November Luncheon

Politics and Religion:
A Discussion on the Role
Religion Played in the Recent Presidential Election

November 29, 2012 12:00-1:30 PM


We have a great panel that will discuss the role religion played in this latest political cycle.

How did the various groups use religion as a positive marketing piece for a candidate? Or was it used as a negative weapon against a candidate? Did religion really play a role or was it just used to deflect attention?

Bring your questions about politics and religion and challenge our panel of experts in this arena!


Event Details

When: Thursday, November 29
Time: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Christ United Methodist Church, 2801 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch
Cost: $15 and includes lunch.
RSVP: Email or call Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147


About our Panel: 

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, initiator, organizer and mediator committed to building cohesive societies, and offering pluralistic solutions on current issues. Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated Radio shows including Dallas TV, print and radio networks, and occasional interviews on NPR. Mike is a member of the Texas Faith Panel at The Dallas Morning News and writes about issues facing the nation every week. He writes for The Huffington Post regularly, and occasionally for Washington Post and other daily newspapers and magazines around the world. Mike has published over 1000 articles on a variety of subjects.

Derrick Jeter

Derrick Jeter

Derrick Jeter has dedicated his professional life to challenging honest skeptics and seekers to wrestle with the most pressing questions regarding the life of faith and the preservation of liberty. After his undergraduate work at UT and receiving a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, Derrick began a public speaking consultancy, working with business professionals and politicians. Derrick is also the author of two books published by The Jeter Press: A 911 for 9/11: Finding Answers to the Evil of September 11, 2001 and O America! A Manifesto on Liberty.

Sam Hodges

Sam Hodges

Sam Hodges, a managing editor at the United Methodist Reporter, has had a long career in newspapers, including reporting on religion for the Dallas Morning News. While at the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, he won a George Polk Award for a series on scarcity of dental care for poor children. He has won several other awards, and was a journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. He’s the author of a published novel and co-editor of a published book of his great-great-grandfather’s Civil War letters.

Jeff Weiss

Jeff Weiss

Jeffrey Weiss is a weekly columnist for Real Clear Religion, and a longtime reporter and blogger for The Dallas Morning News. He was previously general assignment reporter, and social services reporter for The Dallas Morning News, and a regular contributor to the late Politics Daily. He has also reported for The Miami Herald. Weiss was awarded second place in the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year, and Schachern Award for Best Religion Section by The Religion Newswriters Association, as well as a contributor on a piece that won the Wilbur Award for Best Religion Section by The Religion Communicators Council, in addition to many other nominations and honorable mentions.

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The 6 Essentials to Direct Mail Success

At our September luncheon we will discuss the six things direct marketers look at to make their direct mail programs work best. When to use it, why direct mail, and what makes it work so well for generating everything from sales leads, to raising funds to setting up C level interviews are all explored. We will allow ample time for questions and comments from all attendees.

Please bring one of your toughest questions so we can open it up to the group as time allows.

Event Details

When: Thursday, September 27
Time: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m .
Where: Christ United Methodist Church, 2801 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch
Cost: $15 and includes lunch.
RSVP: Email or call Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147

About our Presenter: Ted Grigg

What Ted does best is increase response by beating controls, applying multiple channels to target markets, profiling customer databases and generally improving sales results using deep direct marketing principles. Think of Ted as your personal “think-tank” for your direct marketing planning and strategy development.

After analyzing several hundred million dollars of direct response testing in all media, he brings with him the knowledge accumulated from seeing what tends to work and what typically does not.

His formal training includes a BA from Abilene Christian University and two years of graduate work at Texas Tech University.

A sampling of past clients include MSN, Winn-Dixie Stores, American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Chase Insurance, Olan Mills Photography, On The Border Restaurants, Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union and the Arthritis Foundation.

An independent DM consultant, Ted continues to write numerous articles and conduct seminars on direct marketing techniques. He also wrote The HMO/PPO Marketing Plan — A Step-by-Step Guide publishing it through Executive Enterprises in New York City.

During his youth, Ted was raised in Lille, France with his missionary family attending French schools becoming fluent in reading and writing French. Away from the job, Ted is an avid cyclist, a computer geek and a science fiction buff!

