The Catholic Church opens its doors – again

The Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto has launched a new radio campaign and microsite to lure strays back to the flock.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto believes that Holy Week is the right time to attract lapsed Catholics back to the church. The group has launched a radio campaign and a new microsite, with the goal of drawing in those who identify as Catholics, but are no longer involved in the church.

The radio spot features a message from Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins accentuating the diversity and inclusiveness of the church. The ads are airing from Monday until Easter Sunday on 680 News, Sirius Satellite’s Catholic Radio and during various Catholic radio programs, such as Radio Teopoli on AM 530. ’680 seemed like a good fit, just in terms of its reach, and targeting young and middle-age professionals who are commuting,’ explains Neil MacCarthy, director of public relations and communications for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

According to MacCarthy the campaign is mainly targeting the 30-to-50 demo. ‘Younger people tend to go as the family goes,’ MacCarthy tells MiC. Additionally, the campaign is designed to raise awareness of the Catholic Church’s involvement in the community. ‘A lot of people know the Catholic Church as just the physical church, the buildings,’ says MacCarthy, ‘but the church is so much more than that. In the Archdiocese of Toronto it’s 500 Catholic schools, it’s Catholic hospitals, it’s social services.’

The radio spots also direct people to the newly-created microsite. The site, which launched on Monday, features information on Catholicism, references to local Catholic organizations and a searchable directory of 225 Catholic churches in the GTA. ‘We see so many people who are connected to the online world that it crosses many different demographics,’ says MacCarthy.

All aspects of the campaign, including creative, production and media purchasing, were handled internally. The Archdiocese is also planning another possible campaign that will coincide with Christmas. ‘When we have people already thinking about religion during those times of year [Easter and Christmas], it makes sense to have a campaign,’ explains MacCarthy.