The Austin PR Firm Behind the Pope’s Social Media Messaging

One Texas public relation firm’s plan to raise the pontiff’s online presence in the U.S.

By Laura RiceSeptember 28, 2015 8:52 am,

Pope Francis wrapped up his trip to the U.S. this weekend. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you likely knew about his visit.

That was no mistake. In fact, much of the media and social media frenzy about the pope’s visit was carefully orchestrated. And it was the job of one Texas PR maven to make sure we were all talking about the pontiff.

Lana McGilvray, a principal at Blast PR, initially got the phone call from long time partner Kathleen Hesser from Sports Media Challenge and was asked to conjoin efforts to handle the papal social media presence during his visit.

“It’s not actually managing a twitter account it’s actually much more distributed and broad,” she says.

McGilvray says they were working with Social Media Challenge who had a 24-hour social command center that was staffed with 20 millenials to send out messages, illustrate campaigns and even curate some unique emojis.

Their efforts garnered national attention, even from late night show host, Jimmy Kimmel.

Ultimately the goal for McGilvray was simple – get the message “Good is Winning” across.

“We had a particular focus on millennials and it didn’t really matter to us whether it was Catholics, if it was Jews or if it was people who believed in religion or not – we wanted to connect in unique ways,” McGilvray says.

The final results show just that.

“From what we saw this campaign was phenomenal. People were interacting with the media, they were sharing it in ways we’ve never ever seen before,” she says.