Pope Francis Turned to Accenture Interactive to Rebrand the Vatican’s News Operations

Digital experience agency for the Ministry of Communications

Accenture Interactive did not participate in any formal pitch process. Vatican News

Accenture Interactive has won one sacred account—the Vatican.

The digital shop was recently named global experience agency for the Vatican’s Ministry of Communications and tasked with modernizing the way the Roman Catholic Church communicates with its estimated 2.1 billion members worldwide.

Accenture Interactive is specifically charged with designing and managing a new streamlined communications system for the church, dubbed Vatican News. It will be responsible for unifying the Ministry’s various independent communication channels (Vatican News, Vatican Media and Radio Vaticana Italiana) and creating one online identity for the church.

“We’re basically shaping and reshaping the way they are communicating,” Alessandro Diana, head of Accenture Interactive Italy, told Adweek. “We’re creating a unifying message globally—one church, one pope and one message for the entire world.”

Diana said Accenture Interactive was sought out by the Vatican about six months ago and did not participate in any formal pitch process.

The above beta portal was launched on Sunday, the same day Pope Francis celebrated his 81st birthday. The Accenture Interactive-developed online hub provides an easily-accessible digital space for people all over the globe to get Vatican-related news, check out Pope Francis’ agenda and even listen to a Vatican News podcast.

Part of that, Diana explained, required overturning the Vatican’s outdated way of handling its separate communication channels. That description was literal as the organization maintained 60 rooms of different teams handling media channels (the magazine, website, etc.) for all 60 languages in which the Vatican communicates.

Diana said Accenture Interactive put in place a single multicultural, multimedia editorial team that works together across all channels. The agency will also design new logos and other brand elements to work consistently across all channels, with search portal and social media included.

The Accenture Interactive-led digital transformation is another part of Pope Francis’ plan to reform the church for the 21st century as it continues to recover from the 2013 clergy sex abuse crisis.

“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,” said Monsignor Dario Edoardo Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications. “The collaboration with Accenture Interactive, thanks to their solid global experience, has allowed us to develop an extensive strategy capable of uniting various working groups, the diversification of formats and the strengthening of brand identity.”

@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.