Florida convention communicators receive five national industry awards
May 6, 2014
By FLBaptist STAFF

Don Hepburn, director of public relations/missions promotion for the Florida Baptist Convention, reviews the Maguire State Mission Offering campaign that won the Arthur S. Davenport Award for excellence in public relations from the Baptist Communicators Association. FLBaptist photo
RIDGECREST, NC (FLBaptist)—The Florida Baptist Convention’s Public Relations/Missions Promotion received five awards for their work, including the Grand Prize Arthur S. Davenport Award in Public Relations, during the Wilmer C. Fields Awards competition.

The awards were announced during the annual Baptist Communicators Association meeting April 11 at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center. 

BCA is a professional development organization open to anyone serving in Baptist communications. Started in 1953, BCA encompasses roughly 300 members. Most are employed by Southern Baptist entities, Baptist newspapers, state conventions, seminaries and universities. 

In the annual Wilmer C. Fields Award Competition, members submitted more than 300 entries for this year’s contest, which was divided into seven divisions ranging from public relations, design, interactive, audio visuals and newswriting.

The Davenport Award was given for the Convention’s Maguire State Mission Offering 2013 campaign, which required an extensive document outlining the research, planning, execution and eval­uation of the project. 

The Maguire State Mission Offering promotion also received first place in the Public Relations and Development Campaign. The campaign, “A Heart of Generosity,” included a direct mail planning guide, prayer guide and poster in three languages, DVD with videos and curriculum guides totaling more than 25 collateral pieces. The entry demonstrated how the team implemented the branding through articles and displays in the Florida Baptist Witness, social media, including Facebook and Twitter, mass emails and the Convention’s website, www.flbaptist.org

Judges gave the campaign a perfect score, noting its “excellence in public relations materials,” implementation, and “great samples of electronic promotions, print, and DVD” and calling it “outstanding.”

The award was presented to Barbara Denman, director of communications, and Don Hepburn, director of public relations/missions promotion, who accepted the award at the ceremony. This represents the eighth time the Convention team has won the prestigious award. 

The history book Favored Florida: A History of Florida Baptists co-authored by Hepburn and the deceased Earl Joiner, who served as historian for the state convention in the 1970s and 1980s, also reaped two awards for Hepburn—first place in the design category and second place in feature writing for books. 

The book traces Florida Baptists to a 1784 gathering in Saint Augustine and highlights Southern Baptists in Florida after the organization of the Florida Baptist State Convention in 1854.

“Favored Florida” is also the recipient of the 2014 Baptist History Research Award from the Florida Baptist Historical Society. 

Denman received a second-place award in publication design for “Florida Baptist Missions,” a quarterly magazine that tells the life-changing story of Florida Baptist churches and individuals. The four-color publication with a circulation of 10,000 is distributed via mail and electronically to churches and Florida Baptist leaders.  

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