Our Diocesan community, under the anglican focus banner, won ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) Awards, which were announced on Friday night.
This Gold Award winner was last year’s #AprilAngel social media campaign, which the Parishes and Other Mission Agencies Commission (PMC) launched in the wake of the March 2019 Christchurch mosque terrorist attacks.
Following this terrible tragedy, we saw people across New Zealand and Australia reaching out and caring for each other in new and somewhat unprecedented ways, with a message of hope cutting through.
To help keep this spirit of good will and kindness alive, a month-long campaign was implemented by PMC, encouraging people across our Diocesan community to reach out to one another and to the broader community by being an ‘April Angel’.
The campaign was underpinned by the idea that the Greek word angelos means ‘messenger’, so every week throughout April members of our Diocesan community were called to be a particular kind of messenger, including ‘be a messenger of welcome’ in week 1; ‘be a messenger of forgiveness’ in week 2; ‘be a messenger of compassion through conversation’ in week 3; ‘be a messenger of joy’ in week 4; and, ‘be a messenger of peace’ in week 5.
Each day of each campaign week had a regular focus. As well as original graphics and videos posted daily during April last year, an anglican focus piece tied to the weekly theme was published weekly during the month-long campaign.
Congratulations to the following priests and parishioners who contributed wonderfully engaging and insightful anglican focus content for the #AprilAngel campaign:
- The Rev’d Michael Stalley from the Parish of Chelmer-Graceville, who set a new record for ACSQ social media engagement with his excellent ‘Jesus was a Refugee’ book review.
- Terry Albone and Dr Rod Rogers, long-term coordinators of the wonderful Cathedral ‘Coffee on Wednesdays (COWS)’ ministry, for their Spotlight Q&A
- The Rev’d Canon Bruce Boase, from the Parish of Greenhills, for his ‘A familiar and true story’ reflection
- The Ven. Valerie Hoare, now retired, for her ‘Be a messenger of joy’ reflection
- Bill Gamack, from St Augustine’s, Hamilton, for his ‘It’s about different, not less’ feature.
The judging criteria for this award category is, “Will exhibit creativity and high-level of engagement relative to the account’s following. Content must be original and organic engagement will be weighted more favourably than paid. Variation of media…and audience reactions will be considered.”
The ARPA Awards judge acknowledged the intention of the campaign and commented on its organic approach and engagement, while encouraging our community’s news site to keep seeking to be innovative.
“The campaign emerged out of the horror of the Christchurch mosque attacks in March last year and was designed to encourage members of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland diocese to be an April Angel of hope,” the award category judge said.
“This was a purely organic Facebook campaign (i.e. no paid advertising)…Their posts were shared and commented upon. Each week had a different theme and provided some content upon which to reflect. Keep experimenting anglican focus. It’s worth the effort.”
By consistently using the social media hashtags ‘#GenerousHospitality’ and ‘#BeingTogether’, the winning social media campaign also helped support wider 2019 Diocesan initiatives.
The reader-contributor, rather than staff writer, model of our news site has been embraced by our Diocesan community, with 358 individual writers contributing over 1,000 published submissions to anglican focus since the news site was launched two years ago.
Thank you to each of these 358 contributors, and especially to The Rev’d Michael Stalley; Terry Albone; Dr Rod Rogers; The Rev’d Canon Bruce Boase; The Ven. Valerie Hoare; and, Bill Gamack.
Through their inspiring, hope-filled and wise #AprilAngel reflections and features these six writers, along with our many other contributors, have upheld the mission of anglican focus, which is:
“To deliver a free community-owned news site for diverse ACSQ members to proclaim the Gospel, reflect, inform, advocate and resource in order to nourish spirituality and unite community.”
Thank you, also, to the Australasian Religious Press Association for supporting Christian media across Australia and New Zealand / Aotearoa.
Editor’s note: To celebrate the second birthday of anglican focus going online and to thank our readers, we are giving away two more iPads this year – one to a reader and one to the winning reader’s nominated priest or chaplain (terms and conditions apply).
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