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BCA News

Spring 2013 Issue

In This Issue...

A New Look for BCA

The BCA Task Force served cake, distributed coffee mugs and unfurled a banner to reveal the organization's newly designed logo Saturday, April 20, during the 2013 BCA business meeting, all the while congratulating Brooke Zimny from Ouachita Baptist University for her award-winning design.

The process began with the 2012-13 Task Force focused on addressing the BCA website design to consider a possible redesign. As the group began this discussion, it quickly came to our attention that if we had any ideas of updating the current BCA logo, we should address that issue before embarking on a new website redesign.

Brooke and René ZimneyWe invited BCA members to enter a logo-design contest, submitting their recommendations for a new logo. Shawn Elledge provided a savvy elevator-door graphic design to accompany the contest, and Cam Tracy managed the entries and created the voting site. We received 20 new logo ideas.

Members also had the opportunity to indicate if they prefer the current logo or prefer one of the new choices submitted in the contest. In response, 50 members indicated they preferred to select a new logo, and 20 members preferred to retain the current logo.

Of the 20 new logo ideas submitted, the five receiving the most votes were submitted by Brooke, Scott Heit from Union University in Tennessee, and Michael Prather from PratherDesign, Inc., in Kentucky - with Brooke Zimny submitting three of the top five designs.

The Task Force then re-evaluated the three designs which received the most votes, requesting variations from Brooke and Scott. The final design selected by Task Force is also the design which received the most votes by the BCA membership.

Brooke is assistant director of communications for Ouachita Baptist University. A 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Ouachita, she was named the universitys Overall Academic Achiever, Ouachita's highest academic honor. Following graduation, she completed the Columbia Publishing Course at Columbia University in New York before returning to work full-time at Ouachita, where she also studied graphic design. She has completed work toward a master's degree in communications from Johns Hopkins University. In 2011, she was named one of "20 to Watch in 2011" by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Tri-Lakes edition. Her husband, René Zimny, also serves on the Ouachita communications team. The couple owns and operates Zimny Media (www.zimnymedia.com).

The 2012-13 BCA Task Force included the following members:

  • Cam Tracy, web development agent, Union University (TN) / BCA historian and webmaster
  • Scott Barkley, production editor, The Christian Index (GA) / 2012-13 BCA communications VP
  • Shawn Elledge, graphics consultant, NAMB (GA)
  • Ishmael LaBiosa, media specialist, Innovative Faith Resources (VA)
  • Russ Rankin, corporate communications, LifeWay (TN) / 2012-13 BCA president
  • Margaret Dempsey-Colson, BCA executive director (GA)
  • Julie McGowan, news and media relations director, Oklahoma Baptist University (OK)

Life and legacy of photographer Don Rutledge celebrated

The 2013 Wilmer C. Fields awards banquet during the annual BCA workshop offered opportunity for BCA members to celebrate not only exceptional accomplishments of their communications colleagues but also the life and legacy of photographer and beloved BCA member Don Rutledge, who died Feb. 19 at his home near Richmond, Va.

Rutledge's influence on generations of Southern Baptist communicators was lauded at the banquet in a moving video, "He taught me how to see," by Dan Beatty, director of digital strategies for the International Mission Board.

Traveling throughout the United States and to more than 140 countries over more than 40 years, Rutledge captured quiet moments of humanity and mission ministry in poignant and BCA-award winning photographs taken for the Home (now North American) Mission Board and later for the Foreign (now International) Mission Board. His images inspired millions of viewers to understand, pray for and participate in missions.

"A great portion of the important ideas I teach grew out of the influence Don has had on my life. Each year students leave Union with an ability to see beyond the surface and with the desire to make others more aware because of the impact of Don's life and work. They leave more prepared to introduce their world to Jesus Christ," said Jim Veneman, communications professor at Union University and newly elected president of BCA.

For more on the life and legacy of Rutledge, go to http://www.commissionstories.com/features/view/photographer-don-rutledge.

