What You Can Learn from the Vatican’s Social Media Policy

The Vatican has shut down WiFi, television, media and social media contacts, warning the cardinals that tweeting can get them excommunicated.
Author, Profit First
March 11, 2013

Secrecy for the upcoming Papal election is stronger than at any other time in history. Cardinals have been told not to tweet, Facebook or blog about the vote, the process or the election itself. There are the usual security efforts of sweeping the Vatican for hidden microphones, but it’s the tendency of the cardinals to talk to the media and to share their thoughts with their followers that has Vatican officials most concerned. Making sure no one influences the cardinals but the Holy Spirit in their choice for Pope is a tradition the Vatican intends to fulfill. They've shut down WiFi, television and newspapers and told the cardinals that violating the secrecy of the vote will result in their excommunication—pretty strong actions that have, of course, made any inside information quadruple in value.

Ironically, the most powerful marketing technique in the world is secrecy. Some use it with the intention to get exposure, and many try to use secrecy to prevent exposure. But, in every instance it gets attention. Ironically as the Vatican takes action to prevent a single word from leaking out during the “Pope Vote” they have drawn even more attention and more efforts from the media to get that inside info. 

Do you want people to have a high degree of interest in what you are doing? Make it a secret. You will be shocked how many people will find out about it.


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