Roman Catholic Dioceses all over the nation are facing similar struggles in the recruitment of young men into the Diocesan Priesthood. A Catholic man’s call to the Priesthood is direct from God, but for each man, it varies in terms of strength and clarity. Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Seminary program has an excellent track record of helping men accurately discern their vocation, and ultimately, forming excellent Priests. But the process of nurturing young men in their faith formation prior to entering the seminary and encouraging and recruiting candidates for the seminary, was becoming increasingly difficult.
In an increasingly hectic and secular world, the Office of Priestly Vocations was having a hard time cutting through the daily clutter of young men’s lives, and properly preparing them to discern their vocations. With a new and young Director of Priestly Vocations in Fr. Joe Freedy, the Office of Priestly Vocations was ready to revolutionize and modernize its entire operation.
Most young men’s reasons for not considering the seminary were based largely on poor information.The best way to prepare these men to make good decisions was to have them meet face-to-face with Fr. Freedy and get connected with a spiritual advisor in their region. PghPriest.com had an adequate number of visitors, but those visitors stayed largely anonymous. It did not leave visitors with a clearer understanding of the Seminary and Priestly vocation discernment. Also, the site in its original Adobe Flash-based site, was completely inaccessible for almost 50% of its total web traffic, due to the incompatibility of Apple mobile devices with Adobe Flash.
ENTER COLD SPARK MEDIA.
An in-depth, quantitative and qualitative review of the Office of Priestly Vocation’s (PghPriest’s) communications efforts and operations was conducted. This consisted of a review of website traffic, along with additional, relevant, digital metrics and interviews with Priests, Seminarians, Youth Ministers, and parishioners of varying age and gender. The research indicated clear strategies and solutions that would help PghPriest have an impact on young men’s faith formation once again.
Branding & Design – Fight the old stereotypes and misconceptions about the Priesthood with more accurate images and bold design styles. Most importantly, apply this brand across all media, including print, social media pages and website.
Website – Design and build a fully-responsive website with a sleek, continuous scroll, designed to convert visitors into warm leads and provide Fr. Freedy with the opportunity to follow up and arrange a crucial, face-to-face meeting.
Content – Working closely with Fr. Joe and seminarians in both major and minor seminary, we worked to create attractive content over Facebook. This content was intended to reach followers of PghPriest.com who would likely enjoy, share and expand our reach exponentially across numerous social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.