Q&A: Brent S. Gambill

Brent S. Gambill joined Martin-Wilbourn Partners in July 2012 to develop the digital and social media practices for the communications firm. He brought to that position experience gained at SiriusXM Radio as Executive Producer of Sports Programming and MLB Network Radio. Prior to, he worked in public relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and during college was the Student Sports Information Director at his alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a law degree from the University of Arkansas. Brent will give the keynote address at BCA's luncheon Thursday, April 18, during our annual meeting, held this year at The Capital Hotel in Little Rock.

Q: Did it take you long to warm up to social media?
I remember being on MySpace and holding out on joining Facebook. When I was managing MLB Home Plate (currently MLB Network Radio) at SiriusXM, I recognized social media's importance, and developed a plan for our channel. As we succeeded with MLB, I was soon asked to expand those efforts to SiriusXM's other sports properties. Before long, I left the broadcast side of management to pursue social media full-time.

Q: What do your responsibilities at Martin-Wilbourn include?
I manage all of our digital and social media practices for clients and internally. We rebuilt our website and blog and improved our social media offerings. I work with our clients' on a variety of social media projects and plans. Our goal is to improve our clients' work on social media by providing digital tools and training to help them succeed.

Q: You've mentioned planning several times. Is that an overlooked aspect of social media?
Most organizations' social media presences starts the same way. Someone  typically an intern or entry-level employee  is familiar with social media and starts the pages. The problem is that the keys to that company's brand are now in the hands of the intern.

Earlier this week, I was speaking at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce about Twitter. I discussed how we're all content creators. Instead of simply pushing someone else's content on your social media pages, create original content. You want people to visit your site and be engaged and to have an experience. To accomplish this, you must have a social media plan. I work through numerous social media plans for clients. They're all tailored specifically to their needs because every business is different. On social media, you're the one closest to your brand. As such, you should know it  and be able to communicate it  better than anyone. A plan and training is the key.

Q: What are the five biggest mistakes you see made on social media?

  1. Your brand is managed by an entry-level employee. Someone who isn't in an executive role is managing a company's brand without oversight. If they make a mistake, it reflects on the entire company. There are hundreds of case studies of employees with little experience errantly posting or managing a business on social media. You would not hand the keys to the brand to those employees, so you should not do the same on social media.
  2. No standards and practices policy is in place. Employees should have an expectation for how their personal social media impacts the company and their job. Work with your agency and/or HR and draft a plan. Discuss it with your staff, because when the bad moment arrives, and it typically does, you want to have a policy to fall back on.
  3. On Twitter, never lead with @anyone unless you are replying to someone. There is a little-known rule that if you lead a tweet with @someone, it is only seen by you and @someone, as well as anyone who follows both accounts. Also, never use you own handle in your own tweet.
  4. Update your privacy settings on Facebook. Much is made about Facebooks privacy settings, but the fact is most do not update them on their own profiles. People need to take advantage of them and decide what they want public and private.
  5. Be aware of how you're viewed online. We're all essentially branding ourselves. Think before you post. Consider how your page is built. On social media, everyone is a brand.

Q: Are all social media platforms created equal? In other words, is there a point where you can be stretching your presence too thinly? Should you pick a few and be proficient, or is it best to have as many hooks in the water as possible?
For business, narrow your market and focus on getting a couple of sites set up right  namely Twitter and Facebook. Also, everyone should have a personal LinkedIn account. Although it's not used as much, I'm a fan of Google+ for the SEO implications. The audience on Google+ is very different from everywhere else. I find YouTube is still overlooked by many brands. Video is such a strong presence and has never been easier to do. There are also static pages businesses should grab and set, such as FourSquare and Yelp.

Know what you want to do. Get a plan and follow it consistently. In the future, when you're ready to expand, do so. Even if you are not expanding, be on the lookout for new platforms and grab the handle or URL for your brand. When you are ready to expand, you will already have the handle or URL you need.

Q: Any new social media platforms you've become a fan of?
Vine for Twitter. It's fun. I think it'll last because it's based on making it easier for people to create gifs. I am also a fan of Vizify for personal branding, and Poptip for real-time polling through tweets.


© 2013 Baptist Communicators Association