CSBC Office of Communications staff garners awards from Baptist organization

Written By Terry Barone

CSBC Office of Communications staff garners awards from Baptist organization

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC—CSBC Office of Communications staff recently walked away with seven awards from the Baptist Communicators Association annual awards competition.

Two, first-place awards, four, second-place awards, and a third-place award were presented to CSBC in a variety of categories during BCA’s 68th annual workshop in mid-April at Ridgecrest Conference Center.

Sarah Graham, director of the CSBC Office of Communications, said, “Our whole Comms team is new, and our submissions went up against established agencies around the nation who have experience in the awards competition. We didn’t know what to expect or how our media would hold up. To walk away with seven wins acknowledges the standard of excellence our team strives toward as we resource the convention here in California.”

First-place awards were given in the categories for “substantial projects: special display” and “script writing,” both for projects related to the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Anaheim.

The special display award was shared with California Baptist University and The Baptist Foundation of California. The three CSBC entities joined forces for the combined exhibit to highlight CSBC ministries to messengers and guests attending the event.

Graham said, “Earning this award jointly (as CSBC, with CBU and BFC), is one of many examples demonstrating our steadfast belief that we are ‘better together.’ The unity and equal sacrifice that went into creating our booth design, from all the agencies, bore some amazing fruit that we can collectively be proud of.”

The other first-place award, also related to the SBC Annual Meeting, honored script writing for “Consider California,” a 7-minute video released in advance of the annual meeting to inform and gain interest in California missions from among Southern Baptists across the country. According to the scorecard, one judge noted, “Excellent in all facets. This script was perfect for what it was attempting to achieve – – educate Southern Baptists on the state of the denomination in California. Especially effective was the use of other languages, given special care to recognize the diversity in the state.”

Another note read, “This script stood out among the others, and deserves a spot as a finalist. I learned more about California and was drawn to the engaging denominational leaders who are working so hard in the state.”

The video for which the script was written took second place in the “video promotion – more than 3 minutes” category. The award was shared with Innovative Faith Resources in Virginia, whose personnel shot and edited footage for the finished product.

A CSBC California Mission Offering video in the same “video promotion” category was awarded third place. It also was shared with the Virginia video production company.

Two social media prizes, both garnering second place, were awarded to CSBC – one for a “single post” entitled “CSBC Earth Day,” and one for “campaign or event” for Easter entitled “Seven Last Words.”

“Michael Solorio gets a lot of credit for our social media wins,” said Graham. “It’s fun for me to watch him work through his process. We are lucky to have such a young talent, growing in his gifts and giving it back to the convention. Michael has a high standard for what is published. There is no doubt that CSBC’s social media presence is becoming a standout in the SBC.”

CSBC also was recognized with a second-place award for redesign of the CSBC logo.

Old Logo

Old Logo


New Logo

In addition to Graham, other members of the CSBC Communications staff include Solorio, content developer, and Lisa Kooiman, executive assistant. Also contributing was Terry Barone, former CSBC Communications Team leader.

“The make-up of our team was unique last year,” Graham noted. “We had both new hires and long-time staff partnering and working with ideas that have stood the test of time while also breaking ground with fresh innovation.”

She said, “it was a gift for me to launch with a multi-generational and multi-gendered crew of communicators, each uniquely skilled as thinkers, writers, and designers. Even though we come with different strengths, everyone had a voice in every project. By rallying, we are collectively invested in pursuing a great result.”

CBU marketing and communication also garnered two awards, in addition to the shared first place for the CSBC exhibit space at the SBC. They won a first-place award for “Homecoming 2023,” a “promotional video – less than 1 minute,” and a third-place award for the “Roundtable Fall 2022” for “print publication – magazine.”

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. Its membership numbers more than 250 across the United States and around the world.

The awards competition is designed to encourage professional excellence among BCA members and to recognize those members who have done exemplary work. The competition is named in memory of Wilmer C. Fields, BCA lifetime member and former vice president of public relations for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

There were more than 325 entries and almost 170 awards presented in the areas of public relations and development; interactive communications; radio, television, film and video; news and feature writing; photography; and print media and design.

About the Author

Terry Barone
CSBC Special Projects Coordinator

Terry Barone served as communications director for California Southern Baptist Convention for 30 years before retiring in December 2021. He now serves the state Convention as special projects coordinator. A graduate of Baylor University, Terry served as a Southern Baptist journalist for more than four decades. He and his wife, Linda, are members of Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Fresno.

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