements are central:

The community.

A Province plan is not the fruit of one person’s thinking.

The following persons and groups should be in agreement concerning a formation plan for social communication (not listed in a specific order): the Province Delegate / Social Communication Commission / those responsible in the communities for being in touch with the province centre / those responsible for publishing in the province ( Salesian Bulletin editor, one in charge of Province Newsletter, editors of magazines and books from the Salesian centre etc), experts in communication in the province / educative communities in the province / the Delegate for Youth Pastoral Ministry and his YPM Commission / the PFC / the Provincial Council / and the Provincial This list is not exhaustive.

The charism.

Social communication in its various forms and aspects requires a policy outline that ensures its fidelity to the Salesian charism This outline is broadly stated in SSCS.

An example of contents of an SC Plan could be: Purpose of such a plan, relationship of SC sector with other sectors of province activity, organisational structure at Congregation level, province organisation, the SC Delegate, the SC Commission, the Advisory group, Information or Press office, local organisation and coordination, local delegates or coordinators, areas of activity, formation and information, business ventures.

At least one Province (Mumbai, South Asia) has produced a Social Communication Policy which is worth having a look at The policy forms part of an overall SC plan. This policy considers a coordinated means of presenting information (Bosco Information Services or BIS), media public relations (PR) processes and media advocacy, who is able to put out a press release and on what kinds of issues, crisis communication – what it is and who it will be handled by.

The Province SC Delegate and the Plan

13. The Province Delegate for social communication, who is a key player in the development, coordination and verification of the PSCP, and in its integration within the Overall Province Plan, forms part of a broader project involving all of Salesian life in the Province It is important for him to promote contacts, dialogue and understandings with the other sectors in a Province’s life. These sectors include:

14. Formation and its organisation.

People are the focus and criteria for choices when it comes to Salesian life and activity Each Salesian Province has a PFC (Provincial Formation Commission).

This organising group is not only for provinces which have formation stages organised within their province. It is something for every province since we need to think primarily of ongoing formation, not only of initial formation An understanding with the PFC is essential for the formation of young Salesians and confreres working in the communities, for scheduling formation interventions, and organising their content. The Formation to SC - Guidelines document (2005-6) produced jointly by the SC and Formation Departments, offers help in this regard.

15. Youth Ministry and its organisation.

We can never forget that we are always working in a shared and unified way within the broader areas of Salesian and Church pastoral ministry.

Coming to an understanding with Youth Ministry implies:

‑ being part of the Provincial Youth Ministry Commission, to give weight to youth ministry projects drawn up at province and local level;

‑ having the delegate for Youth Ministry or at least a representative, on the Social Communication Commission;

‑ frequently dealing with interventions and criteria utilised in carrying out projects in the different works and activities: school, technical centre, parish, oratory, publishing, youth-at-risk works etc.

16. Economer’s department and its organisation.

We all know how much quality communication costs these days, along with the financial resources needed to produce messages and information.

The Province Delegate plans by taking into account, amongst other things, the financial implications of what he intends to do.

Therefore some discussion with the Provincial Economer must occur before finalising a communications activity and presenting it to the Provincial and his Council.

This discussion considers also the possibility of carrying out communications activities which are 'financially autonomous’ in the sense of not having implications for the province accounts. For its part, the Economer’s office will regard communication work as a pastoral service which occasionally will also need some financial support.

17. Salesian Family and its organisation.

The experience of Don Bosco and his Family underlines the importance of working with lay people in the different sectors of our activities.

GC24 has drawn attention to the possible and desired contribution of lay people to Don Bosco’s spirit and mission.

In Christifideles Laici, the Church indicated the new fields for lay involvement for a new evangelisation, and did not overlook the communications field. Subsequent documents have developed this understanding.

Keeping in touch with the Salesian Family means having a large reservoir of possibilities, either of experts or of co-workers.

Lay groups in the Salesian Family often include in their statutes a call to work within Social Communication.

18. Missionary dimension and its organisation.

It is enough to remind the Province Delegate of what the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio has to say in n. 37 to motivate him to link closely with the Province Delegate for Missionary animation.

