Finding Peace When Making Difficult Decisions & CNMC 2015 Wrap Up

Have you ever had to make a tough decision? The kind of dilemma that completely overwhelms all your thoughts for days on end. Well, I recently did.

That afternoon, I walked out of the conference room feeling bewildered. How could I leave? I couldn’t understand why I felt that the Holy Spirit was saying, “Your work here is done. Go use your gifts elsewhere.” Continue reading Finding Peace When Making Difficult Decisions & CNMC 2015 Wrap Up

Apple Unveils News App for iOS 9—Here’s How to Get Your Content in the App

During its WWDC 2015 keynote, Apple unveiled its brand new iOS 9 “News” app that will bring a reader experience comparable to magazine-style apps like Flipboard that pull in content from various sources around the web.

Yes, Another News App.

Apple’s Newstand app was a big failure. So why now?

Continue reading Apple Unveils News App for iOS 9—Here’s How to Get Your Content in the App

Why Pinterest Unveiled Video Ads and Why They’ll Gain Traction

Despite being one of the most popular social networks with an estimated 47.1 million monthly users, Pinterest hasn’t had luck with monetizing its service. On Tuesday, Pinterest announced the launch of Cinematic Pins (video ads), which is one way the company is hoping to change that luck.

After a measured rollout of Promoted Pins, the social bookmarking network aims to give marketers full-funnel advertising solutions in the coming months. Pinterest video ads come more than a year after Pinterest first started selling Promoted Pins, and the changes are a big step for its ad technology. Brands will be able to target about a dozen audience types from foodies and gardening enthusiasts to millennials.pinterest-business

Pinterest’s take on the video ad is definitely a bit different from the video ads developed by rivals like Facebook and Twitter. Cinematic Pins are somewhat of a rebuke of what Pinterest describes as “interruptive and annoying” autoplay video ads. With Cinematic Pins, the movement begins as users scroll down their feed and the speed of the animation adjusts to users’ scrolling speed. The full videos play only after users click to expand the pins.

Not only do these new units give brands the ability to expand their storytelling content, but they look amazing. The ads won’t be served to desktop users, which makes sense since more than 80 percent of Pinterest activity takes place on mobile.

For the announcement, Pinterest produced a video of how Cinematic Pins will look:

The looping videos will be on the short side. Pinterest is recommending that brands keep the full videos to about 50 frames, 10 of which are shown on users feeds. Launch partners include Banana Republic, Gap, L’Oreal USA, Nestle, Old Navy, Target, Unilever, Visa, Walgreens and Wendy’s.

bananarepublic-pinterest-ads

Of course, bringing motion into digital advertising isn’t a new wrinkle — animated banner ads have long been a staple in the market and brands have used animated GIFs, cinemagraphs and other formats to try to catch people’s attention. However, I believe the new Pinterest feature is unique enough to gain traction, although it will remain to be seen whether it will have staying power.

Cinematic Pins were introduced along with several other new Pinterest initiatives, including the impending official rollout of the company’s CPC based Promoted Pin program, now enhanced by cost-per-action and cost-per-engagement features. To learn more about additional advertising methods, read this wrap-up article from Marketing Land: Pinterest To Greatly Expand Advertising Solutions This Summer.

This blog post was originally published at DEGDigital.com on May 22, 2015.

4 Resources to Make Lent More Agonizing

Welcome to the second week of Lent. How has it been going so far? I hope you are off to a great start!

Admittedly, this post probably would have served you better if it were posted before Ash Wednesday. But hey, part of being Catholic is always striving to be better. So if you need a bit of a Lent pick-me-up, here are four of our favorite Lent resources to help you deepen your faith journey.

Continue reading 4 Resources to Make Lent More Agonizing

5 Digital Tools Every Catholic Media Pro Should Be Using

It seems like there are new digital tools introduced each day.

I don’t experiment with every app that comes out, but I do feel a responsibility to you and my clients to have some idea of what’s out there and what’s worthwhile. So, I took a quick inventory and created this quick-hit list of the five digital tools I use most often.

#1: Buffer

Buffer helps you quickly schedule content from anywhere on the web. If you manage multiple social media accounts, it lets you easily collaborate with other team members and provides high-level statistics on how your posts perform. The best part is their browser extension that let’s you “buffer” and share any web page, photo, even a text excerpt. This makes it extremely easy to schedule as you go about your daily routine online.

Why I use it:

Buffer is how I keep a consistent flow of interesting content in my social feeds. It’s so simple that I’ve kicked most other scheduling tools to the curb (except Tweetdeck, read below to see why). I also like that I can write a bunch of posts at one time, and choose which social profiles to send them to, and then Buffer will spread them out throughout the day or week based on a schedule I setup. Using their analytics you can even find the best time to tweet.

#2: Evernote

Evernote is so much more than a note taking tool. Sure, you can use it to write meeting notes and store your grocery list, but it acts more like a life management tool for me. Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life and it syncs across your computer, phone, tablet and the web.

Why I use it:

This is probably the tool I use the most often. I love that Evernote makes my life searchable. However, the key to Evernote is to commit to it and jump in with both feet. If you use it inconsistently then it isn’t that helpful. After using it for nearly two years, I’ve finally realized that the more you add to Evernote, the more useful it becomes. I never write things down on paper, but when I do I typically snap a picture to import it into Evernote.

#3: Tagboard

Tagboard is one of my new favorite social media tools. To describe it simply, Tagboard is a way to monitor keywords (a.k.a. hashtags) across multiple social media channels. When you search for hashtags it pulls in content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Google+, then creates a custom board filled with content from all platforms.

Why I use it:

I use Tagboard mostly as a discovery tool or when I need to quickly search through the social web to see what is trending. It is also helpful when you are trying to curate content around a specific topic.

