Catholic Business Network Research
Catholic Business Networks
Going back to Medieval times, religious groups have sought to support their communities by patronizing one another’s businesses (HUD). Back then, for Catholics, and later Protestants, this was not a task that had to be consciously worked at; almost everyone was a practicing Christian. However, today fewer people identify as practicing Christians thus making the mission of the Catholic Business Network and related groups needed (Pew research). By seeking out other professionals that share the same values, religious communities can help connect members to jobs and the opportunities that traditional networking limits due to its secular nature.
In today’s market, the benefits of networking cannot be overstated. From directly knowing someone at the job you are applying to, to having a friend of a friend working there, many professionals rely on these informal networks to make connections and receive professional opportunities (Michael Page). Not only do they work to strengthen relationships and raise your profile, but they expose you to new ideas, different avenues of opportunity, and widen your network (The Advantages of Networking). While the benefits of face to face stranger networking is not to be minimalized, research has shown major advantages from simply networking within social groups (Cassie Walker). This is the type of networking that the Catholic Business Network provides, which is why the work is so important as it carves out a space for both religion and networking.
When creating the logotype itself, there is a host of Catholic imagery that can be pulled upon. Imagery around the Holy Trinity has been used since the inception of Catholicism (MM Del Rosario). The Trinity encompases all three natures of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As it represents the many natures of God it makes sense to include in the logo type as it would work with the dual purposes of CBN to gain sponsors and expand membership.
While there is a Catholic Business Network operating in the D.C. area, the NOVA Catholic Business Network is the only explicitly Catholic Business Network operating in Northern Virginia. However, there is one Christian Business Network operating in NOVA as well, which focuses on making connections between all Christians. This Christian Business Network is a branch of a larger organization, that spans across the country (Christian Business Network).
Will be provided at a later date by Dr. Shank
Social media presence/trending
The NOVA Catholic Business Network has a Facebook page, but posts infrequently and has few followers. Judging by the rough numbers Dr. Shank provided in class, it appears that only current members are following the page. The content they share usually has to do more with major Church events rather than upcoming local events.
There are a number of similarly focused organizations, trying to promote relationships between Catholic businesses using the media to reach out to members/potential members. They have small followings and tend to post irregularly.
Currently, there are few members of the NOVA Catholic Business Network. Across the country, there are a few related groups that have to same goals and purpose. On Twitter, there are multiple Catholic Business accounts that reach thousands of followers collectively. The content shared usually is about major Church news and events that the local group is putting on. This sharing of events is the main messaging and way that the groups communicate with the communities and reach out to possible new members.