How the Pope Used Social Media

When Bette Midler tweeted about Pope Francis’ historic visit to the U.S. last month and his respect for the environment, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tweeted back: “Not only does he respect the environment, he LOVES Beaches” referring to one of the actress’s well-known movies. 

The tweet was part of an expansive social media push from the USCCB, which represents the Catholic Church’s bishops in the U.S., to promote the pope’s message of goodwill to a broad audience, including to digital savvy young people. 

Pope Francis’ U.S. visit shed light on the state of the Catholic Church in the U.S., which suffered a 3.1% drop in its ranks to 20.8% of the U.S. population between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. The number of Americans who don’t identify with any religion has also been on the rise — according to a Pew report released earlier this year, 35% of adults in the U.S. born between 1981 and 1996 identify as religiously unaffiliated, up 10 percentage points from 2007. Only 16% of millennials in the Pew study identified as Catholics. 

USCCB hired Golin, a public relations agency owned by Interpublic, to manage its presence across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the six-day papal visit, marking the first time the conference had worked with an agency on an online engagement strategy. 

“This is certainly a new area for the church and a place we felt we needed to be to reach those we weren’t able to reach before,” said James Rogers, USCCB’s chief communications officer.

Sourced through from:

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tapped public relations firm Golin, for a social media campaign during the papal visit to the U.S.!