Washington, D.C.

The Religion Communicators Council handed out awards recognizing excellence in more than 50 categories of communications and public relations Friday at its annual conference just outside of Washington, D.C.

The annual DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards, given to active members of RCC, are named in honor of the late Victor DeRose and the late Paul M. Hinkhouse, leading lithographers in New York City, and longtime friends of the RCC. Both men shared a strong interest in, and concern for, excellence in communications. This year RCC received 214 entries. Each entry was judged on overall quality, including concept, writing, design, creativity, style, use of color, appropriateness of material for intended audience, creative use of resources, and effectiveness in achieving its purpose.

For the second year in a row, faculty members from the Journalism and Mass Communications Department at Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., were responsible for judging the projects of religion communication professionals across the country.

The Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) department houses a Bachelor of Arts degree with seven majors and a graduate program accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. SOJMC alumni can be linked to US News and World Report, CNN, PBS and a Pulitzer Prize newspaper editor.

Marshall University is the fourth university to judge DeRose-Hinkhouse entries over the past seven years. Eastern Illinois University, Belmont University, University of Chattanooga at Tennessee have evaluated entries in the past.

Patrick Heery, editor of Presbyterians Today, acknowledged the many people who contribute to telling the story of the people of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

“I am really honored by these awards,” says Heery. “What they mask, however, is just how many people made this possible: the Presbyterians who are thoughtfully, passionately living out their faith, without whom there would be no story; the person who stops to take a photo and brings a face to a story; the person who takes the time to call, email or hit us up on social media so that we know about the story; and all the creators—the writers, the designers, the behind-the-scenes production staff and the administrative assistants. Their names may not be on the certificates, but all of these people—with their many callings, talents, pains and joys—are a part of these awards. And it’s my privilege to get to carry a part their lives, their stories, as an editor."

In all, PC(USA) communicators received ten awards across a broad range of publications, including:

* The best single issue periodical, in the miscellaneous category, was awarded to Jeffrey Lawrence and Carol Johnson for the 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study.

* An award of excellence in public relations for poster design was given to Margaret Boone and Sam Locke for the 2014 Christmas Joy Offering Poster.

* An award of excellence for booklet production was given to Margaret Boone, Sam Locke and Tricia McReynolds for the 2014 Special Offerings Action Kit.

* An award of excellence was for a series of advertisements was given to Teresa Mader and Sam Locke for the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.

* An award of excellence for editorial writing in a publication was given to Patrick Heery for his article “Our Emmaus Road” in the December 2014 issue of Presbyterians Today.

* An award of excellence for overall publication design was given to Laura Lee for the publication Shanti Means Peace: The Story of the Fellowship of the Least Coin.

* A certificate of merit for publication cover design was awarded to Mark Thomson, Patrick Heery and Jeffrey Lawrence for the September 2014 issue of Presbyterians Today on the theme “Civil Rights - miles to go.”

* A certificate of merit for design was awarded to Carol Johnson and Pamela Burdine for the brochure “Working with others through faith, love, and action.”

* A best of class award was given in the public relations and advertising campaign category to Margaret Boone and Sam Locke for the 2014 Special Offerings Campaign. The campaign also received an award of excellence in the fundraising campaign category.