communications

Pope Benedict XVI joins Twitter as @pontifex

While Pope Benedict has indirectly used Twitter and other forms of online media to promote the faith in the past, he has never had an account on any social network to which he (the royal he—the Papacy) has been personally connected.

Pope Benedict XVI signature on Twitter background

That's going to change as of December 12 (the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe), when he tweets from the new @pontifex account (available there and in other languages at @pontifex_[language code]). The announcement made Twitter's own blog, and is detailed a bit more in this News.va post:

“In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated – as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.”

Pushing the Positive (Catholic PR and Marketing)

A few days ago, I noticed the latest Where is Matt? video on YouTube. In these videos, Matt is shown in various locations around the world, dancing in various exotic and urban locations, often with natives.

The videos are extremely simple, don’t require tons of professional equipment, crews, or even much more planning than “where to next?” Matt speaks quite a bit about how he’s made these videos, who’s helped sponsor him, and more on his site and elsewhere (he recently did an AMA (‘I am A’) on Reddit about his videos and life).

All of his videos are full of positive images, positive emotions, and seem to touch just about everybody who watches them.

Many Catholic PR people, journalists, and marketing specialists have told me that it’s hard to get people’s attention with positive news, and I agree with that, to a point.

Pope exhorts us to reflect in silence during 2012 Communications Day

Pope Benedict XVI's message for the 46th annual World Communications Day has been published on the Vatican website. We learned earlier that his theme for this year is silence, and the message is brief and impactful.

One passage that stood out in my reading was the following (emphasis mine):

Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God. In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.

Column in the Review: Catholics should be leaders in online communications

I recently had the first of, I hope, many columns on Catholic online evangelization in the St. Louis Review. I will post the column here for archival purposes, but you can read the column on the Review website as well:

The Digital Continent | Catholics should become leaders in online communications

by Jeff Geerling

The status quo is no longer acceptable.

That was the gist of the two keynote talks during this year's Catholic New Media Celebration in Boston. The Catholic Church needs to become a leader in online communications and social media — and it needs to do so now.

Father Robert Reed, director of CatholicTV, an online and broadcast television network, suggested Catholics practice the craft of media production and web development as a skilled craftsman would fabricate a chalice: As the craftsman labors over every detail and creates a work of art, which leads the priest and those present at Mass to ponder the mysterious and divine Presence within, so should we communicate and design our websites so as to allow Christ's love and beauty shine.

There must be a professionalism to our craft. We cannot settle for anything less than the best, most useful, functional and interactive websites and service on the Internet.

Communicating on the Go - A Guide to Traveling and Staying in Touch

In late 2009, I spent about two and a half weeks in Rome, Italy, which is far removed from my hometown of St. Louis, MO. Italy, France, Asia, etc. – all these countries are outside of AT&T's nationwide coverage plans, and since I wasn't going to be traveling for many weeks, I decided to not sign up for AT&T's extremely expensive worldwide plans, but rather did the following, which allowed me to stay in touch with friends and family worldwide, with different tradeoffs for each:

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