Apps and emo­jis her­ald pa­pal visit

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Richard Curran - Me­dia & Mar­ket­ing with Michael Cullen

AS the coun­try pre­pares for Pope Fran­cis’s visit, a huge me­dia op­er­a­tion goes into over­drive. But this week­end’s events are a far cry from Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ire­land back in 1979 when jour­nal­ists re­lied on telex, fax and land­lines to share re­ports and pho­tos. Over 1,200 jour­nal­ists from 31 coun­tries are here for the World Meet­ing of Fam­i­lies (WMoF).

Five press cen­tres and 40 sep­a­rate me­dia struc­tures in 10 dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions have been built for WMoF. Dublin Cas­tle is the cen­tral me­dia hub. The Pas­toral Congress is in the RDS, Croke Park is where the WMoF Fes­ti­val of Fam­i­lies will be staged and Phoenix Park hosts Sun­day’s clos­ing Mass.

The fifth me­dia cen­tre is at the Knock Shrine. The WMoF me­dia of­fice is work­ing with the Dublin Arch­dio­cese, Knock Shrine, the Catholic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fice (CCO) in Maynooth and the Vatican Press Of­fice. Headed up by Brenda Drumm, the WMoF of­fice has been based in Clon­liffe Col­lege for the past two-and-half years.

Drumm, who is on sec­ond­ment from the CCO, has five full-time press of­fi­cers. She says the WMoF ben­e­fits from the re­cent state vis­its by Barack Obama and Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth. Back in 1979, there were no smart­phones, texts and email. Nowa­days, ma­jor events can choose from var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms to get mes­sages out.

“WMoF 2018 will be a ‘so­cial’ one,” Drumm told AdLib. “We’ve four of­fi­cial hash­tags and they ac­ti­vate a spe­cial Pope emoji cre­ated by Twit­ter. We’ve a team of blog­gers shar­ing their view of the event with the world. There’s an app for that too and we’ve a pil­grim app for those com­ing here from 116 coun­tries.”

There will be minute-by-minute up­dates across all WMoF so­cial plat­forms, from Twit­ter and live streams on Face­book. The Hu­mans of WMoF 2018 is a nod to the Face­book story-shar­ing phe­nom­e­non ‘Hu­mans of New York’. iCatholic.ie has a pod­cast and will be push­ing out videos. It’s all in stark con­trast to 1979, when the then Catholic Press and In­for­ma­tion Of­fice was only four years old.

Back then, se­nior mem­bers of the Pub­lic Re­la­tions In­sti­tute (PRII) manned me­dia cen­tres around the coun­try. The cen­tre in the Phoenix Park was set up near the high al­tar with two tow­ers erected for TV cameras and pho­tog­ra­phers. The late Michael Col­ley, who was head of PR at the ESB, re­called the day started at 5am and the clean-up fin­ished just be­fore mid­night.

∗ When Pope Fran­cis touches down in Dublin on Satur­day morn­ing, he will be trans­ported to Áras an Uachtaráin in a Skoda Rapid. Three sim­i­lar ve­hi­cles with unique reg­is­tra­tion plates have been re­served. 182-D-9093 is the main ve­hi­cle’s reg. When the dig­its 9093 are in­verted, it looks like the word ‘Pope’.

Fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the Áras with President Michael D Hig­gins, the Pope will be driven to Dublin Cas­tle to de­liver a speech, fol­lowed by a visit to St Mary’s Pro Cathe­dral and a pri­vate visit to the Ca­puchin Fa­ther’s Day Cen­tre for Home­less Fam­i­lies. That evening, His Ho­li­ness will at­tend the Fes­ti­val of Fam­i­lies at Croke Park.

∗ The Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Au­thor­ity for Ire­land (ASAI) has joined the Euro­pean Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Al­liance’s (Easa) com­plaints body for the EU pledge, a vol­un­tary re­sponse from food and drinks brands to change how they ad­ver­tise to chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly un­der 12s. En­dorsed by the World Fed­er­a­tion of Ad­ver­tis­ers, the pledge is a re­sponse to EU calls for food mar­keters to sup­port par­ents in mak­ing the right diet and life­style choices and to help get to grips with obe­sity.

It means there can be no broad­cast, print or on­line ads for food and drink brands tar­geted at young­sters – ex­cept ads deemed to have a nu­tri­tional or ed­u­ca­tional value. An ASAI member will sit on an Easa ac­count­abil­ity panel and may be asked to help ad­ju­di­cate.

∗ In an ar­ti­cle in ‘Ir­ish Tatler’ magazine, Tara Flynn writes about the topsy-turvy world of free­lanc­ing – where some­times you’re up, some­times you’re down. “Truth is, I haven’t had that much paid work this year,” writes the Kin­sale-based ac­tor, co­me­dian, writer and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist.

Flynn has fronted and voiced ra­dio and TV ads for the likes of Du­lux Weather­shield and 02. Her new book, ‘Rage-In’, in­cludes some choice quotes, not least: “Satire only works with the ten­sion of mak­ing anger funny and the funny an­gry.”

And fi­nally... Ad­lan­ders wish­ing to build a ca­reer in plan­ning and learn about in­sights are in­vited to a free boot camp, led by Mark Pol­lard of New York’s Mighty Jun­gle – whose credo is “you don’t need ser­vices; you need pow­ers”.

The boot camp is in mem­ory of Grace McDer­mott, an agency plan­ner who sadly died in a house fire last year, aged 26.

It will be held in DCU in Glas­nevin on Satur­day, Septem­ber 22. Any­one in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing, should email Ger­maine Fa­gan at ra­di­ate­for­grace@ gmail.com.

Michael Cullen is ed­i­tor of Mar­ket­ing. ie; cullen@mar­ket­ing.ie

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