The New Evangelization Goes Mobile

Google recently made an announcement that they hope will be a game-changer in their global competition with Facebook.  Facebook and Google both recognize that communication is going personal at the same time that it is going global.  But in their rush for advertising dollars, these organizations are going ga-ga over social media.  They might have forget that the youngest and most influential viewers are going mobile faster than they are going social.

In the Year of Faith, the Holy Father is encouraging parishes to use the latest technologies to communicate faith.  One promising way to connect with hyper-mobile people is through QR codes that ideally connect with mobile-ready websites. Mobile-ready sites with QR code connectors provide access through any device by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. In the Year of Faith, parishes in the Diocese can obtain this service for free.

Most people know what a QR code is.  There are free QR code generators available online.  There is an opportunity for parishes to get mobile-ready landing pages for the growing number of younger and more affluent Catholics.  This is especially important now that our target audience prefers to navigate the web via cell phone or iPad and tablets.  Catholic parishes can try out mobile-sites and QR codes for free in the Year of Faith.  A mobile site is a simplified version of your existing conventional site with just the essentials in a format easily accessed by a mobile device (smart phone or iPad tablet).  Visit via this QR code from your smart phone to see the difference. 

Reasons to go mobile include:

  1.     Smartphones outsell PC's and 50% of all internet traffic occurs with mobile devices (e.g. smart phones) - a number that will only increase in the years ahead.
  2.     Many conventional websites are expensive to update, and all conventional sites are hard to view from mobile devices.
  3.     Typically a person at a mobile device uses only 10% of the content at a conventional websites but expect to have 100% access.  Mobile sites accomplish both with a link at the bottom to the full website.
  4.     It's much more affordable to host and maintain a mobile site since they can be easily updated providing timely information by anyone who knows word processing.
  5.     Reach your audience, even on the go 24/7/365.  A conventional site is only really available when people are at their desk.  By integrating QR code technology and free GPS mapping services a user can access immediate directions to any event, at a moment's notice.
  6.     Smart phone screens are becoming crowded with apps which are expensive to produce and require a conventional distribution (e.g. iTunes) which means increased costs.

For example, S.S. Peter and Paul Church in Williamsville has posted a QR code for their new website on all of the welcome, packet, event promotions and program publicity.  St. Joseph in Holland has a QR codes that links to a mobile-site and links back to their full website.  Parishes with mobile sites and QR codes provide all parish information in the most accessible format.  These parishes allow instantaneous access to their business office hours, program and event details, staff contact information, worship schedules and much more in a way that is available to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.

The Office of Parish Life is currently testing a service offered free to parishes by Mobile Business Solutions in the Year of Faith.  Look for the upcoming webinar on going mobile "New Evangelization Going Mobile".  For more information contact Dennis Mahaney at 716-847-8393.