By Gordon Nary
Gordon: You are a marketer in the Catholic world. Tell me what’s happening in the world of online marketing for Catholic organizations.
Kevin: First of all, there has been an explosion of great Catholic online material over the last five or ten years and it truly shows how the internet can be used for the Gospel. The depth and beauty of articles on websites, as well as videos on YouTube, allows millions more people in every corner of the globe to deepen their Catholic faith, and explain it to those outside the Church.
Gordon: What is the greatest need today in Catholic media?
Kevin: We need to make a bigger push in the mainstream media - to reach beyond the church pew. For years Christians, and Catholic Christians have been marginalized by them. Fr. John Hardon, S.J. at one time said something to this effect: “You would never know from reading the pages of the Chicago Tribune that this city is home to one of the world’s largest dioceses.”
So, religion, and especially Christianity, has been pushed out of the public square. The big media, the universities, and so on have mostly ignored us. Unless of course there is some big scandal to report.
These big influencers of society have taken the modernist road in believing that Christianity is just to make you feel good, or to provide social services. Something completely subjective, where truth itself is as unverifiable and elusive as the bubbles blown by a child at play.
These people ignore the fact that its deeper purpose is to transform the individual into a Christlike person, or to form a society based on a respect for the human person, who is made in the image of God.
Gordon: How then, can we reach the modern media?
Kevin: It does no good to go at them with a frontal apologetic attack. That would be like Don Quixote charging at the windmill. We have to use a roundabout way, such as appealing to human needs that are acknowledged by them and us. We have to reach out to them as individuals as well. People like Joe Scheidler, who would contact the media directly for his prolife work, did this well. Sometimes, when it comes to the media, you have to hold their feet to the fire, too.
Gordon: What is happening in the world of vocations?
Kevin: We are seeing a steady growth of vibrant religious communities, with many young faces, throughout the country. Every week or so it seems like I hear about a growing community that I didn’t know before. It’s so good to see the beautiful habits, and consecrated men and women dedicated to the common life, common prayer, and their apostolate, and just having so much fun doing it.
Not every authentic community is seeing new recruits, unfortunately, but God will reward their faithfulness in other ways.
Gordon: How about your work in public relations? How can this help Catholic communities and nonprofits?
Kevin: Here at Vocation Promotion, we are expanding our services by forging relationships with Catholic editors and journalists, as well as writing our own material for our Catholic clients.
Public relations has been the forgotten little brother of promotion in the Catholic world. PR involves influencing a magazine writer, editor or blogger, of the good of your client’s service to the community or Church. Their reach into the hearts of your target audience is much greater than your own. Their evaluation forms a third-party validation of the client’s work in the eyes of thousands of readers.
The PR person must not only understand the client’s service but know how to recognize a good story when he sees one. We were recently able to get coverage for a video made by the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament at the National Catholic Register, and EWTN. That kind of promotion raises their profile in the minds of their public.
Of course, you need tech savvy here too, such as how to measure the popularity of websites, how to track the number of newsletters opened, as well as knowing how to build out a marketing funnel with your website and social media profiles.
Gordon: Where can people go to learn more about your marketing services?
Kevin: I’m pleased to tell you. Go to VocationPromotion.com.