7 tips to help find podcast success

By Kurt Gwartney

Christian Piatt leads workshop on podcasting noting consistency is key.

Photo by Kurt Gwartney.

With a quick list of seven tips for podcast success, Christian Piatt with Square Core Media told the Associated Church Press (ACP) and Religion Communicators Council (RCC) members that podcasting should be part of any group’s brand and media outreach.

The professional development workshop was a part of the recent joint convention for the two communication organizations, ACP and RCC, that was set in Chicago.

Piatt, who came early to the podcast universe through work with Homebrewed Christianity’s Culture Cast, now has a company which provides services to organizations wanting help with their own podcasts.

His number one podcast success tip is consistency. “It is a crowded marketplace,” Piatt said. “People have to get you in their routine.”


Handling media interviews like a pro

Prepare for the difficult interview before it happens

By Curtis Ramsey-Lucas

Ryan John Koch co-led the “In the Spotlight: Handling Media Interviews Like A Pro” workshop

Photo by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas

Are you prepared for a confrontational interview? Have you considered the most difficult, awkward or embarrassing questions you might be asked? Have you planned brief responses to those questions in advance?

If not, you may not be as prepared as possible for the media environment in which religious communicators find themselves today.

With their workshop, “In the spotlight: handling media interviews like a pro,” Anuttama Dasa and Ryan Koch covered the basics of media relations was well as tips for effective interviews. The workshop was one of several Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) offerings at the 2019 annual convention of the Religion Communicators Council that met in Chicago.


Clear vision, effective communication woo writers

By Steven Martin

Charles Whitaker offered tips for working with freelancers at the RCC/ACP convention.

What makes a good editor? Someone with a clear vision and able to effectively communicate that idea to writers, especially freelancers.

Charles Whitaker, in his workshop, “Working with Freelancers,” continued the Management Track into Friday morning at the Religion Communicators Council national convention. The room was filled with questions and conversation around the challenges that face our publications, editors, and how we gather news.

A good editor, Whitaker says, is only as good as his or her list of contacts. A good editor brings resources to the publication based on years of relationships, connections that have been grown and nurtured through good communication and collaboration.


Violence and faith in light of today’s society and reporting on violence

Rewrite the negative to bring about the positive

By Casey Tom

Rev. Jonathan Brooks speaks at the RCC/ACP 2019 convention

Photo by Julie Brinker

Rev. Jonathan Brooks, Senior Pastor of Canaan Community Church and author of “Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods,” shared how his neighborhood rewrote its negative narrative to bring positive changes to the community.

He was featured speaker for a Friday lunch plenary session at the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and Associated Church Press (ACP) joint national convention in Chicago.

Rev. Brooks was raised in West Englewood, a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, where gun violence is common, and the typical advice given to young people to better their lives is to work hard and move away. Brooks emphasized that communities need to change their attitude and embrace, love, and take ownership their neighborhoods.


How to not be a grumpy data cat

By Nadine Monn

Tips from workshop leader Heidi Thompson

In her workshop, “Drinking from a Hydrant of Data and Using It Wisely,” Heidi Thompson presented the philosophy she follows to make sense of the data she receives in her publishing and communications work. Though she loves numbers, Thompson admits to occasionally resembling Grumpy Cat when confronted with the overwhelming amount of data that modern communication tools like Google Analytics, Facebook, and MailChimp can yield to communicators.

First is to know your goals. The path you follow is different if you want to increase engagement in a campaign versus increasing revenue for a publication. Only when the goals are clear can you determine what is working, what is not working, and what your next steps will be.

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