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“Social Email, Getting It Right”

Email is Not Dead! Email is “alive and well”. It actually outpaces all other forms of communication. Social email, a combination of social media, mobile device support, and email, is the most effective email marketing program.

Ed Sanders, Lifecycle Email Marketing Specialist with Blue Hornet will present “Social Email, Getting It Right” sharing best practices associated with implementing a Social Email program that yields maximum results.

Religion Communicators Council’s August luncheon is Thursday, August 23, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church (2801 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch). Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Email or call Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147 to make reservations to attend.

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What Do Kermit the Frog and Print Have in Common?

Despite Kermit the Frog’s lament that it isn’t easy being green, print as a part of comprehensive communications & marketing program is green. It is also sustainable, recyclable and effective. Join the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of RCC to hear Joe Polanco, president of the Printing and Imaging Association of Mid-America talk about relevancy and low environmental impact of print products.

As communicators, we use the medium of print to achieve a purpose – tell a story, send a message, announce an event and so on – just as we use electronic media and other methods. Joe will share with us information about the effectiveness and environmental credentials of print on paper.

Joe Polanco has more than 35 years experience in the commercial printing industry in a variety of roles. With this knowledge and experience, he is a resource to help further the understanding of the advantages of print as a communication medium.

Information and resources about the recyclability, renewability and sustainability of print can be found at http://www.chooseprint.org/ .

We’ll meet Thursday, July 26, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, Farmers Branch. Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Email or call Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147 to make reservations to attend.

Deb Christian, Secretary, D-FW Chapter RCC

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Facebook as Marketing Tool for Churches and Nonprofit Organizations

Mike Baughman, coach and writer for Social Phonics, spoke at the June chapter meeting at Christ UMC in Farmers Branch. Social Phonics is a company that helps churches and nonprofit organizations make effective use of social media. The topic was social media as a marketing tool. Baughman chose to focus on Facebook ads and, judging from the response and questions, the choice was a good one. There has been a lot of buzz about Facebook lately, with the IPO debacle, and constant changes to the site.

While giving the group a tutorial – as it were – on Facebook ad campaigns, Baughman noticed that Facebook had already made changes since he last visited the site. He went through the steps of planning ad campaigns on Facebook. Choosing the right image or photo for the ad is crucial. It should unique or out of the ordinary, yet still relevant to the content and purpose of the ad. The image should be as large as possible without obscuring the content.

By design, the content must be short. Since the purpose of the add is to provoke an action, active words should be  used in a phrase or statement that implies motion or movement. The most effective choice for ad payment is for click-throughs rather than page views. Therefore, the content in the ad combined with the image should feed interest enough to click on the ad. While this is merely a sample of the advice Mike Baughman shared with the communications group, more information may be found at Social Phonics, Baughman’s blog, or his website.

Baughman is also an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and an engaging preacher. He will be preaching at all three worship services this Sunday (9, 10:15, and 11:30 a.m.), July 22nd, at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch.

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Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Churches and Nonprofit Organizations

Mike Baughman, who will speak at the June meeting of the DFW Chapter of RCC, is  coach and writer for Social Phonics – a company that helps churches and nonprofit organizations make effective use of social media. Baughman is also an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, a regular guest lecturer at SMU, and a presenter at local and national workshops. As the lead pastor at Union – a new church start/coffee house in mission to twenty-somethings and college students, Baughman practices what he preaches – pun intended.

Social media as a marketing tool will be the topic on Thursday, June 28 from noon to 1:30 at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch. You can use your organization’s Facebook page as a marketing tool. Facebook and Facebook advertising have been in the news a lot lately, but there are other ways to market your organization through social media. Baughman will also touch on using Twitter and plans on lots of questions from our group to engage everyone.

Feel free to visit his blog or go to mikebaughman.com for more info. Cost for the meeting is $15 and includes lunch. Please email or call to reserve a place: dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6405 x147 by Wednesday, June 27.

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MOSAIC at May Chapter Meeting

Sarah Boyea, public relations specialist for MOSAIC, was the guest speaker at the May 24th meeting of the DFW Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch. There are other organizations that use the name Mosaic in some form. What distinguishes Boyea’s employer from the other organizations is providing “a life of possibilities for people with intellectual disabilities.”

