RCC elects Board of Governors, hears reports at annual business meeting

By Jeff Huett, APR

Bud Heckman (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

ATLANTA (April 6, 2018) — Members of the Religion Communicators Council heard updates on implementation of the organization’s Strategic Plan 2020, elected new members to its Board of Governors and received reports from local chapters in Washington, D.C., Nashville and New York at its business meeting in conjunction with the 2018 convention.

RCC President Bud Heckman reported on the organization’s progress toward upgraded communications and database infrastructure through a new website and CRM software. He reported on a conference called Reimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities. RCC worked with the University of Southern California (Knight Program & Center for Religion and Civic Culture) and the Religion News Association to develop and to sponsor the January conference.


Be prepared: copyright, trademark and privacy laws do affect religion communication

By Amelia Tucker-Shaw

Cayce Myers (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

The Religion Communicators Council national convention held in Atlanta, Georgia the weekend on the commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. offered multiple workshops, including a session to inform and engage religion communicators about the law and the church.

Many may believe the church can't be sued or taken to court – not true! M. Cayce Myers, Ph.D., J.D., APR, a legal research editor for the Institute for Public Relations, member of the Georgia Bar Association and assistant professor of communication at Virginia Tech, presented a well structured process for all faith groups to consider – better to be prepared than not!


Breaking through noise requires research, planning

by Katherine Kerr, APR

Gurwin Singh Ahuja (photo by George Conklin)

While the campaign to portray American Sikhs in a positive light was almost immediately successful, the campaign itself was years in the making, said Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder and executive director of the National Sikh Campaign and We are Sikhs.

In his workshop, “Breaking Through the Noise: Effectively Communicating Your Values in a Polarized Political Environment,” Ahuja shared that the Sikh community had been frustrated since 9/11 about the lack of understanding about Sikhs and misidentifying members as terrorists.


Annual reports tell your story one year at a time

By Colleen Dorner

Philip Poole, APR (photo by George Conklin)

Philip Poole, APR, executive director of university communication at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, presented a workshop on producing annual reports titled “Telling Your Story, One Year at a Time” at the Religion Communicators Council’s 2018 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Poole discussed best practices, as well as challenges, for an annual report.

Organizations have different reasons and audiences for their annual reports. Initially you need to decide if your organization needs an annual report. Providing adequate information in a clear and concise manner is key.


Faith groups should recommit to leadership on civil rights, panel members say

By Douglas F. Cannon, APR

Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., Yvette Moore, Kemal Budak, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Bedell (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

Faith communities have retreated from moral leadership in the post-civil-rights era, the Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin told RCC members April 6. Some faith communities have drifted toward social assimilation and linked religious beliefs to political positions.

Franklin, the James T. and Berta R. Laney professor of moral leadership at Emory University in Atlanta, called for people of faith to recommit to moral leadership and to holding political leaders to high standards that seek to serve a common good.

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