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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vatican circulates news about new Pope Francis I via Millennial-friendly print-digital-mobile mix

The Vatican doesn’t only have a new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a.k.a. His Holiness Francis I.  The Vatican’s in-plant printing operation, known as Tipografia Vaticana, has also installed a new Meteor DP8700 XL press (right).  

The installation (of the press, not the pope) was handled by MGI’s Italian distribution partner, Agfa Graphics.  Pope Sixtus V established the Vatican’s historic printing operation in 1587.  Its equipment now comprises sheetfed and web-offset, and its products now include a weekly newsletter, magazines, brochures, stationery, and envelopes for the Vatican, as well as several magazines and art publications for the Vatican Library and museums.

Vatican newshounds with a digital preference can also get their news via Internet and social-media sources, thanks to Irish priest Monsignor Paul Tighe.  For the past five years, Monsignor Tighe has headed the Pope’s 30-person social-media office, formally called Pontificium Consilium de Communicationibus Socialibus, situated on the Via della Conciliazione leading into St. Peter’s Square.  The operation produces:
*  Tweets for two Twitter addresses:  @Pontifex (the Pope) and @news_va_en (the Vatican) 
*  Content for the news portal
*  Content for Facebook at
*  Photographs on Flickr at

It also developed the (free) Pope App for Android and Apple iPhone devices.  

Clearly, just like the major newspapers I detailed in my recent cover story for PrintAction (entitled Reinventing the Newspaper the Vatican is discovering ways to deliver news and attract a younger demographic via a flexible, user-friendly, print-digital-mobile mix.

Update on 22 March 2013:

Coincidentally, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cross-Media Innovation Center Industry Portal reports recent statistics showing that printed newspapers and magazines remain effective at reaching all ages of U.S. consumers, including early-adopter Millenials (young adults ages 18-34).  (However, television ties with mobile for maximum reach with this demographic; both media reach 94 percent of these consumers in a given week.)  

The statistics also verify that U.S. consumers move between multiple devices and media platforms many times each day.

I am indebted to my LinkedIn contact George F. Sittlinger for bringing these statistics to my attention.