The missions, especially mission ad gentes, are a powerful communications message for our young people and it would not be advantageous for Don Bosco’s charism to overlook this area.

Wider contacts to benefit the Plan

19. Along with internal Salesian contacts, other contacts with communication workers in the local area are to be seen to and nurtured.

Journalists, those working in radio and TV, advertising experts, directors of news agencies, managers, song artists, music, theatre etc. are important for us. Contact with them has two purposes:

- to establish good relations for mutual assistance, to learn about communication as an art from those who are living it from within,

‑ to involve them in animation and formation, requesting their help at key moments and in ways that are appropriate to the objectives being pursued.

20. A practical consequence of the above could be an annual meeting with all those mentioned in the previous paragraph, to understand directions and new developments in the sector.

It used to be part of the Salesian tradition to celebrate the Feast of St Francis de Sales with those who worked in the communications field. The announcement of the World Day for Social Communications is made on the Feast of St Francis de Sales, 24th January Celebration of this amongst us seems an appropriate tradition, then, to maintain.



21. Animation is described in SSCS no.87 as ' educational processes' and as 'internal and external relations'. Animation occurs when there is a person to make it happen The Delegate acting in the name of the Provincial, the teams who assist him, the local coordinators in communities, all share this task of 'promoting various communicational realities' (GC23, 259), and their accompaniment.

There are at least four essential animation areas with regard to social communication:

– educommunication

‑ formation

– information

– production

Animation - educommunication

22. The Province Delegate assists people and communities to draw up Media education curricula. This handbook is not about offering material for such curricula For education of the young there is a need to seek out appropriate material to assist with education to media Confreres, too, require education to and through media. This is taken up below in n.24.

23. From media education to educommunication: 'Every community is called upon to improve institutional communication; to plan and bring about in the educative and pastoral communities education to communication and education through the media, educommunication, which includes education to the use of 'languages' and of the media; the use of the media for education and evangelisation in schools, parishes, oratories etc.; the promotion of dialogue with communicators, artists and publishers, especially if they are young; helping those afflicted by the new forms of poverty and those excluded by the new communication techniques; and improving the standard of media skills'. (Pascual Chávez, AGC 390, p 39).

24. Curricula dealing with social communication, particularly for young people, need to be flexible since the young are born with computers and television as part of their make-up! Rather than complete curricula for young people, we need to think in terms of units for knowledge and formation, since in many cases today’s youngsters are already ahead of their counterparts and adults of earlier times. This way, useless repetition can be avoided; repetition could be off-putting.

25. Help for those working in communication to carry out their work as educators, through the means they are using, goes beyond the possibilities and efforts of a Salesian Delegate and his team. But at least to think about the idea is a sign of wanting to discover what can be done so that communities and people don’t just complain about the products or instruments of communication but know how to offer some useful ideas and even some possible changes of direction.

Animation - formation

26. The Province Delegate for social communication is seen, in the overall organisation of the Province, as a formation person, in the sense that he has his own specific role to play in initial formation and ongoing formation of Salesians.

27. The Salesian curriculum outline for initial and ongoing formation, Formation to SC - Guidelines, is a resource and guide for the Delegate in his task regarding initial and ongoing formation

28. The formation aspect of the PSCP represents a primary task for the Province Delegate and the Social Communication Commission. Refer to the checklist in SSCS, the appendix outlining the PSCP.

29. Animation which ignores the context is ineffective. Formation requires of formators that they be part of life’s context so they can develop according to a plan which enriches the person.

30. One possible formation activity: attention is drawn here to an initiative involving the whole Church: - World Social Communications Day. This is a propitious formation occasion. The Roman Dicastery prepares reflection and prayer material for the theme of the Day which can be used in communities. Episcopal Conferences and Diocesan offices prepare practical materials for carrying out the Day well.

