“Oakwood products” win top 2013 denominational communications awards
Oakwood alumni, programs and publications – its products – won the top communications awards for the Seventh-day Adventist church, during the annual conference of the Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC) in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 24-26.
Oakwood University won the top honor, The Award of Excellence, for its social media/public relations The Home Depot® “Retool Your School” campaign, which it won by receiving 340,000 of the total 2.6 million votes cast for the 69 competing historically Black colleges and universities.
“The judges were very pleased with Oakwood’s ability to generate media coverage among Adventist outlets; which then generated attention from the Adventist constituency – not just Oakwood friends and alums – but it reached all Adventist campuses, thus gathering additional support from Adventists across North America and beyond,” explained George Johnson, Jr., SAC executive director.
“Also, the fact that this was a social media campaign that got a lot of people talking and they, in turn, got other people to use social media to get Oakwood tens of thousands of votes to win, made this a front-runner.”
Additionally and of the six general awards categories (Corporate Communication, New Media, Print, Broadcast, Marketing/Public Relations and Design), Oakwood received either the Best in Class and/or Honorable Mention awards in four areas, namely:
Allston also co-presented with Mount Ellis Academy’s development/alumni relations director Kevin Emmerson the SAC workshop “The Gospel According to Social Media: When High Tech meets High Touch.” They presented case studies on how their Seventh-day Adventist schools entered and won the 2013 Home Depot ($50,000) and the 2010 Kohl’s Cares for Kids Facebook ($500,000) national contests, respectively, as faith-based witnessing opportunities.
Also, Oakwood 1999 alum Miss Frenita Buddy, Hope TV Channel production director, and her team won SAC’s The Reger Smith Jr. Cutting Edge Award for “Hopey to the Rescue,” a video prepared in response to a contest sponsored by Fast Company and Mercedes Benz, to compete for a van and a grant of $10,000.
Johnson: “The judges felt that this video presentation showed excellent animation with a clever story. It also showcased good music, good editing, and exuded great pace and energy.
“The creative approach, personified logo, and unique story line and polished story boarding fit the qualities of this being a cutting edge production, fit for the Reger Smith Award.”
Finally, The Young Professional of the Year Award – which “recognizes young talent in the communication field, 35 years of age or younger who have demonstrated strong communication skills and made significant contributions to the field” – was given, in absentia, to Oakwood alum David Franklin, Baltimore’s Berea SDA Temple assistant pastor and Hope TV Channel’s “Let’s Pray” co-host.
“David is a natural communicator,” offered Johnson. “He brings together vision, authenticity and passion, and when he shares ideas, people want to get on board. As co-host for Let’s Pray, he demonstrates exceptional people skills coupled with deep awareness of contemporary and spiritual issues. This is seen in his ability to respond quickly and appropriately to any kind of comment from guests or from program callers.
“He holds himself to a high standard of excellence, and constantly pushes to make the program more relevant, more innovative, and more compelling. David would be successful in any arena, but has chosen to dedicate his talents to winning people for Christ.”