TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘The Vatican’

Meet The Pope’s PR ‘Guru’

Greg-Burke-491x328

That Pope Francis is really something. He’s been a bouncer, a spy, a researcher, a damage control specialist and a living, breathing public relations case study who has so far been incredibly successful at improving his organization’s standing with the general public.

But what about the people behind him?

We missed the Vice and Daily Mail profiles of Vatican “marketing mastermind” Greg Burke last month, but the story is every bit as relevant and fascinating today.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Get hands-on content marketing training in our brand new boot camp, Content Marketing 101! Starting September 8, digital marketing and content experts will teach you the tips and tricks for creating, distributing and measuring the success of your brand's content. Sign up before August 15 and get $50 OFF registration. Register now! 

Catholic Church Plans to Turn ‘Bishop Bling’ Mansion Into Soup Kitchen

germany_bishop_limburg_184368475_620x350Last week we spent a couple of hours counting the ways in which Pope Francis is a PR genius, but now he seems to have outdone himself—or at least inspired Catholic Church officials in Limburg, Germany to follow his example.

Francis made headlines last week for temporarily suspending Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, aka “The Bishop of Bling”, for embarrassing the Church worldwide by spending a reported $26 million to renovate his official residence. We’re not sure who thought it would be a good idea for bishops to live in mansions, especially those with $20,000 bathtubs, but now the Limburg organization wants to go a step further by forcing the Bishop out of his fancy house and turning it into a soup kitchen/homeless shelter.

There’s no official word on these plans yet, but a spokesperson for advocacy organization Caritas Internationalis (which is itself part of the Church) has apparently discussed the matter, saying:

“The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake. People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence.”

Speaking as “typically ill-informed” members of the mainstream media, we see this as another step in the right direction. Also: the house looks cool but we think he may have overpaid a bit on that renovation—and the red just screams “please audit me!”

(Photo of protesters via Getty)

10 Reasons Why Pope Francis Is the Patron Saint of PR

Hate to break it to you, Saint Bernardino of Siena, but Pope Francis is the real patron saint of communications (if not “compulsive gambling” and “respiratory problems”).

Why, you ask? He’s only been Pope for a few months, and he’s already well into the project he’s prepared for his whole life: rebranding the Catholic Church for the 21st century.

The guy is, quite simply, a PR genius. Let’s review 10 reasons why.

1. He named himself after St. Francis of Assisi

He’s the first Pope Francis, and St. Francis was basically the original hippie. Raised rich, he chose to become a beggar, eschew all earthly possessions and live a solitary life communing with nature and straight up talking to animals like a scruffy Dr. Doolittle. You can’t get any more humble or anti-materialist than this dude.

What we’re saying is that the name alone sends a very strong message.

saint_francis_of_assisi_by_jusepe_de_ribera

2. He auctioned off his Harley Davidson for charity

Read more

The Vatican Uses Emoticons, Too

As of this moment, The Vatican hasn’t announced exactly who the new Pope is, but we thought we’d take the time to share this tweet and to apologize for our failure to create the world’s next Vine sensation, “6 seconds of white smoke”:

These aren’t quite traditional emoticons (consider the irony of that phrase for a minute), but the “crowds rejoicing” image is pretty cool. At this point, we’re just glad the Vatican didn’t encourage the young people at St. Peter’s Square to break into the Harlem Shake or unfurl a banner reading “Keep Calm and Wait for the New Pope to Emerge.”

Gay Blackmail and Scandal at the Vatican!

The VaticanWe knew Ratzinger’s retirement was a little weird! Today’s most interesting story comes to us by way of an Italian paper which claims that Pope Benedict XVI decided to step down and abandon his Twitter feed after receiving a 300-page “bound in red” dossier from the team of cardinals he delegated to investigate Vatileaks, the church’s worst “seriously, the butler did it” PR scandal in years.

The dossier supposedly revealed that a number of prelates within the Vatican, united by the fact that they all happen to be gay, have been blackmailed by “laymen with whom they had links of a ‘worldly nature’” and that “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments” (the ones that say “don’t steal or commit adultery”). The idea here is that, if the prelates didn’t do whatever these third parties wanted them to do, their covert Gay Mafia would be revealed to the public. And Benedict resigned in order to avoid doing more damage to the church’s reputation.

Juicy! Here’s the kicker: the Vatican “refuses to confirm or deny” the report. Its PR man says that “We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this”.

On the one hand, we want to congratulate these guys for not following the Lance Armstrong “lie and deny” damage control strategy. On the other hand, “no comment” doesn’t really resolve anything. And we know how much the public loves to speculate…

Most importantly, we can’t wait for Dan Brown to tell us what this all means.

Pope Benedict Beats Justin Bieber at Twitter

OK, maybe the world really is ending: In addition to comparing same-sex marriage to communism, The Vatican’s official newspaper published a story today to announce that…Pope Benedict just achieved a higher re-tweet rate than Justin Bieber (thereby winning social media for the second time this month).

While Benedict’s two million followers (1.2 million in English alone) can’t quite compare to the 32 million Beliebers on Twitter, The Vatican wants the world to know that:

“50 percent of the pope’s followers had re-tweeted his first tweet on December 12 while only 0.7 percent of Bieber’s followers had re-tweeted one of the singer’s most popular tweets on September 26, when he commented on the death by cancer of a six-year-old fan.”

We agree–Bieber should be ashamed of his total inability to mobilize his millions of rabidly devoted followers. But we see this story as a net positive, because it’s nice to know that the Catholic Church finally has an influential voice in the public sphere after all these years.

Pope Brings the Good Word to Twitter

Today the Catholic Church prepares to take a giant leap into the 21st century. No, the pope isn’t planning on appointing women to the clergy or condoning same-sex marriage, but he is about to bring the word of the Lord into the realm of social media: according to The Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI will soon begin tweeting from a personal Twitter account.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi made the announcement Thursday, saying that details are still to come but that the account could be launched before the end of the year. Although the future account will belong solely to Benedict, he will most likely sign off on tweets written in his name (he prefers to write longhand and isn’t terribly computer savvy, surprise surprise).

Benedict isn’t the first religious leader to take to Twitter – The Dali Lama opened an account in 2010, and while this won’t actually be the pope’s first Twitter appearance either (he first tweeted from The Vatican’s account last year), it will be the first opportunity for faithful tweeters to follow an account officially belonging to His Holiness himself.

No word yet on what his handle will be, but hopefully it will be a little less boy band-ish than @Pope2YouVatican.