31. Some notes on what is useful when using this material:

‑ read the text of the papal message,

‑ organise a community gathering on the theme chosen by the Pope, giving some depth to the discussion of theme and problems connected with it,

‑ invite experts in the material presented by the message so they can offer a point of view and other perspectives to follow up,

‑ find time for prayer together about social communication, recalling its importance, influence, its possibilities, its risks and challenges in our world,

‑ suggest the possibility of a Communication Ministry for the reflection of the local Church . Given the many ecclesial statements, we could also move to action, recognising the service given by communication in the church. There is a long journey ahead. We can take the first steps!

The reference to celebration of the communication day does not mean we are limited to only an annual remembrance of our Salesian commitment in this sector.

Beginning with that day we can draw up other initiatives that bring attention to and promote an area that young people today live with such intensity.

Animation – information

32. Information is both internal to the Salesian Family and external. External information is represented by some activities which may also function internally such as the Salesian Bulletin and the Congregational or Province level web sites, but it also assumes activities and relationships which extend to the world at large. By internal information we mean what is done:

– for the Salesian community SDB

– for the Salesian Family.

Information internal to the community, then, concerns

– the province,

– the whole Congregation.

Here we cannot take into account all the information products available in different provinces, so we limit ourselves to some of a more general nature:

The Province Newsletter (1),

The Salesian Bulletin (2),

The Province website (3)

other typical products (4),

the correspondents’ network (5),

(1) The Province Newsletter

33. A Province Newsletter project is a topic worth attentive analysis.

Herewith the essential reference points for a meaningful Newsletter project and an effective informational tool.

34. Project outline:

– The Province Newsletter within the Province Social Communication Plan.

– The nature of the Province Newsletter.

– Who the Province Newsletter is for.

– Editorial policy for the Province Newsletter.

– Being in charge of and producing the Province Newsletter.

– The Province Newsletter structure.

– The Province Newsletter frequency.

– The Province Newsletter language and style.

We should not forget that for many provinces the Newsletter is the only information tool they have, internally or externally, meaning that they lack other channels for the flow of information. It is important to be aware of this if we are asking questions about the visibility and meaningfulness of Salesian presence and action in a place and a culture.

35. The Province Newsletter within the Provincial Social Communication Plan.

The first thing to be considered is that if there is no communication plan, the Newsletter risks being shipwrecked in history rather than in what’s actually happening in a province. It will be subject to constant change depending on who has been asked to produce it, or its choices will not respond to the province’s real direction. The province communication plan offers the essential coordinates:

‑ for the province’s history, which the Newsletter becomes the custodian and promoter of;

– as part of the history of the Salesian charism: the Newsletter should help with a re–reading of the Salesian charism in the Province’s situation, without locking itself into simply telling about celebrations which have happened or will happen; it offers cooperation and vocational commitment (in broad terms) with lay people who share Don Bosco’s style.

36. Fr Egidio Viganò wrote:

“Without substantial information about the origins, the history and the current life of our Congregation and the Salesian Family, there is insufficient circulation of the vital sap in the organism. Lacking proper impulses for identity and a sense of belonging, it atrophies.

Instead, with adequate information (circulation and communication of Salesian values), it grows in vitality, enriches awareness and enthusiasm for our vocation and gives rise to family joy”.

37. The nature of the Province Newsletter.

Not all province products serving internal communication use the title Province Newsletter. All provinces, however, have followed up the indications of the Special General Chapter in giving life to family news SGC n. 516 puts it as follows:

“Communication in and beyond the Congregation.

…B) AT PROVINCIAL LEVEL promoting abundant information by means of Newsletters which are interested in linking communities and confreres concerning problems regarding the Province and encourage free initiative, chances to meet, seeking solutions to problems and giving occasion for facing up to and revising ideas, experiments, methods, guidelines.”

The Italics are part of the Capitular text The result is as follows: The Province Newsletter is:

38. ‑an instrument of communication.

This is the first item emphasised by the SGC text: abundant information.

An instrument, then, which allows information to circulate: should follow, as far as possible, the criteria typical of any information product.

Current news is a substantial and necessary aspect of information.

39. ‑ instrument of communion.

Communion comes from awareness when this becomes a reason for interest, that is, affective and effective attraction, and relations created around common issues regarding confreres and communities.

