Pope Benedict in digital difficulty

An Italian company “Reputation Manager” has published a study claiming to show that Pope Benedict is having difficulty on the Web getting his message across.

The study, published on “Expansion”, shows that unlike the Dalai Lama, almost half of the Holy Father’s online content has a ‘negative tone’ and a ‘prejudicial impact’.

The research was carried out using a ‘common conceptual model’ focussing on three elements: personal image, religious life and communication.

The results show that online videos and social networks give a ‘balanced’ image of the Dalai Lama, whereas the descriptions of Pope Benedict were “emotional and negative”.

Almost half of the content relating to Pope Benedict (48.74%) has a negative tone and prejudicial impact while only 7% was seen as positive. The remaining 44% was judged to be neutral.

The Dalai Lama’s qualitative and quantitive results show him to be significantly more popular and the emotional impact of his words were seen to be generally more balanced in favour of positivity.

The picture was no different on the social networks, the Dalai Lama having 4.4m fans across 290 pages and 71 groups on Facebook, compared with Holy Father’s 236,000 fans across 154 pages and 62 active groups on Facebook.

In the area of ‘active followers’, both religious leaders shared some similarity, with Pope Benedict coming out slightly ahead. The Holy Father’s active followers are recorded at 1.8%, whereas the Dalai Lama’s active following was just 1.7%.


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