#4: Tweetdeck

TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. You can organize and build custom timelines, keep track of lists, searches, activity and more—all in one interface. Additionally, you can get access to Tweetdeck through a Chrome web app

Why I use it:

I use Tweetdeck when I want to really dive into Twitter. I frequently use it at conferences to track conversations via hashtags and interact with others online. One of my favorite things about Tweedeck is that by utilizing lists and columns I can be extremely efficient when I login to browse tweets. Lastly, I sometimes use it to schedule tweets especially since it will auto expand images within Twitter natively (which increases the engagement rate on your tweets).

#5: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a measurement tool that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions. A lot of Catholic organizations don’t have a way to measure whether their digital marketing efforts are working or not. Google Analytics is one of the best analytics tools out there and despite being free, Google keeps adding functionality to it which makes it better that most other paid tools. You can also setup goals, including visits, conversions, time spent on the site, etc.

Why I use it:

I use Google Analytics because it allows me to see how my sites are performing. Having this data give me the insight I need to make smarter marketing decisions. Did I mention it’s free? Also, it is extremely simple to set up.

I’m sure you have your own ideas about tools I’ve missed, or things you use that readers (and me) could benefit from. Please leave a comment below and lets discuss.

 

Reaching the Mobile Generation – My #CNMC Presentation & Recap

I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2014 Catholic New Media Conference.

This year the CNMC was hosted by the Boston Archdiocese. My talk was focused on reaching millennial Christians. Instead of just posting my deck, here is a quick recap of the weekend (don’t worry, my slides are below too).

The day started out with Mass.

CNMC 2013 - Mass

We were blessed to have Monsignor Paul Tighe as the Keynote speaker. Msgr Tighe is the Vatican’s Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

CNMC 2013 - Monsignor Paul Tighe

Msgr Tighe is one of a small team of people who helped get Pope Benedict on Twitter.

“People asked, how can you use 140 characters, to evangelize? However, we forget that Jesus did a lot with a little.” -Monsignor Paul Tighe

Msgr explained how the Vatican came to a “digital realization” that they needed to be present on social media. For me, it was amazing to hear how intentional they are with their social media strategy and how important it is for the pope to be on Twitter. (Follow the Pope @Pontifex) He spoke about the recent success of Pope Francis’ focus on the #prayerofrpeace in Syria. He also confirmed that the pope writes all his own tweets and has the highest percentage of retweets than any other public figure on Twitter. Lastly, Msgr shared that the Vatican has learned by doing and predicted that the online community will continue to evolve into church of the future.

Throughout the day folks from SQPN‘s Catholic Weekend podcast were live streaming.

CNMC 2013 - Live Streaming

My presentation was in the afternoon. My talk was on how to engage the millennial church through the use of digital media.

CNMC 2013 - Patrick Padley Presentation

I discussed how the landscape of our culture has changed. Our message is more relevant than ever, but we as a church have to approach how we communicate differently (especially to millennial Christians).

Only 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing.

From 1972 to 2010 the number of marriages celebrated in the Church decreased dramatically by nearly 60%.

Forming Intentional Diciples by Sherry Waddel

Additionally, online communication has evolved. We now use our social graphs to find things and get recommendations.

Online Behavior Has Changed

SEE ALSO: Digital Strategy and Why You Need One (CNMC Presentation)

I explained that we need to approach Catholic communication just like a fortune 500 company would. With 1.2 billion Catholics in the world we are technically the largest “brand” in the world. So, we should treat our marketing efforts the same way.

View my slides here:

Then they held a panel discussion with me and some of the other speakers.
CNMC 2013 - Panel DiscussionCNMC 2013 - Panel QuestionsCNMC 2013 - Panel Discussion, Patrick Padley

I had a blast. I got inspired and met some fantastic people. Now what? I think I have what my friend Maria calls the CNMC hangover.

Photos courtesy of Pilot New Media and Boston Catholic

How to Use Foursquare as an Evangelization Tool

The other day my friend Domenico from the Archdiocese of Boston posted this on Facebook:

Facebook check-in light evangelization

Props to Dom and the Archdiocese of Boston for encouraging parishioners to “check in” on social networks when they visit church. This is a small, but powerful way to spread the good news. I regularly check-in to Church on Foursquare.

Some may say this reinforces a “holier than thou” mentality, but I would argue that it acts as a subtle reminder–a reminder of what is truly important, namely counting our blessing and thanking our Creator.

Foursquare Church Check-inAs Catholics we are called to be on mission and bring others to Christ. One Sunday, Fr. Tom Tank, one of my favorite priests from the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS was preaching on evangelization. During his homily he said, “As priests, our jobs are to bring others to Christ, however we can only do so much. You all have a tremendous ability to evangelize, sometimes even more so than us priests.” As Father continued to talk, he spoke about how we can reach more people than a single priest simply because we are out in the world in our places of work and on the sidelines of our children’s soccer games.

Father’s sermon was a call to encourage us to be a witness to others.

Let’s be honest, striving to live the authentic Christian life is difficult. One might say it is even radical in today’s world.

Why is it important?

Well, when others see someone living their faith they are taken back by it. We should live our faith, but evangelization doesn’t need to be done in grandiose, dramatic ways.

Evangelization can be woven into our ordinary, daily interactions with others. More often than not, when it is approached this way, more people are apt to listen. Instead of being threatened by theological banter, they are invited into a conversation.

After all, isn’t this the point of the new evangelization.

So despite the looks I get when I pull out my phone as I walk into mass, I will continue to check-in, because you never know when something will click for another person. Who know’s, a social post might be how Christ decides to call them home.