The pathway to communion built around the Newsletter is different to that brought about by interpersonal relationships, or by prayer or by common opinion.

40. ‑ a stimulus to creative renewal.

The Newsletter is to be thought of and produced as something that tries to arouse creativity and renewal.

In some ways it is a place for checking out initiatives taking place, for experiments in new things or new ways of intervening, for pastoral creativity in response to needs of the time and place.

It is worth noting that the SGC aimed high where Province Newsletters are concerned.

The risk we can run is to make the Province Newsletter:

– an unrelated collection of stories about events. In some ways substituting the House Chronicle;

– a kind of review of printed items in the Houses and the Province. It can be useful in ensuring we don’t forget what has happened and how it was received in terms of Salesian events in the local and national press;

– a kind of official collection of ecclesial and Salesian documents at different levels world, national, provincial, local. Certainly a few special numbers containing documentation can be useful if they would otherwise not get to the Confreres. But there should be just a few numbers of this kind, not as a regular style for putting the Newsletter together.

The list of risks could go on. Better to show that each risk has consequences for the practical planning of the Newsletter. The Province Delegate is asked to evaluate the Newsletter in the light of the positives and negatives listed above.

41. The Province Newsletter: who it is for.

Choosing the public audience for an information product is important. It is essential to define the target, who to direct contents, language style, priorities to Broadly speaking the confreres are the recipients of the Newsletter.

The Province Newsletter also goes to some outside the Salesian community. The Province Newsletter doesn’t only deal with life in the religious community.

It considers the mission and spirit of a Salesian community which has the Salesian Family, lay partners as part of its horizons and plays a responsible role in Salesian activity.

Guidelines given by GC24 need to be part of the understanding of the Province Newsletter. Animation, a typical service of the SDB community for the CEP also goes by way of a communication product like the Newsletter. The choice, however, should not just remain broad or tacit. It is expressed and defined at different provincial levels.

The expectations of Salesians living in a province should not be lost sight of They take part in the life of the whole Congregation. The Province Newsletter should respond to these needs.

42. The Province Newsletter: editorial policy.

The Newsletter is:

– an instrument of communication,

– an instrument of communion,

– a stimulus for creative renewal.

All this can’t be done in improvised fashion or be left to chance.

The Province Newsletter has something institutional about it at the Province level. It should be able to present the Province in its typical contexts of society, church, young people and education. This requires guidelines, criteria, reference points. or, in other words, an editorial policy.

43. The reality has different names in different regions: editorial policy, frame of reference etc.

What is important is that the choice is:

a conscious one, founded on the precise nature of the Newsletter. The Provincial and his Council are part of this together with the Province Delegate for social communication, and the editor of the Newsletter;

explicit,such that it is public and well known in the Province; and known especially by those at work today, and those who are asked to help to put the Newsletter together;

consistent with the communication system in place in the Province. An evaluation should be made of information and communication products in the Province to study the relationship and coordination between them;

constant over time. To be honest the editorial policy isn’t something rigid, invariable, but nor it should not change for every edition.

44. The Provincial’s letter to the Confreres in the Province.

Some reflection is in order regarding the best place for the Provincial’s letter, if it forms part of the Province Newsletter.

As the first item in the Province Newsletter it takes on the role of a fundamental article (generally, however, this is not the intention of the letter, even if it could occasionally be this): consequently it would need to be written from this point of view.

In the body of the Newsletter, it could refer to institutional tasks – objectives to be aimed at, taking into account information coming before it and community news. The letter would thus function as practical guidance.

If it comes at the conclusion of the Newsletter it could have the function of encouragement, stimulus, review, planning etc.

So – the location of the letter is not a matter of indifference.

Nor is the perspective of the writer an indifferent matter.

45. The Province Newsletter – its production.

The Provincial appoints the person who puts the Newsletter together, choosing from available and capable people in the Province.

Generally this is:

– the Vice Provincial, or

– the Provincial Secretary, or

– The Province Delegate for Social Communication, or

– The Editor of The Salesian Bulletin.

