Religion Communicators Council Convention Races Through Indianapolis

Top Quote The Religion Communicators Council focuses its yearly convention around the timeliest issues and PR advances. Its 2013 conference focused on speed of communication and getting a message across at today's hectic pace. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 11, 2013 - Held in Indianapolis this past weekend, the 84th convention of the Religion Communicators Council was an incredible success. Religion Communicators from across the country traveled to hear about how to get a message across in this fast-paced world, as well as to see the yearly winners of the DeRose Hinkhouse and Wilbur awards.

    The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) has been an interfaith association since 1929 and has members from many faith traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i, Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism and more. Members of the RCC make it their job to communicate on behalf of their tradition, to spread the good news and encourage good deeds throughout the world.

    The theme of the 2013 conference was "Communicating at the Speed of Life," alluding to the famous Indy 500 while also pointing up this era of fast-paced communication. It was held at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre.

    The convention opened with a plenary on Faith-based Peacebuilding in the Social Media Age by the Very Rev. Fr. Nabil D. Haddad, Dr. A. Rashied Omar and Lindsey Mintz. Many workshops which followed focused on the use of the Internet in public relations, including How Religious Groups Can Use Digital Media to Engage and Serve their Members with Andy Bergman and Real Time Coverage on Social Media with Tara Puckey.

    The first evening of the convention featured the annual DeRose Hinkhouse awards ceremony. Eighty-one awards were given, selected from 217 entries in 10 classes to active members of RCC who demonstrated excellence in religious communications and public relations. According to the RCC website, "Each entry was judged on overall quality including concept, writing, design, creativity, style, use of color, appropriateness of material, creative use of resources, communication value, and effectiveness in achieving its purpose."

    Friday morning opened with the RCC annual business meeting in which new officers were elected for the National Board of Governors and the membership was invited to next year's convention to be held in Nashville, TN. A plenary session rounded out the morning on the subject of "Communicating Faith in a Social Media Age" with Mary Beth Coudal, Verity Jones and Ellen Mathia.

    That afternoon, RCC members had the option to visit one of four places: the Islamic Society of North America's national center, the IndyCar Ministry and VIP track tour, Exact Target or the University of Indianapolis Radio and TV studios. That evening the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation (IHC) opened its doors to convention participants at Friday Evening Prayers followed by discussion with clergy staff members at the synagogue. IHC is the largest synagogue in Indianapolis and serves more than 3,000 families, according to

    The final day of the convention began with a plenary on The Digital Diet: The four-step plan to break your tech addiction delivered by Daniel Sieberg, a tech expert and author who works with Google marketing. Workshops followed and again focused on the new age of communication with social media including workshops on Social Media and the Odyssey Network by Mathew Tombers, Put the Social Back in Social Media by Mary Beth Coudal and the New Media Project by Verity Jones.

    Saturday afternoon boasted workshops on Integrating Traditional and New Media with Ellen Mathia, Grants 101: Find, Get, Keep with Bud Heckman and Eric Shafer and Multi-Media Storytelling with Jim Brown.

    The Wilbur Awards Dinner, which recognizes the work of individuals in secular media who communicate religious issues, values and themes with the utmost professionalism, fairness and honesty, concluded the convention. The winners included best selling novelist Richard Paul Evans for his book A Winter Dream, Bob Simon for the 60 minutes program on The Archbishop of Dublin, and Zachary Perlinski for Oprah's Next Chapter: America's Hidden Culture which covered the lives of two Hasidic Jewish Families living in Boston.

    For more information about the RCC or the annual convention, visit

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