The historic visit of Pope Francis to Colombia represented an incredible opportunity to build bridges of brotherhood and hope between people and to mark the advanced state of the peace process in the country.

apple tree communications was responsible for supporting communication during the Pontifex’s tour which brought with it one of the most impactful messages of the 21st Century: Take the first step in defence of life and in search of reconciliation, unity and inclusion.

“Taking the first step encourages us to open ourselves up to one another, extend the hand of friendship and give each other the sign of peace. Colombia has been seeking peace for a long time and has worked hard to achieve it. A stable and lasting peace, to view and treat one another as brothers, never as enemies”, said Pope Francis during his visit. The Holy See’s tour lasted four days and he spent time in four major cities: Bogotá, Villavicenio, Medellín and Cartagena.

Beautiful idea


We developed a strategy based on digital mobilisation and synergies in messaging to broadcast and position the key messages that Pope Francis was bringing to Colombia. This strategy was implemented in three phases:

The first phase began a month before the visit and aimed to set the scene and raise awareness of the Pope’s work and beliefs with activities for citizens and young people across the country.

The second phase was implemented 10 days prior to the visit and provided the most information about the visit. This was communicated via a purpose-built microsite and across social media channels.

The third phase directly involved apple tree communications, with our team following the Pope’s tour, capturing details and interviews to share these via social media channels.

The creative concept for the campaign was inspired by the Pope himself: “Francis, an embrace full of love”.  Since assuming the role in March 2013, he has continued to surprise the world with his leadership and willingness to tackle profound global issues. His forward-looking opinions on these issues formed the basis of the messages shared and of the innovative and modern means of their communication which have caused him to stand out from the more traditional ecclesiastical approaches of the past.



The modern and up-to-date content we created around the Pope’s visit allowed us to more than double the organic reach and average number of interactions on the President’s and the Government’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

The six hashtags we created received more than 233,000 views and had an average reach of more than 500,000 users.

#GraciasPapaFrancisco became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter on the 10th of September and we were able, through the Pope’s visit and his words, to win over the hearts and minds of the Colombian population.