New Catholic PR agency looks to help Catholics become ‘strengthened in the faith’ — By: Catholic News Agency

null / Credit: Courtesy of Sophia Communications

CNA Staff, Nov 29, 2023 / 09:00 am (CNA).

A newly launched New England-based public relations outfit is working to promote a variety of Catholic organizations and endeavors by “spreading the faith via the media” through faith-based outlets and other markets. 

Sophia Communications is an outgrowth of Sophia Institute Press, a publishing company based in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The press publishes “many of the most beloved Catholic authors” and distributes “over 1 million influential books per year,” according to its website. It was founded by John Barger, who had formerly taught philosophy at Magdalen College, a Catholic school in New Hampshire.

Sophia’s newly launched PR firm debuted on Nov. 7. The firm said in a press release that it will offer “a vital connection to the ever-evolving faith-based and conservative media markets through their relationships with high-level press, influencers, clergy, and faith leaders.”

Sarah Lemieux, the executive director of the communications initiative, told CNA in an interview that the broader Sophia organization has had “so much success generating local, national, and international publicity for our own brands and products.”

With the communications firm, the group is “opening our doors to represent others,” she said.

Lemieux said the firm is hoping to support “mainly good Catholic organizations and causes on the one hand” as well as “those looking to enrich the Catholic world through their positive products and programs.” 

“Really, what we’re about is spreading the faith via the media,” she said. “When people buy books, games, music, puzzles, and calendars that we represent, they really just become strengthened in their faith.”

The group in its press release said its bookings “have ranged from local faith-based radio programs to national media networks like Salem Media and EWTN” as well as a variety of conservative print outlets and other media.

Lemieux told CNA the newly launched firm is still gathering clients. “We have a few in the queue,” she said.

“We have a lot of crossover products,” she said. “We get our clients on mainstream, secular, and Protestant media. We’re basically an evangelization tool using mass communications, and we love it.”

Among its clients include the Catholic companion book Benedictus, the bookstore Fraternity Publications, and several other brands.

The entire endeavor, Lemieux told CNA, is “explicitly Catholic.”

“We currently have about 63 employees in our institution,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to expand our team. We will be growing.”

(Editor’s note: In August 2015, Sophia Institute Press began partnering with EWTN to form EWTN Publishing Inc., which produces various publications with a focus on the works of EWTN’s founder, Mother Angelica. EWTN is the parent company of CNA.)

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