Arkansas Baptists Win Big at Annual Communication Awards Ceremony

by Nick Burt

Each year the communication departments from the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkansas Baptist News, and longtime Arkansas Baptist, Trennis Henderson representing the Women’s Missionary Union, take part in the Baptist Communicators Association’s Wilmer C. Fields awards competition. In the 56th year of the competition, each of the Arkansas representatives won awards in a wide array of categories.

Baptist Communicators Association (BCA) is a nationwide group made up of Southern Baptist communication professionals from SBC agencies, state conventions, Baptist newspapers, and Baptist universities. Each year, this group gathers for a conference consisting of workshops and the annual awards ceremony. The award submissions are submitted early in the year and undergo a round of peer-reviewed judging from professionals in related fields. This year, the conference was postponed and the awards were announced virtually due to adjustments as a result of COVID-19.

Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries brought home two awards for their work in 2019. Stella Prather, Communications Director said, “As a BCA member for more than 20 years, I have so much respect for our peers across the SBC who participate in the Wilmer C. Fields awards, and I’m grateful to participate and be honored this way.”

Public Relations for Special Events

SECOND PLACE – 125th Anniversary Celebration

Promotional or Advertisement: Series

SECOND PLACE – Build, Strengthen, Restore: 2019 Thanksgiving Offering

The Communications Team from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention was a finalist for two grand prize awards in two different categories and took home 10 other awards including six in first place. Greg Addison, Associate Executive Director remarked, “I am very proud of our communications staff and grateful for their work engaging Arkansas Baptists in our cooperative mission work.” Addison continued, “BCA is very helpful because this process challenges us to strive for the best ways to do our work. The peer reviews help us learn, develop better platforms, and build a communication ministry that connects Arkansas Baptists together in the best way possible.”

Total Public Relations or Development Campaign

FIRST PLACE – The Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering: 2019

Interactive Communications – Website, organization or company site: Custom-built

FIRST PLACE – SuperSummerArkansas.com

Website, event or promotion site: Adapted template

FIRST PLACE – PraiseworksArkansas.com

Email Marketing – Single Email

FIRST PLACE – Mission + Ministry E-Newsletter – May, Disaster Relief Edition

Email Marketing – Series

FIRST PLACE – Mission + Ministry E-Newsletter

Video: Promotion

THIRD PLACE – The Dixie Jackson Report

Audio: Broadcast/Podcast

SECOND PLACE – Inspire On The Go: The Road To Redemption Pt. 1

Design – Print Collateral: Newsletter

FIRST PLACE – Missions + Ministry Print Newsletter, September 2019 Edition

SECOND PLACE – Missions + Ministry Print Newsletter, January 2019 Edition

THIRD PLACE – Missions + Ministry Print Newsletter, March 2019 Edition

Arthur S. Davenport Award for Exceptional Achievement in Public Relations and Development

FINALIST – The Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering – 2019

Diane Reasoner Award for Exceptional Achievement in Interactive Communications

FINALIST – SuperSummerArkansas.com

FINALIST – Mission + Ministry E-Newsletter

Ouachita Baptist University’s Office of Marketing & Communication won a grand prize award in one category, was a grand prize finalist in another category and took home seven other awards including four in first place. Brooke Zimny, Assistant to the President for Communications & Marketing, said “Winning a grand prize from BCA is a huge honor, and I am so proud of our team for earning one for the third consecutive year.” She added, “They produce outstanding work throughout the year, are expert collaborators and tell the Ouachita story well in so many ways.”

Full list of Ouachita’s awards:

Total Public Relations or Development Campaign

FIRST PLACE – Legacy Campaign

Communications and/or Marketing Strategy

SECOND PLACE – Best Value Marketing Campaign

Interactive Communications – Website, organization or company site

THIRD PLACE – Ouachita GIFs & Stickers

Social Media – Single Post

FIRST PLACE – Meaningful Work Video Series

Video: Editorial Feature

FIRST PLACE – Ouachita Alumni: Justin Seale

Video: Promotion

FIRST PLACE – Patterson School of Natural Sciences Video

Design: Print Collateral – Integrated Branding

THIRD PLACE – Connect Event Branding

Diane Reasoner Award for Exceptional Achievement in Interactive Communications

WINNER – Meaningful Work Video Series (Social Media: Campaign or Event)

M.E. Dodd Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement in Radio, Television, Film and Video

FINALIST – Patterson School of Natural Sciences Video (Video: Promotion – 2-5 minutes)

Additionally, the former staff of the Arkansas Baptist News was honored with five awards, including one for first place.

Photography – News: Single Photo

FIRST PLACE – Prayer for Victims of Sexual Abuse – Caleb Yarbrough

SECOND PLACE – African American Southern Baptist Casts His Vote – Caleb Yarbrough

THIRD PLACE – LifeWay Moving Truck – Caleb Yarbrough

News Writing: Single Article

Third Place – Cutting Hair, Sharing Christ at Acts 1:8 One Day – Sarah Davis

First-Person Column

SECOND PLACE – The Triumph and Tragedy of the Past 50 years – Tim Yarbrough

Trennis Henderson, longtime Arkansas Baptist & former Editor of the Arkansas Baptist News and Communications Director for Ouachita Baptist University was also honored with several BCA awards. As a national correspondent for WMU, Henderson won a grand prize award and three additional awards including one in first place.

Feature Writing – Single Article: 750-1500 words

FIRST PLACE – WMU of Virginia streetwalking ministry offers light in darkness of Richmond prostitution zone

Feature Writing – Series or Package

THIRD PLACE – Jocelyn Henry-Whitehead pursues ministry in the wake of domestic violence

Feature Writing – Blog

SECOND PLACE – Pursue God in Worship

Leonard Holloway Award for Exceptional Achievement in Feature Writing

WINNER – WMU of Virginia streetwalking ministry offers light in darkness of Richmond prostitution zone (Single article – 750-1,500 words)

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