Profiles in Catholicism
An Interview with Kevin Banet
by Gordon Nary
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Gordon: You are an online marketer, and a member of St. Odilo Church in Berwyn. I especially enjoy the homilies of Fr. Anthony Brankin on their website. Can you tell me about how that website came about?
Kevin: When our family first attended the parish, I was astounded at the frankness and clarity of Fr. Brankinís homilies. So faithful to the Church, too. Sitting toward the back of the church, I could sense that his words were really hitting home among the congregation. I thought that such homilies need to be taken outside the walls of this parish. So I built the website, www.GreatCatholicHomilies.com, and have been posting Fatherís homilies ever since.
Kevin: Iíve been attending Mass nearly all my life, but this is the first parish where I have really made connections with other people. I guess a lot of this has to do with the fact that now we have a family with children. Itís easier to make friends when you have a family. Of course, the parish is really great in many other ways, too.
Gordon: Some, and possibly many of our readers may not know who St. Odilo was. Could you provide us with an overview of his life?
Kevin: St. Odilo was the fifth abbot of the Abbey of Cluny, France. He died in 1049. I have to admit I donít know much about him, and I even had to go to Wikipedia to get this information. You can see a statue of him there that shows flames at his feet. I hope this is not a sign of his eternal destiny, but has something to do with his belief in Purgatory.
Gordon: I have always been impressed (and somewhat envious) of your talent in website design and management since we met in 2006. What initially attracted you to website design and management?
Kevin: First of all, donít be envious. Having various talents means that you sometimes donít know what you should do when you wake up in the morning. However, in the 1990ís I was caught up in the digital fever of the time and worked with database design and later in web technology. I then merged my tech interest with my background as a writer and journalist.
Gordon: You have appeared to specialize in website design and marketing for many Catholic organizations. What about these organizations has attracted your interest, and could you list some of these organizations whose websites you designed and manage?
Kevin: Catholic religious communities and organizations are close to my heart, and it seems I just canít get too far away from them, try as I might J. My company, TreeFrogClick, does social media promotion for Home to Enhance African Life (HEAL), the Mercedarian Sisters, and the Visitation Sisters, to name a few. We also designed the websites at the Fr. Hardon Archive & Guild, the Poor Clares of Santa Barbara, and are serving more Catholic religious communities with our Come & See Vocation Program,
Gordon: I was extremely pleased to learn that you are the marketing
director of HEAL. You have an impressive background in
digital marketing and website design. Could you provide our readers with
some details on you digital marketing experience?
The whole digital thing is so much more complicated than in the old days, when you just took out an ad in the local paper. Today, you have to be a specialist, but I think that the targeting of audiences is ultimately better than in years past.
Gordon: Could you give us some background on your involvement with HEAL and any of the special challenges that you may have had in getting people interested and involved in the care of African orphans and widows?
Kevin: We use a proprietary target list of two million people in the U.S. who tend to be devout Catholics. I canít tell you how we developed this list because itís a company secret. The promotion we do strengthens the ties with those who are already closely involved, but the biggest problem is taking people from the level of interest to prayers and donations. We use various engagement techniques. It all takes time.
Gordon: Please describe you Prolife activism.
Kevin: Iíve spent some twenty years as a sidewalk counselor, and have trained sidewalk counselors as well. One of the biggest joys was holding a little baby girl in my arms months after we rescued her and her mom from the destruction of her unborn child.
Gordon: One of the many beliefs that we share is the importance of commitment of Catholic laypersons to become more involved in parish life as well as in the Church's global mission. Can you comment on when and how this commitment became a driving force in your life?
Kevin: I had a personal conversion to Christ at age twenty. Since then Iíve been attracted to groups who seem to be alive with the Holy Spirit in extending the Lordís redemptive work here on earth.
Gordon: Can you explain why you chose the name TreeFrogClick for the name of your marketing company?
Kevin: The chirping, or calling of a tree frog can be heard, but the frog often cannot be seen. This is like marketing. When done in a subtle way - one which is not forceful - a person can be convinced to take action without feeling like heís been ďsold.Ē
Also, a frog was featured in one of my daughterís favorite videos when she was very young. The only problem with the name TreeFrogClick is that itís hard to pronounce. I should hold a contest or something to see who can pronounce it the best.
Gordon: How can people contact you?
Kevin: Go to TreeFrogClick.com/contact-us/ and fill out the form, or call me at 708-393-4098.