The Board of Directors of CAUUC have engaged these folks in developing CMI:
Mike Murschel, public relations consultant
WebTrax Studio, Estelle Carol and Bob Simpson, marketing consultants
In May, 2006, The Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council decided to fully support efforts to publicize member congregations through the establishment of the Chicagoland Marketing Initiative (CMI). CMI's steering committee canvassed CAUUC congregations for resources to retain a public relations consultant.
Mike Murschel, an Elgin-based church image consultant and free-lance journalist, has been hired to fill this role beginning October, 2006, and continuing. Mike's professional experience includes serving as Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing for the Lutheran School of Theology of Chicago, and on staff at the local congregation level. He currently writes the "Faith in the Valley" weekly column for the Elgin Courier-News daily paper. He has publicized interfaith issues and worked on interfaith dialogue across Chicago for many years.
He is a writer, facilitator, and theologian. Mike has published 1,400 feature articles for local, regional, and national publications, scripted video productions and events, and provided public relations through features, productions, projects, and materials spanning some 30 faith traditions.
Extensively involved in the religious community, he is a member of the Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders, the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, and several community and cultural organizations. Mike has also served as adjunct faculty with the Masters-level Writing Program at National Louis University.
He holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies with an emphasis on local theologies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film with an emphasis on writing and classical studies from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree from Elgin Community College; and has certificates of study from the Elgin Leadership Academy, Entrepreneurship from the Business Center at Elgin Community College, and in advanced Qi Gong through Master Zheng Hong Chen.
In May, 2008, the Chicago Area UU Council decided to focus the efforts of CMI for FY2009 on a marketing campaign, by mounting a "front door website" for the Chicago area congregations, a first step for inquirers into Unitarian Universalism. The CAUUC Board contracted for the services of Estelle Carol and Bob Simpson, members of the Thurd Unitarian Church and consultants in web design.
Estelle and Bob bring years of experience to creating stunning and effective communications for small to mid-sized businesses and organizations at affordable rates. They use free Open Source software, that is user-friendly, enabling websters to learn to manage their own websites. They also engage the services of the pair network, a "green" website hosting organization. Estelle and Bob have been engaged by First Unitarian Society of Chicago and Third Unitarian Church in designing their websites. They are available at reasonable rates to all our CAUUC congregations.
Bob and Estelle designed our website at "uuchicago.org," and will design and produce a postcard and brochure template that will be easily adaptable to individual congregations' personalitites.