One of the main tenets of Catholic Web Solutions is that we can use the Internet and social media to advance our mission and raise awareness about our causes in ways that we could not do before they existed. This past Sunday, April 29, 2012, was the 49th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Last year, my search for Internet buzz for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations by religious communities left me disappointed. This year I was more encouraged.
In 2012, religious communities used a variety of online techniques to raise awareness about this day and to invite people to pray for vocations while also promoting their own unique charisms and missions. The most pro-active effort I found was a Google Ad by the Sisters of Mercy offering a prayer for the day. This ad appeared every time I did a search on the topic. Clicking on the ad took you to a press release about the day and then the prayer. The page also included an invitation to learn more about the Sisters of Mercy. This is an example of a good tie in with an international event.
Other communities offered short videos, interviews with religious, reflections, testimonies and blog reflections on the day. Many linked to the Holy Father’s message. I tweeted the links to all of the sites that I found and you can find those links on Twitter using the hashtag #VocationsWDoP .
Seven Tips to Use Events to Create Internet Buzz for Your Ministry
During the year, there are many World Days of….., National Weeks of…, and major events associated with different ministries. Find the one(s) associated with your ministry and plan how to use that event to get your ministry or organization better recognized. Here are some tips:
- Keep your offering simple, attractive, and on point.
- Use key words about the event in the title of your blog, video, podcast, or article for search engines.
- List those keywords as tags on your offering. This is also good for the search engines.
- Include a “Meta Description” (a statement of less than 150 characters about the point of your post that search engines can use) when you create your post if your web platform allows it.
- Be sure that you provide share icons (especially for Facebook and Twitter) on the post so that readers can help spread the word. (I was surprised how many sites I visited did not have these.)
- Promote your offering on your own social media sites.
- Link to and promote similar posts by other organizations and ministries. The more people who are linking to and promoting a cause the more attention is given to it. The more you promote others, the more attention you get.
While I was encouraged this year with more Internet buzz on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I hope to see even more next year. In 2013, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be April 21. If this is your ministry, mark your calendars now and commit to create some Internet buzz about it.
Please share any ideas you have about creating Internet buzz for ministries and organizations. Thank you.