Posted by Philip Poole on 2010-07-19

Samford University will host a church media workshop Aug. 19 on the Samford campus in Birmingham. The event is cosponsored by the university’s department of journalism and mass communication and the office of communication.

The one-day training event is designed for small and medium-sized churches who need basic help with writing, website, advertising, social media, public relations, event planning and television/radio production. The workshop will be especially beneficial for ministers and other professional staff, support staff that assist with media and event needs, and lay volunteers, according to Bernie Ankney, chair of Samford’s journalism and mass communication department.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 19.  Participants also are invited to an evening networking reception Aug. 18 hosted by Samford President Andrew Westmoreland and his wife, Jeanna. The reception, while optional, will give participants an opportunity to learn from others and to share experiences, Ankney said.

Cost of the workshop is $100 per person and includes workshop materials, the reception, a breakfast and a luncheon. Each participant also will receive a copy of How Shall They Hear?, a handbook for religion communication published by the interfaith Religion Communicators Council.

Workshop leaders will be church and nonprofit media professionals, including Payden George Montgomery, Southside Church, Peachtree City, Ga.; Marilane Mesler, Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham; Andy Evans, Provenance Digital Media, Birmingham; Robyn Blaike Collins, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas; Justin Firesheets, Church of the Highlands, Birmingham; and Philip Poole, Samford University.

Luncheon keynote speaker is Scott Seal, director of Power Point Ministries at Prestonwood Baptist Church in suburban Dallas. Seal will talk about how social media can transform a church’s communication and outreach.

“The conference will help you plan your next major event, improve the quality of your newsletter, improve the content of your website, handle public relations, create advertisements for print, radio and television, and review what you need to do to record commercials or broadcast your services,” Ankney said.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.