Webinar: Taking Your Social Media Presence to Another Level

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, Ryan Koch, Director of New York Office of Public and International Affairs for the LDS Church, will lead a webinar with RCC members on developing an advanced game plan and adding techniques for your social media efforts.

This workshop will take you beyond the basic ingredients of social media and into a smörgåsbord of social media management, metrics, and strategy.

Topics will include online social media management tools, metrics to consider beyond “likes” and “favorites,” the social media clearance process, ghostwriting for principals, social media campaigns, crisis response and developing an editorial calendar.


It’s all about finding a good story, CBS Sunday Morning producer tells New York Chapter

By Linda Bloom

Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presenting the Wilbur Award to Dustin Stephens on April 1, 2017.

Photo by George Conklin.

CBS Sunday Morning is always looking for a good story that will appeal to their average audience of 6 million viewers.

The Harmony Project,” says Dustin Stephens, a CBS Sunday Morning producer, was one of those stories and all it took was a telephone conversation with David Brown – the “inspirational and charismatic” leader of the Columbus, Ohio, community choir – to convince him of that.

Stephens, who accepted a Wilbur Award for the story on behalf of his team during the 2017 Religion Communicators Council Convention in Chicago, spoke about the Harmony Project and CBS Sunday Morning at the New York chapter’s May 16 lunch meeting.

Jane Pauley was the correspondent for the piece. Rand Morrison served as executive producer and Lauren Barnello and Carol A. Ross were the editors.

At the beginning, Stephens expected the Harmony Project story would be a secular one, but, he explained, “the spiritual themes were so obvious that we could not ignore them as we put the story together.”


Webinar: How to Use Data and Research in Religious Storytelling

On Wednesday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, Professor Tobin Grant led a webinar with RCC members on how we can and should use data and statistical research better in our religious storytelling.

Webinars are just one of the benefits RCC provides to members.


Re-writing the script: analyzing gender and religion in the media

By Blake Meller

Karri Whipple and Dr. Glory Dharmaraj

Photo by WACC staff

In a workshop held during the 2017 Religion Communicators Council conference, Glory Dharmaraj, the U.S coordinator for the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), and media specialist, writer, and activist, Karri Whipple, presented the workshop, Re-Writing the Script: Analyzing Gender and Religion in the Media. This workshop focused on assessing the current state of gender and religion in media and provided ways to promote greater equity.

The workshop began with Dharmaraj presenting data on the disproportionally small voice of female reporters and presenters in the world of media and news. Dharmaraj said that according to the 2015 GMMP, only 38% of reporters are women in the U.S. Even more strikingly, “0% of these reporters covered religion.” Within the U.S., women are more favorably seen in positions where they talk about the values and responsibilities in the household, rather than talking about dimensions of their religious affiliation. Data does show that “5% of reporters report on religion globally.” This is a higher percentage than the U.S, but still shows a huge dilemma within cultures around the world, and how they motivate and accept women within the field of religious reporting.


Ali to communicators: We have to tell our own stories

By Nadine Hasenecz

Wajahat Ali at RCC 2017

Photo by Andy Rawls

Wajahat Ali received a standing ovation for his dry humor-infused pre-luncheon keynote “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to be a Moderate Muslim” Saturday at the Religion Communicators Council’s 2017 annual convention in Chicago.

As creative director of Affinis Labs, Ali creates social entrepreneurship initiatives for marginalized communities. In addition, he’s a TV host, consultant to the U.S. State Department and lead author of the Center for American Progress’ “Fear, Inc.” investigative report.

“I am an American Muslim of Pakistani descent – nothing helps one’s popularity more than saying that,” quipped the California-born son of immigrants, referring to the U.S.’ post-9/11 climate of Islamophobia.

“In all seriousness,” he added, “if you remember one thing from my talk today, it’s that if you aren’t writing your story, your story is always being written for you or told to you by others.”

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