These are the best of times and the worst of times. The media landscape is constantly changing but new opportunities await. Social media, the Internet and technology have revolutionized how people interact, communicate, shop and even date. As journalists, producers, communicators, we are challenged to navigate these turbulent waters and keep our media entities relevant, viable and competitive. With the abundance of media choices, how do we draw audiences to our Catholic content and inspire, inform and connect hearts to Christ?
This is the focus of the 2019 Catholic Media Conference to be held in St. Petersburg, Florida June 18-21, 2019. The theme is Navigating Communications and it will give Catholic communication professionals a compass to direct their efforts in the coming months and years. If you are looking for a boatload of new ideas, proven methods of success as well as new and enhanced skills, be sure to join hundreds of other communication professionals for the 2019 Catholic Media Conference organized by the Catholic Press Association. You will also meet a wonderful group of individuals who will go overboard to help you feel welcome! Learn more here.
In addition to the traditional tracks for the Conference, which are Editorial, Design, Marketing/Sales, Social Media/Digital and Communications, there is a new track that is being introduced this year: Radio.
The Conference will be held at the Bayfront Hilton located in downtown St. Petersburg right across from the blue, glistening waters of Tampa Bay.
Downtown St. Petersburg is a vibrant and hip area known for its local culinary flavor, dynamic arts scene and exciting nightlife, which includes six breweries. Within walking distance of the Bayfront Hilton, you can find top-rated restaurants, colorful murals, marinas and world-class museums such as the Salvador Dali, which was dubbed, “one of the most beautiful museums in the world” in 2016 by Conde Nast Traveler.
The St. Petersburg area is also known for spectacular sunsets that can be viewed from rooftop bars, the beach or dining cruises. Right across the bridge, visitors will discover Tampa, which is known for attractions such as Busch Gardens, Adventure Island and cultural hotspots, such as Ybor City.
Not too far from the Bayfront Hilton, you will find Clearwater Beach, which was named the number one beach in the USA in 2016 in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. Plus, there are many other beach communities on the Gulf of Mexico near the Bayfront Hilton with more than 35 miles of white sandy beaches.
The spiritual life in St. Petersburg is also vibrant and impressive. The Diocese has nearly half a million Catholics and Mass is celebrated in 11 languages. Bishop Gregory Parkes recently announced a new vision for the Diocese, Courageously Living the Gospel.
Within walking distance of the Bayfront Hilton, the historic parish of St. Mary Our Lady of Grace beautifies the area. The church was built in Byzantine style with some Romanesque features. The building is octagonal with a brick exterior and a clay tile roof. Mass will be celebrated at this church twice during the conference.
Also, the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle is located six miles from the Bayfront Hilton. The cathedral recently underwent a $9 million renovation and expansion. A Mass will also be celebrated there during the conference. To watch a video of Bishop Gregory Parkes inviting you to the Catholic Media Conference, visit: https://vimeo.com/272793517.
Just like the gulf coast winds that cool the tropical paradise, traveling to St. Petersburg is a breeze. There are two airports within 30 minutes of the conference venue: St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) Airport and Tampa International Airport (TPA).