2018 Convention: April 5-7 in Atlanta, Georgia — Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication

DeRose-Hinkhouse Award entries open

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Reimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities

Reimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities, January 26, 2018

A note from the RCC President: New venture

RCC seeks to highlight how, through storytelling, communicators are instigators for change. To do so RCC is experimenting with a one-day conference format with a cadre of respected partners in a regional setting on the West Coast.

RCC is a lead organizer along with the Religion News Association in offering a conference hosted by the Knight Program in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Claremont School of Theology, and others.

The conference is 10:00am to 7:00pm Pacific time on Friday, January 26, 2018 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

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When ‘Like’ is Not Enough

By Candice Johnson

Ryan Koch presenting at the New York Chapter meeting

On September 19, 2017 close to 30 people gathered at the Church of Latter Day Saints for the first NYC RCC meeting this Fall. Ryan Koch, NYC RCC Chapter President, was this month’s speaker. He spoke on best practices for social media with his presentation, “When ‘Like’ is Not Enough”. This month’s luncheon was unique in that it was also a webinar for the RCC nationally.

Ryan began his talk explaining that social media was “free like a free puppy”. While social media is a free resource, in order for it to be successful it takes a lot of work to maintain. He then went on the explain that when creating successful social media campaigns to consider ABCDE: audience, behavior, content, design, and evaluation.

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Webinar: Spending Less Time While Posting More on Social Media

On Tuesday, October 10 at 1 PM EDT, Kurt Gwartney will lead a webinar with RCC members on time-saving and coordination in your social media efforts.

You have an editorial calendar, a media plan, and good content to share, but finding time to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+... well, there isn’t enough.

There are a variety of social media tools designed to help with the workflow of planning and posting. RCC member Kurt Gwartney will demonstrate his favorite tool, Buffer, while also providing reviews of similar products. He says Buffer cut his social media workload in half a few weeks after using it.

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RCC membership special — a “two-fer”

Beginning in July, RCC is inviting NEW members to join the organization for 2018 and receive the rest of 2017 at no additional cost. Follow this link to the Join RCC! web page.

It is a bargain! Who do you know who could benefit? Send them the link to Join RCC!

An Updated Look at Roles Religion Communicators Play

A new paper by Douglas F. Cannon, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, uses data from the RCC member surveys in 2006, 2011, and 2016 and “brings together findings from five different role-enactment surveys. The data combination gives a sharper picture of what religion communicators do and how their roles compare to secular practitioners.”

The paper, titled “Not Just Doers of the Word: An Updated Look at Roles Religion Communicators Play” is published in Public Relations Journal Vol. 11, Issue 1 (June 2017).

Doug is a former National RCC President and a current RCC board member. He is Professor of Practice in the Department of Communication at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Tips when covering Islam and Muslims

Wajahat AliTop 30 do's and don'ts when covering Islam and Muslims — Tips from Wajahat Ali, co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream to the 2015 RCC National Convention.

The first three are:

  • Do diversify your portfolio of token Muslims. Different Muslim super heroes have different superpowers.
  • Do not assume Arabs = Muslims and Muslims = Arab. Do not use them interchangeably.
  • Do seek out Muslims who are black and/or white and or other colors. They exist, not all are brown.

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51 things I’ve learned after 50 years in the editor’s chair

By Rich Peck

Photo of Rich Peck and cover of Speaking Faith

Rick Peck is editor of the 7th edition of RCC handbook, Speaking Faith: the Essential Handbook for Religion Communicators.

Photo of Rich Peck: A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.

  • Avoid unnecessary alphabet gumbo.
  • The use of a dateline saves space and adds clarity. Some editors say the use of a dateline misleads readers to believe the author was in that city. Readers are smart enough to know by the context whether the author was actually in the city or only writing about an event in that city. There is no need to repeat the name of the city in the article.
  • Adding adjectives frequently clutters sentences and they are often subjective; use sparingly.
  • Use precise descriptions: Avoid: “The young child.” Instead: “The five-year-old boy.”
  • Avoid using the same words in a single paragraph but don’t search the Thesaurus for a seldom used word.

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Convention news from elsewhere

U.S. religion communicators address violence and Islamophobia from WACC Global


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