USCCB News Release
February 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bishops' For Your Marriage Website Offers Ideas for 'Cheap' Dates
WASHINGTON—With tough economic conditions impacting families, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) "For Your Marriage" Web site offers ten suggestions for romantic, low-cost dates. From planning an indoor "picnic" to "midnight bowling," the ideas can inspire couples to be creative date planners.
"We came up with these low-cost ideas for time together as well as some articles that focus on family finances, which is a leading cause of marital stress," said Sheila Garcia, associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and lead staff for the project.
The "For Your Marriage" Website, located at www.foryourmarriage.org, stands as a key component of the USCCB's multi-year effort to promote the value of married life. The site was launched in June 2007 and now sports a new look and content. The page also is available on the social networking sites Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the bookmark site, Delicious.
"The new home page has a clean, uncluttered look with photos and headlines that point to the newest content," Garcia said. "We're also using some of the new social media Web sites that are popular ways that people connect."
The updated Website also includes a "toolkit" for Webmasters and others who want to spread the word about resources on www.foryourmarriage.org. The toolkit contains animated banner ads using Adobe Flash programming that automatically updates the ads with new content from the Web site. There are also static ads for other applications.
Another new campaign element are billboards now seen across the country in space donated by outdoor ad companies.
"They're in several major markets including Baltimore, Charleston, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and San Antonio," said Patricia Ryan Garcia, assistant director of the USCCB's Digital Media Office.
Radio and television public service ads also are part of the marriage campaign. The third and newest set of messages was released in December and invites viewers and listeners to visit the Web site.
To date, Nielsen Media Research reports that six "For Your Marriage" TV messages have been broadcast a total of 38,300 times. Mediaguide reports that the seven radio messages aired a total of 155,000 times.
The entire "For Your Marriage" project was made possible through a grant from the Catholic Communication Campaign.