“Half of all Catholics have no idea the Church has any presence at all on the web”

That’s the summary that kicks off this report: 

 I read an interesting summary of the state of Media and the Catholic Church by Greg Erlandson from OSV today.  It’s well worth a read with Greg providing a very good overview of media and the Catholic Church and where we need to go.

One statement he made just caused me to stop in my tracks, “half of all Catholics have no idea that the Church has any presence at all on the web”.  Now, I can’t really say if this is true, but unfortunately it rings rather true to me.

My unofficial, but probably statistically accurate, survey of my company’s , Liturgical Publication Inc (LPi), 4100 church customers suggests to me that at least 20% of all Catholic Churches still don’t have a website.  Those that do, may have a good website, but may not be telling their parishioners that its there.

Your website is an important marketing and communication tool for your parish.  It should be the place to find the most updated information for what’s going on in your parish community.  Upcoming events, mass times, info on stewardship opportunities (yes, online giving but more importantly how to get involved), and notes from your pastor all need to be there.  We’ve talked about this before on this blog from how to market your church on the Internet to things that need to be on your church’s homepage.

What may have been missed is how to communicate to your parishioners that your church is there.  This is really a communication challenge with just one technical hurdle.  Over 20% of all church website traffic is now coming via mobile phones.  You need to make sure your church’s website is mobile enabled.  Can you find upcoming events and mass times on your smartphone?  If not, you need a website solution that will do so. As I said 20% of all church website traffic is coming from mobile phones and even more importantly, its the next generation of parishioners who are doing so.  Beyond that technical hurdle its more a communication message that needs to be continuously reinforced.

Read on.   And check out the insights in the CNS video below.

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