THE VATICAN: The Holy See’s communications secretariat has appointed Accenture Interactive to unify its communications strategy, as part of Pope Francis’ reforms of the Catholic Church, under a new digital entity: Vatican News.

The appointment of the professional service firm’s de facto marketing arm comes as the Vatican aims to increase the consistency and clarity of its communications.  

As well as taking on responsibility for designing the Vatican news, the firm is also tasked with putting together a multi-lingual editorial department capable of producing content in different media, for different devices and different cultures.

“We are launching the last part of the reform sought by Pope Francis”, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications said in a statement.

He added that the present reforms were a reaction to the current context. “Each reform does not originate from a mistaken past but from a present that calls for a change: in this case, today’s cultural and digital convergence require the adoption of production processes that are different from traditional ones.”

Monsignor Viganò noted the agnosticism of both software and format in today’s media ecosystem. As a result, Accenture Interactive’s core offer of controlling the experience suggests its applicability. In addition, the company’s 425,000 employees across 120 countries attest to the company’s global experience.

By unifying the experience, the Vatican aims to grow its online reach.

Since 2013, and Accenture’s acquisition of the London-based service design consultancy, Fjord, management consultancies have been taking an ever greater share of communications contracts.

Part of their advantage over agencies is the ability to take on far larger global contracts within a unified system. Speaking to WARC earlier this year, Joydeep Bhattacharya, Managing Director at Accenture Interactive noted both the results-driven nature of the business, but also “end-to-end accountability”.

Owning the entire journey is key to a compelling offer of experience. In the global survey of 616 marketing and advertising professionals that WARC conducted for the 2018 Toolkit, more than half of both client and agency-side respondents believed the customer experience would be a key area over the next year.

The Vatican believes that this particular capability of the consultancy will provide solutions to a broader drive by Pope Francis to decentralise the church. In September, he used his absolute authority to give national bishop conferences greater authority in translating liturgical language. A commitment, it would seem, to opening the church up to languages and cultures that is also born out in its online comms strategy.

Sourced from BusinessWire, Accenture, New York Times, WARC