Did you know - Pope Francis has his own social media command center at 1415 Fairmount Avenue ( lent by Project Hope) ?
And his own Philly “street team” working the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Independence Hall historic zones?
Distinguished by their blue “I got my Pope Moji” t- shirt, the latter (two dozen strong) are spreading the message “Pope is Hope.” They’re documenting the Pontiff’s visit – and those of his followers -with Instagram, Vine and Periscope images. And urging folks they meet to also chat it up and post pictures on social media with the hashtag #GoodIsWinning.”
Behind the project is a global Catholic media company called Aleteia. “No, the Vatican is not footing the bill, “said Aleteia’s VP of Strategy Jason Deal. “At the end of the day our sponsor is God. We’re independent of the Vatican but have liaisons through their communications department. We’re funded by donors” (including the French non-profit FEM) “trying to help the Catholic faith use digital media to engage with Millennials. The Pew Foundation has found that every religion is having a hard time holding on to young people. But Pope Francis is inspiring to them. They feel he’s a tremendous force for good in the world. So we decided to create a social media campaign to connect with them. We’re tracking and building on the posts they’re creating. ‘Pope is hope’ started with them, not us”.
So, too, did “the Pope is Dope,” a controversial post yesterday by Kim Kardashian that’s been spreading fast.
Partnering in the Pope promo project is Tracx, a social business cloud service that tracks and amplifies the online chatter, steers people to the content aggregator aleteia.org/GoodIsWinning and to the Pope’s own Twitter handle @pontifex.
“In the past month - from the anticipation of his visit to the landing in Cuba and now in the U.S. - we’re seeing upwards of twenty million posts and interactions, “said Eric Berkowitz, Tracx’ VP of Global Services. “Pope emojis have become especially popular, especially one that has him eating a Philly Cheesesteak. It’s garnering 20 percent of all emoji attention, though New Yorkers think he’s eating a hot dog. “ (Also a hit - the Pope running like "Rocky.")
Yes, Aleteia is banking-away the handles and email addresses of Pope posters, and hopes to keep the fires burning with them long after His Eminence has left the building. “We’re not doing anything nefarious,” said Deal. “We’re hoping to maintain a relationship, a dialogue going forward, but only if they opt in to communications.”