As you probably know, the Pope is visiting the United States this week in Washington, DC; Philadelphia; and New York City. While the crowds will gather on the ground for a change to touch the hand of Pontiff, there will be a lot of crowds online to celebrate his visit. By creating the #GoodIsWinning hashtag and launching PopeIsHope accounts across many social media platforms that especially target Millennials and Gen Z, the Pope’s visit will amplify social change messages around climate change, refugees, and more.
And these conversations will not be just be with and among Catholics or occur in a silo by issue or preach to the die hards who care about these issues. The campaign is targeting the casual advocate, drawn to the Pope. My colleague Brian Reich is one of the brains behind this effort and you can read more about it here. They have recruited a digital street team that will people to share their insights and ideas online using the #GoodIsWinning hashtag.
There are also even Pope emojis available. Twitter has given the Pope a customized set of emojis when you Tweet the hashtags above. And, there is a pretty cool app that let’s you create your own custom Popemojis.
The Pope is a great example of changing with the times.
“In our church we are always fishing inside the aquarium,” Archbishop Claudio Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told a gathering of journalists on Thursday (May 22). “And we forget that most fish are outside the aquarium.” Unless the church engages social media, he said, “we will wind up talking to ourselves.”
The Pope understands that in order to engage with younger people, he needs his message to reach their palms of their hands, any where, any time.
Emoji, those little pictures we see in texts and plaster all over social media, are a key way that younger people communicate – visual and fast. There are even whole novels like “Emoji Dick” or famous art works explained in emojis. There are few examples of nonprofits making use of them to target younger audiences such as this WWF Fundraising Campaign for endangered species. DoSomething.Org launched a campaign to ask Apple to diversify its emoji.
What can your nonprofit learn from the Pope’s approach to networked leadership and changing with the times?