July 2015 Update - Resources, News, Job Openings

Religion is part of everything, RCC helps you talk about it.

Another religious literacy resource

RCC is an early partner and one of 317 Spirituality, Religious, and Interfaith groups that signed on to the Charter for Compassion. The Charter is a document which urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassion. Below is a portion of the Charter that emphasizes the importance of religious literacy (emphasis added).

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings – even those regarded as enemies.

Member News

Dr. Karin Achtelstetter (MAL) has been appointed to a second term as General Secretary for WACC.

Bridget Holmstron (MAL) with the American Baptist Churches USA in King of Prussia, PA, is now Bridget Holmstron Lipin. Congratulations on her recent marriage.

George Conklin (MAL) had a photo he took of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 published on the Bates College web site plus a nice write-up about his photography and career.

Need a Job? Got a job opportunity to share?

Job openings in Washington, D.C.; Charleston, West Virginia; Dallas, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and New York, New York are listed on the Job Openings page on the RCC web site.

New Members

Lenora Knowles, working for the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, is a new associate member with the Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Worth considering

“RCC creates teachable moments” Cherilyn Crowe, member in the Washington, D.C. Chapter and Director of Communications for the Baptist Joint Committee, wrote in reference to assigning a write-up on their June chapter meeting to a BJC intern. RCC meetings are a great opportunity for networking. Consider inviting your organization’s interns to attend.

A peek at some of RCC’s 86 years of history – was PR a dirty word?

Religion communicators and RCC members in particular were the topic of an article recently published in the Journal of Public Relations Research. Written by Dr. Doug Cannon, former RCC Board of Governors member and now teaching Public Relations at Virginia Tech University, the item about some of RCC’s history is titled, “Who Do You Say I Am? A history of how religion communicators have often avoided ‘public relations’.”

This article argues that Religion Communicators Council members have historically avoided identification with public relations – especially practices associated with Edward Bernays. Council members appear to consider Bernays' research-based approach evil and manipulative.

Instead, religion communicators follow in Ivy Lee's footsteps. The one-time journalist promised to provide honest, accurate news about his clients, not advertising. Comments in council documents show that since 1929 members describe themselves more as technicians and in-house journalists who provide news about their organizations than as management-level public relations counsels. These comments reflect Lee's 1905 Declaration of Principles and a public-information approach to public relations.

Chapter News

Nashville Chapter – at the June meeting on World Environment Day at the Church of Scientology members heard from local experts on how to best care for trees and how to grow natural ingredients. Jennifer Smith, a horticulturist for the Nashville Metro Beautification Commission, offered tips and tricks on the best practices for planting and caring for trees. Brenda Morrow, who helps to organize a local community garden, shared knowledge from more than 15 years of maintaining vegetable and fruit gardens in a community setting. Discussion centered on practices for a better environment and noting new ways that Earth Care would be essential to the spiritual nature of life.

John Trybus and Bridget Pooley from the Georgetown University Center for Social Impact Communication led a hands-on storytelling workshop for RCC's Washington, D.C. chapter.

Washington, D.C. Chapter – “Storytelling” is the latest buzz word in the public relations world, but what actually makes a compelling story that can be an effective tool for your organization? The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council took a strategic look at storytelling during their June meeting. Members participated in a training session led by the Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) at Georgetown University, featuring deputy director John Trybus and program manager Bridget Pooley. They highlighted five building blocks of an effective story: an effective character, trajectory, authenticity, action-oriented emotions, hook.

Do you blog?

I’m interested in learning how many RCC members write a blog. I’d like to know:

  • Do you write a blog?

  • Is it personal or professional (as in part of your job)?

  • Does it have a “faith” dimension?

  • Are you willing to share a link to your blog with other RCC members?

I’d like to feature some of the bloggers in future editions of the Update. Send the info to [email protected].

Deb Christian
Chair, RCC Communications Task Force

Like RCC? Invite a colleague to join

Just a quick reminder that RCC is offering a discounted $75 May-December rate for new RCC members. This is such a deal! Please invite one or more people to join and remind them of the exciting conference that is coming up next year in NYC. Membership application can be found on the RCC web site. Thank you for encouraging RCC membership!

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