April 2018 Update

Atlanta Convention wrap-up

Stories, details, photos all can be found on the convention page.

From Doug Cannon APR+M, Fellow PRSA and Atlanta Convention programming co-chair:

“We tailored the 2018 convention program to capitalize on the location and to reflect the work RCC members do. Atlanta was at the heart of the civil rights movement. That reality drove the theme, visits to local sites and the plenary topics.

“Research showed that about 40 percent of members were managers and about 60 percent worked as content producers. Therefore, we offered professional development workshops in three tracks: one focused on management skills tested on the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, one focused on story-telling techniques, and one focused on the ways communicators promote religious literacy and foster relationships between people of difference faiths.

“Ninety-three percent of people who completed the convention evaluation survey agreed that the overall event was a worthwhile professional development opportunity.”


Many THANKS to all our convention underwriters!

Mark your calendar now to attend in 2019. RCC will meet jointly with the Associated Church Press in Chicago, Illinois, April 10-12/13.

Member news

Eric Shafer (member-at-large), who collaborated with Tim Frakes, to produce 2016 "Stations of the Cross" video Bible study, reports that Frakes has recut the study into a 30-minute video for the Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministry's "Sanctuary" program that aired in March. You can see the program here: Sanctuary Stations of the Cross.

Robyn Lebron, (member-at-large) author of The Search for Peace in Times of Chaos Vol. 1 & 2 and winner of a Best of Class award from the DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards competition, sends word that Amazon is clearing out their supply of paperbacks without the award logo on the cover! $5.13 (Vol 1) and $6 .22 (Vol 2) plus shipping.

Jackie Fuller (Washington DC Chapter), vice-president of RCC’s Board of Governors, reports she has accepted new writing responsibilities as Religion Writer with The Washington Informer in Washington DC.

RCC membership benefits (in case you haven’t thought about them lately) include a listing job openings.

Job opportunities

News Reporter – United Methodist Communications – Nashville needs an in-house dynamic news reporter to research, identify and write breaking news and feature stories as they relate to the global United Methodist Church. See UMCom news reporter job description for details.

Senior Website Support Specialist – Also for United Methodist Communications. See UMCom Senior Website Support Specialist job description for details.

ABHMS (American Baptist Home Mission Society) is seeking a full-time fundraising director ABHMS seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial, effective and certified fundraising expert with a strong track record in all aspects of fundraising, including major individual gifts, corporations, foundations, events and campaigns, direct appeals online/social media and other arenas. See ABHMS job openings page for details.

See more on the job openings page on the RCC website.


Professional tips: technology & apps

From a recent New York Chapter meeting

Use: WhatsApp for phone calls and messaging, Google Keep for note taking, and the encrypted messaging app Signal. It was also noted that Gmail and the Chrome web browser are more secure and that it’s important to change passwords regularly. Attendees shared that they use Voice Memos and Garageband to record interviews.

Ryan Koch noted digital tools he uses. He first spoke of the photo editing app Snapseed. Snapseed gives you more options than Instagram and is more similar to photoshop. He also mentioned that Canva is also a good tool for social media graphics. Next he spoke about Buffer, which is used to schedule social media posts. It is different than other social media tools in that it allows you to tailor your post based on what social media platform you are posting to.

“Fake News” – What is it?

Former RCC board member Brian Finnerty (New York Chapter) shared a link to a presentation by Michael Warsaw, head of the global Catholic media network EWTN, about the real challenges posed by "fake news." The talk was given in Rome at an international conference for religion communicators, held every two years, at Opus Dei's Pontifical Council of the Holy Cross. The video is on Facebook.

Pro tips for communicating with young adults

From a recent Washington DC Chapter meeting

Targeting people in their 20s and 30s is something we all have to learn to do in order to be communicators at the top of our game, no matter our faith or organization. DC Chapter speakers Allison Friedman and Rachel Gildiner of GatherDC, (a group with mission to connect Jewish 20s / 30s to one another, Jewish life, and meaningful Jewish adult activities) led a lively discussion session on how any religious nonprofit can focus strategies to build bridges to the younger generations. See GatherDC shares communications strategies for reaching young adults for news story and a PDF of their presentation.

APR Accreditation available through Universal Accreditation Board

RCC is one of eight organizations represented on the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) which is the credentialing agency that manages the process to become Accredited in Public Relations (APR). Learn more on the Accreditation page on the RCC website. Jeff Huett is RCC’s liaison to the UAB. Doug Cannon is serving as UAB’s vice chair in 2018 and is scheduled to be UAB Chair in 2019. Doug also serves on RCC’s Board of Governors.

BTW – April was APR month.

Wondering about Wilbur Award winners? Who they are? What are they doing?

Learn about this year's Wilbur Award winners from the 2018 Wilbur Awards program and winners list posted on the RCC website.

Wilbur Award winner, Pastor Michael Waters, will speak at a joint meeting for the RCC Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter and Gusto! Speaking program on Monday, May 14.

The Washington DC Chapter May meeting will feature Wilbur Award winner Hannah Allam of BuzzFeed News.

Five-time Wilbur Award winner, G. Jeffrey MacDonald has been appointed interim Editor-in-Chief for Religion News Service.

Board of Governors members

  • Bud Heckman – President
  • Jackie Fuller – Vice-President
  • Daniel Hall – Secretary
  • Kurt Gwartney – Treasurer
  • Casey Tom – Past President
  • Doug Cannon
  • Deb Christian
  • Cherilyn Crowe (new)
  • Anuttama Dasa (new)
  • Brian Fesler (new)
  • Joan Gaylord (new)
  • Susan Gottshall
  • Eron Henry
  • Ryan John Koch
  • Skyler Nimmons
  • Tasha Sargent (new)
  • Eric Shafer (new)

See RCC Board Members page for more information.

RCC Update by Deb Christian, RCC National Past President

Send items for May Update to Deb Christian at [email protected].

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