CSBC Communications Brings Home 7 National Awards

CSBC Communications Brings Home 7 National Awards

Richmond, VA – Communicators and other content creators from across Southern Baptist life gathered at the International Mission Board’s home office for a week of professional development, workshops, and networking, April 22-25, at the 2024 Baptist Communicators Association’s annual spring workshops and business meeting. Michael Solorio, Content Developer, Matthew Brower, Marketing Coordinator, and Sarah Graham, Communications Team Leader, were in attendance to learn from experts in photography, management, public relations, and more.

On Wednesday evening, representatives from national, state, and local agencies assembled at the Historic Hippodrome Theater in the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Downtown Richmond, where the 60th annual Wilmer C. Fields awards banquet was held. All 3 CSBC staff took home honors from the night.

Michael Solorio proved to, again, be a standout in graphic design and social media content creation. Solorio came in 3rd in the interactive communications division for his social media campaign entitled Mini 7 Questions (and here), a fun take on CSBC’s 7 Questions (normally featured on This Week at CSBC). One judge noted, “Really unique and interesting way to educate on a topic most would not engage with. Quality video work. Great design!” Solorio also grabbed 2nd place honors in the design division for reinventing CSBC’s Fellowship of Church Musicians logo, where judges said, “This logo is very different and unique. I like the liquidity of this design and that the movement does not stop with the icon but continues with the curved text.”

Matthew Brower, the newest member of the Communications Team, was also recognized as the producer of The GC Collective Podcast, coming in 3rd in the Audio/Visual Communications Division. “The podcast is comfortable and conversational with well-qualified hosts and co-hosts. The dry open grabs the listener’s attention. Good microphones and clean audio throughout … That proactive attention to audio quality is commendable,” noted judges’ commentary. With a podcast that launched this year going up against long-established shows, this proved to be a significant win.

Collectively, the team earned 3rd place in the Interactive Communications Division: Email Marketing Series for 2023’s Tech Month on This Week at CSBC, where Solorio, Brower, and Graham cultivated informational and educational content for California church leaders. Judges took note of both the intentionality of the content as well as the creative design. “Excellent strategic planning and execution with regard to the monthly themes, the prioritization of stories related to each month’s theme. Love the idea of breaking up the typical look of the newsletter for something different but on theme to gain more engagement.” Solorio, Brower, and Graham also served as contributors for Tech Month, writing original resource articles covering topics such as social media, worship & sound mixing, slide design, social media engagement, and the value of email marketing.  In addition, the team won 3rd place for the 2023 CMO Church Planting Video, highlighting the work of Send Network California Church Planters James and Desiree’ Westbrook. “Really nice opening drone shot. Love the color and setting where the couple is filmed. Footage is rich in color and does a great job telling the story. Video clearly communicates the message and encourages the viewer to give.”

High honors went to Sarah Graham and the entire CSBC communications team in two major categories. Graham took the top spot in Feature Writing: First-Person Column/Blog Series for her 4-part series entitled Pressed but Not Crushed, and the team grabbed first place again in the Overall Publication Division for CSBC’s weekly e-newsletter, This Week at CSBC (subscribe here). Judges’ comments stated, “Love the content and focusing each email on a certain topic. I would click on a lot of your reads. “7 Questions” is great and very personal.”

CSBC is pleased to report that California Baptist University also earned top spots at the awards ceremony, including two 3rd place acknowledgments in Print Publication: Single Issue for CBU’s Roundtable magazine, Volume 66 Issue 1, and Total Public Relations for their Historic Gifts campaign. Additionally, the Lancers accumulated an impressive three 1st place nods in 3 different categories:

  • Total Public Relations for their CBU Christmas campaign
  • Interactive Communications: Web Single Page for their “No Fee November” Video campaign
  • Video Storytelling: 1-3 minutes for their Christmas Card Video

The Communications team of the California Southern Baptist Convention continues to strive for excellence in and through all created content and considers it a privilege to serve alongside the entire CSBC staff as well as the greater CSBC family.

About the Author

Sarah M. Graham
Communications Team Leader, CSBC

Sarah Graham earned her bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master's in Leadership and Business Management from California Baptist University. She currently serves CSBC as the Team Leader for the Office of Communications. Sarah is a mother of two grown children, Kirsten (26, married to Jake) and Daniel (22) and she serves on the worship team at Clovis Hills Community Church.

More About Sarah M. Graham
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