Fresh out of the gate, the new Pope is trending strongly in the media! Pope Francis’ topline TrendSignal for March 2013 is 81, a whopping +46 point jump from the pre-Pope TrendSignal of 35 in February (as Cardinal Bergoglio), and a meteoric +54 point jump over the prior year TrendSignal of 27. This compares favorably to the World Leaders category TrendSignal average of 62. See the full World Leaders report, available by subscription or via MagCloud.

Cardinals Pick Bergoglio, Who Will Be Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY — With a puff of white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and to the cheers of thousands of rain-soaked faithful, a gathering of Catholic cardinals picked a new pope from among their midst on Wednesday — choosing the cardinal from Argentina, the first South American to lead the church.

The increase really comes as no surprise, but the magnitude of the change is now available through the TrendSignal metric and enables an easy comparison to the other 50+ individuals tracked within the World Leaders Report. What is interesting is the media volumes were quite low relative to other world leaders, but the Pope tended to draw his media coverage from high circulation media segments, thus skyrocketing his overall signal for the March media cycle.

Sentiment for the Pope during the month was relatively positive at 65%, although there was considerable consternation during the media build-up that may have kept the the positive sentiment metrics low until mid-March.