25 January 2023 | Watford, UK [Vanesa Pizzuto]
An incredible practical and beautifully designed Communication and Media Guide is now available to all communication leaders in the South-England Conference (SEC). This fantastic resource, covering a variety of topics from content creation to cybersecurity, and from crisis communication to communication audits, is the result of cooperation between Adventist communicators across three divisions: North American (NAD), Inter-European (EUD) and Trans-European (TED) divisions.
The story of how this guide came about is a beautiful illustration of how cooperation strengthens the Church. During GAiN Europe 2022, an annual conference designed to help Adventist communicators connect and work together, Emanuel Ban and Marianne Penner, Communication directors for the North and South France Conferences respectively, shared with colleagues the French version of the guide. Penner and Ban, inspired by the NAD Communication Guide, produced an updated version to support the work of Adventist communicators in their area. In turn, SEC Communication director, Dr Sorin Petrof, inspired by Penner and Ban’s presentation at GAiN, contextualised and translated the guide back to English with the support of the TED leadership.
“It has been a very long time since such an excellent Communications and Media Guide was produced at any level of church life”, enthused David Neal, TED Communication & Media director. “And I cannot express enough gratitude”, he continued, “for this clear example of what happens when we work together in a common cause, sharing a resource which with some minor adaptation will support the local church Communication leaders across the TED, in some cases as never before.”
Communication and Media Day
The new Communication and Media Guide was introduced during a training session organised by the SEC, at Stanborough Park Church, England, on Sunday 22 January. Three workshops were presented during the session, which catered for nearly one hundred SEC communication leaders with Penner discussing the importance of using feedback to connect.
“Feedback is nourishment in return, unlike unsolicited advice, it helps people grow,” Penner shared during her presentation. “Feedback which is not sincere will damage everybody… We need to be honest even about our intentions because what we are really feeling down inside often leaks through,” Penner said, highlighting how giving and receiving feedback demands emotional integrity and vulnerability.
Mrs Paula Carrillo, British Union Conference (BUC) IT Manager, discussed the importance of building and maintaining the church’s website. During her presentation, Carrillo familiarised attendees with NetAdventist, a content management software suite which provides the global church with a common communication platform. “It is very straight forward [to use], but we are happy to help with any question,” she said taking time to demonstrate how use the software.
Darell Philip, academic mentor and freelance writer, concluded the presentations with an interactive workshop on writing for local media outlets. Philip inspired the audience not only with practical tools and advice, but also with his personal experience on overcoming obstacles to become a writer. “If you want to change the world,” said Philip, “pick up your pen and write.”
NOTE: the TED is producing a generic version of this Guide, which each Union/Conference will be able to adapt as they wish. Available from mid-March 2023.
[Photos: Vanesa Pizzuto, Adventist Media Exchange, Video: SEC Media, CC BY 4.0. // Lead picture: Marianne Penner]