The third day of the Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Conference, February 27, 2019, continued the “project slam” pattern from previous days with a variety of presentations from Adventist organizations discussing everything from new projects to success stories, to best practices and resources.
Hearly Mayr, senior director of marketing and public relations for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), began by giving the attendees tips and techniques for pitching stories to media outlets. The 500 or so audience members at GAiN represent various Adventist entities who need to work with regional, national, and sometimes international news organizations to get accurate information out to the public about who they are and what they do.
Mayr spoke to the need for attention-grabbing, concise headlines and email subject lines (10 words or less) when querying news outlets. The 57% top tier of publishers receive 50 to 500 pitches per week, and 85% of them will decide whether to open an email or not based on the headline. Take the time to research the information you include in your pitch, Mayr added. Give reputable sources, include mixed media (video, photos, infographics, interactive maps), and make sure you are representing your organization accurately and in a compelling way.
Next, Andre Brink and Daryl Gungadoo from the Adventist Review Media Lab discussed the Daniel project, a film and photography production of the book of Daniel. Filmed in Ouarzazate, Morocco, on the same set as many blockbuster films including Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, and Babel, the Daniel project team used 165 local actors and had just five days to shoot.
The aim of the project was to make “the resulting media available for sale to Christian producers, media ministries, pastors, teachers, and evangelists,”1 and the footage is available for purchase on videomission.com.
Darryl Thompson from the Ellen G. White Estate presented on the newly overhauled EGW Writings app which has seen a 50% increase in user growth every month for 10 straight months. Prior to the redesign, the app had 30,000 users, and now it has over 2.1 million (as of February 2019). In February alone, there were 164 million search and download requests. “These are not evangelism numbers, these are real numbers,” quipped Thompson.
After lunch, several workshops were available to attendees including Storytelling, Adventist World Radio, and Hope Channel. I attended the Storytelling workshop which included presentations by Adrian Dure on the value of inter-cultural documentary films, Henry Stober on storytelling through photography, Earley Simon on storytelling through field projects, and Sam Neves and Rachel Lemon who spoke on the importance of your “story brand.”
In the evening, the Fathers project debuted at the “Convergence Festival” — an opportunity for various divisions to show films they’ve produced. On the first evening the North American Division showcased its Sonscreen Film Festival and on the second evening the South American Division showed its medium-length film Libertos. Those who attended GAiN Europe on Friday, February 22, had already seen the Fathers film, but for the rest of attendees, Wednesday night was their first opportunity to watch the documentary that follows six Adventist fathers from six different countries around the world throughout their day, interacting with their children.
Audience members also received copies of the Fathers magabook with 13 chapters written by authors and experts in family and education from around the world. All of the materials for the Fathers project will be released later this year, in time for entities to use them for Father’s Day.
Notes & References:
1. “The Life of Daniel in Cinematic Images” by Andre Brink, Adventist Review
Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image: Norel Iacob, editor of the Fathers magabook, poses with copies given out to GAiN attendees. Photo by Tor Tjeransen/ADAMS, courtesy of the Trans-European Division.
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