Preparing Philadelphia to shine on the world’s stage
With this Vatican-sponsored event being held in the United States for the first time, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 (WMOF) had the opportunity to prepare the City of Philadelphia for the visit of Pope Francis and for visitors from around the world. In collaboration with WMOF and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Brian Communications oversaw and executed an 18-month campaign that positioned Philadelphia as a world-class city, delivered significant corporate sponsorship and drove record attendance at WMOF and the Papal events.
Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia
Pope Francis passes Independence Hall moments before his speech in front of the building
The World Meeting of Families crowdsourced mural breaks the Guinness Book of World Records
Of The Washington Post’s top five most iconic moments of Pope’s visit to U.S., 4 of 5 occurred in Philadelphia
“I’ll Be There” campaign press conference engaged local businesses in a grassroots engagement initiative
“Street Teams” delivered 10,000 #OpenInPHL kits containing specially designed posters, window clings, information packets, and buttons to local businesses
Pope Francis filmed his first-ever 30-second TV spot for the “I’ll Be There” campaign
More than 550 banners, sponsored by corporations, were displayed throughout Center City
Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation (Middle) and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation (Left), greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Philadelphia International Airport
Pope Francis signs the crowdsourced mural created by Mural Arts Philadelphia during the Festival of Families event held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Recapturing the narrative of a historic event
Despite a drumbeat of positive media coverage, negative public perception challenges still arose that needed to be addressed head-on. Team Brian spearheaded WMOF’s major marketing and PR initiative, “I’ll Be There,” which included the first PSA to ever feature a Pope, and branded collateral for businesses across the region. Further, Brian led city-wide branding initiatives – the largest of its kind in 15 years – and the development of the Papal Visit Playbook, the revolutionary online guide for residents. In addition to these efforts, Brian Communications coordinated corporate sponsorship and media relations surrounding the four-day Congress and two-day Papal Visit. Efforts resulted in a historic week, which delivered hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and more than a billion media impressions worldwide.