Arkansas Baptists recognized with awards at the recent Baptist Communicators Association meeting are, (from left): Nick Burt, Rachel Moreno and Marissa Pilcher, Arkansas Baptist State Convention; Stella Prather, ABCHomes; Caleb Yarbrough, Arkansas Baptist News, and Trennis Henderson, Ouachita Baptist University.
Arkansas Baptist communicators recognized for excellence
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Arkansas Baptist communicators garnered 21 awards in numerous categories ranging from design to writing to photography to public relations to videography at the annual Baptist Communicators Association (BCA) workshop held April 18-21 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel, Old Town in Alexandria, Va.
“It's an honor to be recognized among peers for excellence in communications. Southern Baptists have some of the greatest communications professionals in the world, and it is on display at the annual Baptist Communicators Association awards competition. It was great to see so many Baptist communications professionals in Arkansas recognized for their excellent work,” said Tim Yarbrough, editor/executive director, Arkansas Baptist News (ABN).
The ABN took home four awards, with Caleb Yarbrough, associate editor, receiving two awards for photography, including a first place award for his feature photo, “Second Chance Ministry,” and a second place award for his news photo, “Church Planting Vet.” He also won a second place award in writing for his article titled, “Moore: The ‘conscience of the SBC?’” ABN cartoonist Gary Thomas received a second place award for his editorial cartoon, “Church Shooting.”
The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) received four awards, including a first place award for its Camp Paron website and another first place award in overall publication for “Missions + Ministry,” official newsletter for the ABSC. The Grind Podcast received a third place award in audio at the annual awards banquet. Nick Burt, media services director for the ABSC, won a third place award for his video, “Church Planting – Dixie Jackson Arkansas Baptist State Convention.”
“Our ABSC communications staff has been passionately working to communicate to Arkansas Baptists the greater picture of how God is at work through our churches both in Arkansas and beyond our state borders. Because they are a relatively new team, it was a blessing for them to see other professionals acknowledge the quality of their work with four different awards. This gives them great confidence in working to create new and better ways to connect Arkansas Baptists in seeing what God is doing in our state,” said Greg Addison, ABSC associate executive director.
Stella Prather, communications director, ABC Homes and Family Ministries, was recognized with three awards. She received two first place awards, including one first place award for “A Lifetime of Hope” in the competition’s total public relations or development campaign category and another first place award for “I Care 5k/Kid’s Dash” in the public relations for special events category. She also took home a second place award for “Outlook” newsletter in the overall publication category.
Communicators from Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) won multiple awards in the 2018 BCA awards competition, including one of BCA’s annual seven grand prize awards. OBU’s Office of Communications was honored with the Arthur S. Davenport Award for Exceptional Achievement in Public Relations and Development for its Texas Recruiting Campaign, which also garnered a first place award in the category of communications and/or marketing strategy, less than $25,000 budget.
Additionally, the office received three more first place awards for its “Campus Highlights” promotional video, its university website template and its university “Viewbook.” The OBU Office of Communications received two second place awards for its social media campaign, #WearOuachitaWeekend, and its recruitment materials, “Invested in You.”
OBU’s Rene Zimny was recognized with a first place award in design for OBU “Viewbook” and a second place award in design for OBU “Invested in You” billboards. OBU’s Tyler Rosenthal won a first place award in social media for his single post, “Faculty, Staff and Snapchat.”
"It's a privilege for Ouachita's Office of Communications to be honored by our professional peers. We are especially grateful to be recognized with this year's public relations grand prize for one of our marketing campaigns designed to encourage prospective students to explore Ouachita for their college experience," said Trennis Henderson, vice president for communications, Ouachita Baptist University.
In addition to the awards competition, BCA offered numerous professional development and networking opportunities during its annual workshop. BCA members representing 18 states, including nine Arkansas Baptist communicators, attended this year’s event underscored by the theme Press on. Three keynote addresses were presented by Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma; Shannon Bream, anchor of Fox News at Night and chief legal correspondent for the Fox News Channel, and James Smith, vice president of communications, National Religious Broadcasters in Washington D.C.
BCA is a professional organization of communicators who serve in editorial, public relations, electronic media, photography, management, marketing and graphic design positions principally within Baptist agencies and institutions. The group consists of some 250 members from across the United States and the world. Margaret Colson, ABN writer and copy editor, serves as executive director of BCA.
Office of Communications, Ouachita Baptist University
Second Place, Social Media, Campaign or Event
First Place, Video, Promotion, Less than three minutes
Second Place, Design, Print Collateral, Integrated Branding
First Place, Design, Promotion and Advertising, Digital Media Template
First Place, Overall Publication, Promotion or Advertising
Rene Zimny, Ouachita Baptist University
Second Place, Design, Promotion and Advertising, Billboard/Banner
Tyler Rosenthal, Ouachita Baptist University
Stella Prather, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries
First Place, Public Relations for Special Events
Second Place, Overall Publication, Other
Arkansas Baptist Convention
Third Place, Audio (including podcast), Other
First Place, Overall Publication, Other
Third Place, Video, Editorial Feature, More than three minutes
Caleb Yarbrough, Arkansas Baptist News
Second Place, Photography, News
Second Place, News Writing, Single Article, More than 1,500 words
Gary Thomas, Arkansas Baptist News