Each of these choices has its advantages and disadvantages.

Not to be overlooked:

– the ability (already there or to be acquired beforehand) in working with information,

– availability of time for the job.

The Province Delegate helps the one in charge to coordinate the work:

– a confrere in each community responsible for sending in information,

– other useful matters which ensure a functional and easy production.

– a list of possible outside helpers.

46. The Province Newsletter – structure.

Organisational involves:

financial organisation: The financial side of the Province Newsletter is somewhat minor when compared to the finances of other products. Given that it is part of the Province institution, the Provincial Council should include accounting for the Newsletter in its overall financial planning.

editorial organisation: defining what makes up the Newsletter.

The different sectors of educative and pastoral activity in the Province should be referred to:

– formation,

–youth pastoral ministry

– Salesian Family,

– missions,

–social communication

– finance.

Other information relevant to the Salesian world has its place if it hasn’t already been mentioned in the above Similarly for matters referring to communities and works in the Province;

‑ organising distribution: finding out who the recipients are guides the kind of distribution. Consider possibilities for making the Newsletter known, other than to confreres, in the Salesian Family, local Church, people working in communication in the local area especially if it is the only institutional product in the Province.

‑ organising graphics and layout: these are technical elements and it would be helpful to have advice from professionals in matters like layout, headings, readability of text, design, photos for enhancing text and so forth.

47. The Province Newsletter: frequency.

What has been outlined above can be applied to any type of information product.

If current news is a characteristic of the information, an infrequent Newsletter (say three of four editions a year) will not carry out its real function. It is preferable to have a Newsletter with fewer pages than a huge product only occasionally.

48. The growth of on–line Newsletters.

This is part of a new reality. Facility in using computers and internet has given us new possibilities for sending information to and beyond the Salesian world.

Just an observation: it is not enough to put the paper version of the Province Newsletter on the internet This does not meet the requirements of that process.

The Internet has its own processes to be respected in producing information.

(2) The Salesian Bulletin

49. The Province Delegate for social communication in some provinces is also the editor of the Salesian Bulletin. In other provinces, they are not one and the same person. In this latter case the Province Delegate for social communication has some responsibility for animation, since he knows some information coming from the centre, following Council decisions.

What follows is of direct interest to the Province Delegate for social communication as well as, of course, the Salesian Bulletin editor.

The Salesian Bulletin is amongst our oldest and most institutional of Salesian information products.

Art. 41 of the Regulations outlines the broad purpose of the Bulletin.

“The Salesian Bulletin, founded by Don Bosco, spreads knowledge of Salesian spirit and activity, especially in its missionary and educational aspects. It is concerned with the problems of youth, encourages collaboration and tries to foster vocations. It is as well an instrument for formation and a bond of union between the different branches of the Salesian Family. It is edited in accordance with the directives of the Rector Major and his Council in various editions and languages.”

50.The Rector Major and his Council have over recent years undertaken a vast work of renewal and re–launching of the Salesian Bulletin. Following lengthy preparation by the Department, Fr Vecchi and his Council came to the following conclusions–decisions, which continue in force with minor adjustments as the years progress A number of items then expressed as aims, have now been achieved in practice (e.g. The Congregation web site indicates online Salesian Bulletins):

1. Giving the Bulletin visibility to make its relevance recognisable.

‑ All Bulletins should appear at least bi–monthly.

2. Making known and sharing to make people feel responsible.

‑ Setting up a world commission:

3. Effective organisation. Each edition of the Salesian Bulletin should have:

‑ An editorial group with its own tasks and functions

‑ An Administrative body

‑ A Constitution

4. On–line Salesian Bulletins:

‑ The structure of the General Administration Internet site

5. The linchpin of any practical strategy: people.

‑ Formation of SB editors

‑ Constant evaluation of the relaunching process and development

51. The work carried out by the Department at world level was brought together in book form: The Salesian Bulletin in the world – World Meeting for the SB for the third millennium – Editrice SDB, extra–commercial edition, Rome, La Pisana 1999.

