In South America, Media Training
Corporate communication training usually pulls together directors from the upper echelons of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Recently, a broadcasted advisory for the communication department in South America got down to the grassroots.
MEDIA FOCUS: Rogério Ferraz, Web manager for the South American
Division, leads a panel discussion during a Web forum, a regional meeting of the Global Adventist Internet Network.The continent-wide program—including a weekend communication training seminar and a multiday Web forum—included directors at union conferences and conferences, but for the first time reached thousands of communication secretaries at local Adventist congregations.
Church leaders estimate that tens of thousands of television and online viewers watched the series, which was broadcast from the church’s Novo Tempo media center in Jacarei, Brazil. The series highlighted the division’s goals of Web integration and social media outreach. It also included specialists offering tips on public relations, photography and videography, Web platforms, and marketing, as well as an overview of the church’s operations and mission challenges worldwide.
Communication leaders now want to know whether this new method of holding a division-wide advisory can be replicated elsewhere. Up next for consideration is the denomination’s Euro-Africa Division, based in Bern, Switzerland.
“We’re hoping to have communication advisories with everybody connected live, or by satellite, Skype, video conference, or any other way,” said General Conference Communication director Williams Costa, Jr. “We need to break the walls that still separate us.”
Church leaders say few regions of the world church can offer communication advisories, let alone on such a mass scale. The media series underscored the South American Division’s continuing commitment to corporate communication. For many years administrators in South America have expected cutting-edge outreach techniques from their spokespeople and have provided the staff and resources to help them do it.
The division hires experienced journalists for many of its communication department positions. They regularly land mentions of the church in local and national news agencies. The Novo Tempo media center is a testament to how seriously church officials are about using media and young professionals to push the church’s mission.