Recognizing excellence in communication

The diocesan communications department was awarded six Polly Bond Awards for excellence in church communications at the 2014 Episcopal Communicators conference held in April in Chicago.

The awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding work by Episcopal Communicators. Episcopal Communicators is an organization of more than 200 people with communication responsibilities in the Episcopal Church first established in 1974. Polly Bond, a communicator from the Diocese of Ohio, was one of the founding members of the organization and the Polly Bond Awards were established shortly before her death in 1979 as a way to honor her ministry, by recognizing distinguished service in the field of church communication.

Entries are received by individuals working in parish, diocesan or organizational communications in the Episcopal Church and judged by professionals outside of the field of church communication. No awards were presented in 2013, but after a year’s hiatus the competition was revived in 2014 and work from 2012 and 2013 could be entered for consideration.

The Diocese of Southern Ohio communications department has been often recognized at the awards, and 2014 was no exception. Former communications director Richelle Thompson, Interchange and Connections designer Amy Svihlik, current communications director David Dreisbach and associate director Julie Murray all took home awards in several categories.

Episcopal Communicators newcomer David Dreisbach was awarded an Award of Excellence (1st place) in the Writing – Editorial/Commentary category for his entry “How do you sell a prune?” which appeared in the August/September 2013 edition of Interchange.

The judge had this to say about Dreisbach’s editorial: “I never could have imagined how much the Episcopal Church can learn from the ‘lowly prune.’ As part of a community of faith that values metaphors, the author uses an absolutely on point comparison to make a number of important points. There result is a piece that’s both provocative and inspiring. I’m sure those who read the article will be inspired to rethink the way they connect with the broader community.”

Dreisbach also received an Award of Merit (2nd place) for Marketing/Education/Outreach as the lead designer of the diocese’s new welcome brochure. That judge praised the brochure for its “beautiful, elegant cover design with a simple, straight-forward message.”

Editor Richelle Thompson, designer Amy Svihlik and former assistant youth director Maggie Foster received an Award of Merit for Visual Arts – Layout for “Campland” a whimsical two-page spread in the May 2012 Interchange, that that transformed a promotion for Procter Summer Camp into a board game.

Thompson also took home an Honorable Mention in the Writing – Feature category for “Cathedral preserves saint’s Bible,” which appeared in the August/September 2012 edition of Interchange.

Photographer Julie Murray received two awards in the Visual Arts – Photography category, capturing an Award of Excellence for her photo “Light of Christ,” which was published on the diocesan Facebook page in November 2013. Calling it “an amazingly beautiful image,” the judge said “ This photo is all about the beautiful light. The composition, the subtle moment that creeps in there. It’s the kind of image you want to swim around in. The kind of space you see in dreams.”

Murray was also awarded an Honorable Mention for the photo “Even a Superhero Needs a Savior,” which appeared on the cover of the June/July 2013 issue of Interchange.

The communications office for the Diocese of Southern Ohio is proud to be recognized for its work in church communication – a field that Polly Bond called “a joyful profession.”