The proceedings and decisions of the most recent 2005 meeting of editors of the SB from around the world, held in Rome, is available in CD form in provinces where the SB is produced, or from the SC Department in Rome.

At regional level, meetings have taken place for formation of SB Directors and co–workers, to put into practice the General Council’s conclusions.

Salesian literature on the SB is extensive, a sign of the interest by the Congregation, beginning from Rectors Major, in the product.

Circulars, various reflections, timely interventions, research in the field, experiments and creativity have helped this publication to grow.

52. The Province Delegate for Social Communication and the SB.

Animation tasks regarding the SB by the Province Delegate could be as follows:

re–reading together with the SB director, conclusions and decisions of the General Council, listed above;

planning together how to carry out these decisions: preparing a calendar of interventions on each point, determining the persons responsible;

helping seek who could be appointed to the editorial board for the SB: remember to involve members from outside the Salesian community, choosing from amongst those qualified from the Salesian Family and other experts from the Friends of Don Bosco;

studying together how to achieve an administrative body in the area in which you are working: Steps to be carried out here should be planned in detailed fashion in agreement with the Provincial and Provincial Council;

trying out formation opportunities specific to the editing of the SB: through training in journalism, training in different aspects relevant to a communication product;

establishing together regular evaluation of products or of the programme;

seeing to the structure of features to appear in the SB, for better presentation of the image of the Province and the Congregation.

increasing the address list of those who receive the SB, studying together with the director ways to reach people, groups, church and civil organisations who could be interested in Salesian news.

(3) Province websites

53. Province websites have become a regular and important feature They are more than a Province intranet and are accessible to the world at large In addition to the Province websites, communities and their works have widely adopted the practice of setting up a website There are a number of fundamental questions which need to be considered for the setting up of a website (quite apart from technical issues not tackled here):

– Who will this site be for? (Salesians? Employees? Students? Young people? The whole world?) Accordingly words, graphics and content would have to be chosen.
– What do we want to communicate to the target group? How can we present the information in a brief and appropriate manner?
– How can we build a site for this group that downloads fast, and is useful and easily navigable?

Province sites should contain a link to the Congregation site.

54. The website: – adequate communications concerning its use come from the Centre. The Province Delegate should learn from what has been sent out concerning the INTRANET/Reserved area, so he can help province delegates for other sectors, and communities, to use this to good purpose But one particular issue of importance for the SC Delegate in this regard is to advise the Coordinator of of changes to information, addresses already present on the site It is almost impossible for the Coordinator to keep up to date with changes unless adequately informed.

(4) Other communication products

55. Two explanations:

‑ The reference here is not to all the possible products in a Province but to those which fit the category of ‘information’. Other products, will be at least partly considered in the third chapter dealing with Salesian business ventures.

The reference here is to parish, school youth group newsletters, or those of other groups inspired by Don Bosco, all part of public opinion tied to the Congregation.

There are, besides, the many weekly, monthly news sheets which are part of local daily life. Radio and Television contributions which make known activities and initiatives of the Salesian community are also considered here.

Obviously we cannot include absolutely everything, since there is so much of it;

The reference is from the point of view of the Province Delegate for social communication, not from the point of view of the editors of these products.

56. The Province Delegate’s role is:

‑ to study the kind of coordination possible. This does not necessarily mean material cooperation, but rather the definition of concrete ways to make it happen;

‑ to offer everyone, generally, some criteria for working in the best and most effective way, so that products have quality;

‑ to help, when asked, in realising individual products.

The power of animation is no less than the possibility for decision!

The animation proposed regards aspects already dealt with relative to the Province Newsletter.

A small structure needs to be created which takes responsibility for the task of working with quality even in small things.

57. To ensure the functioning of Salesian information from the local end.

The Province Delegate should become the point of reference for the local communities.

One very useful item in a Province is a handbook or manual developed at local level and according to local needs – something along the lines of the handbook you currently have in hand, but more detailed in terms of communications needs and responses at community level There is an excellent example of a handbook of this kind available in Spanish, entitled Manual de Comunicaci