Prepared by: W Bro Peter Wellings, Provincial Communications* Officer (PCO) 2014
Setting up the Lodge Communications* Officer (LCO) network was the first step in establishing a communications chain with a point of contact in each Lodge who has an up- to-date email distribution list of members willing to receive email information. This enables the PCO to send details of important activities for onward transmission to members, and for the LCO to let him have details of any special events which the Lodge wishes to distribute. It is a very carefully controlled environment to avoid the potential deluge which could arise, and is secondary to the Provincial Grand Secretary’s communications with Lodge Secretaries.
It also provides the opportunity for every Lodge to send reports and photos of their activities, for publication on the Lodge News page of the Provincial website, and for exceptional activities to be uploaded to the Freemasonry Today website.
LCOs should therefore be conversant with email distribution lists, digital photography, attachments etc., as well as ensuring all members are kept fully advised of Provincial and National activity.
Lodges without websites are virtually invisible to internet users (ie the whole world), being just one of many in a list on the Provincial website. Even a basic website will at least show that a Lodge is alive and kicking, where it is located and (hopefully) what it gets up to. For Lodges which don’t already have a website, full guidance notes have now been created, which include details of “off the shelf” website construction resources, and can be seen on the Provincial website. Support is available from the Provincial Communications team and also LCOs who have already been through that hoop.
LCOs should lead the way in establishing a website if their Lodge doesn’t have one, and when set up also be very involved with the content management, ensuring it is at all times fresh and up to date. Lodges with well designed and managed websites have reported significant interest from the general public, which have included several applications for membership.
The lively and entertaining website and communications workshop has proved very popular and successful, and will continue to be held.
LCOs are encouraged to establish links with their local media. Lodges should be very proud of the support they give to their local communities, whether by way of donations to worthy causes or hands on activity, and should be willing to share the results of their efforts with the rest of their community via their media. This does not include “big picture” matters of freemasonry’s place in society, which frankly the local media have little interest in, but does cover all the day-to-day content they need in order to function.
There are also “special projects” from time to time, eg Heritage Open Days and in particular the fast approaching celebrations of the UGLE 300 year anniversary in 2017. LCOs will often be first in line to receive details and should encourage members of their Lodge to take appropriate action.
LCOs will have the opportunity of becoming very close to the heartbeat of our unique organisation. LCOs will have the opportunity of becoming very close to the heartbeat of our unique organisation, whilst the increasingly few Lodges without them will undoubtedly lose out somewhere along the line and will hopefully catch up in early course.
* To reflect a slightly more modern perception of the role, titles have been changed to Communications Officers, formerley Information Officers.
Advice specifically relating to Lodge websites may be obtained from the Provincial Lodge Website Co-ordinator,