Boyea began with a brief history of MOSAIC. MOSAIC began as Bethphage in 1913 in Nebraska when a Lutheran pastor became appalled at the lack of services and decent facilities for people – primarily children – who had intellectual disabilities. Children were “warehoused” or put into orphanages. Ninety percent of babies found to have intellectual disabilities were given up by the parents – with encouragement from doctors. The non-profit, faith-based, national organization will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

Mosaic in Dallas has six same sex group houses in Carrollton and Plano. Each house is home to six individuals with two to a room. Four vocational centers in the metroplex provide jobs such as document destruction (shredding), and assembly work. The organization has  contracts for the document destruction business, as well as a contract with a Dallas box business for assembly work. A beading home-business owner in Carrollton pays them to count and string beads.

The Mosaic staff matches jobs to the individuals’ skill set. Currently they employ 65 people at the vocational centers. They also “drive the individuals to and from work, and wherever they need to go.” The document destruction is the organization’s biggest business, with even those with physical disabilities capable of performing the task.

“We try to give everyone some type of job to give them a paycheck and a meaningful day. The paycheck means a lot to them, regardless of the amount or they even know how much money it is. It is the intrinsic value of paychecks. On payday, everyone’s excited!”

“Which really helps the families of children with intellectual disabilities [as another option]. State assistance ends with high school and the family has to make the decision of what to do. Do they try to keep the youth at home and try to be caregivers? Or do they put them in a “warehouse” (state-run work house), or an adult daycare?”

The organization’s workforce grew by twenty people this year. Mosaic has partnerships with local high schools and special education students. The students spend time at a vocational  center and tour the facilities.

Boyea continued by discussing the correct terminology with the room of communicators.  “People with intellectual disabilities” is the preferred term for these unique individuals. It lacks the stigma of previous terms. In order to enter the program at Mosaic, an individual must have had primary diagnosis of mental retardation. Which is medical terminology and the only time the term is used.

Mention of the term, however, brought to mind the Mesquite High School yearbook incident recently in which the term was applied to students of the special education program. Some terms used to describe disadvantaged individuals began as derogatory terms, yet even those terms designed to alter the offensive nature of previous terms eventually came to be derogatory. Special needs is still acceptable, but intellectual disabilities is the preferred terminology. It takes time for new terminology to be commonly accepted.

Mosaic is a place where these unique individuals with intellectual disabilities can live a fulfilling life with purpose and dignity. Boyea displayed the earnestness of those working at Mosaic to help the residents and employees achieve that goal. The general public and communicators can help by using proper language and supporting those with intellectual disabilities. All of God’s children should be treated as the marvelous creation of God that they are.

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New Name? New Brand? What to Do Next

What happens when your organization merges with another and you have a new name and need to have new branding? Plus, you need to do some educating about language and terminology and tell stories without violating anyone’s privacy. How does a communicator handles those challenges?

Join us to hear Sarah Boyea from Mosaic, a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, tell us how Mosaic dealt with those situations.

She’ll start with a little history of merging separate entities and creating new name and branding. . . and then segue into talking about how they have developed language, partly to be PC and partly to help people move away from hurtful language. . . and how they tell their clients stories without violating privacy, HIPAA, or common sense for folks with limited abilities to protect themselves against being victimized.

The May meeting of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) will be at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch on Thursday, May 24, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. Reservations should be made with Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org (or call 214.630.6495 x147) by Wednesday, May 24. Cost is $15 and includes lunch.

Forgive the short notice. Work tasks and a big project have slowed publicizing and promoting this great program. Feel free to invite other communicators.

—— from Deb Christian, Secretary, DFW Chapter

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Social Media Marketing

Nicci O’Boyle, healthy lifestyle through nutrition and exercise consultant and small business owner who also helps to educate other small businesses about marketing tools to help grow their business, gave a presentation to the DFW Chapter of the RCC on April 26, at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch. O’Boyle was recommended to the chapter by the staff of Constant Contact. Her presentation was entitled Social Media Marketing Made Simple.

The group of 25 to 30 people present included chapter members and several guests who came for information about Constant Contact in particular, and social media marketing in general. O’Boyle’s seminar offered a basic review of the essential strategies and best practices a business or organization should understand to successfully get started with social media marketing.

Social media marketing is a field that is continuously changing. But, for the moment, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are still the big three. YouTube remains the reigning video sharing site. Other players are entering the fray continuously, making it difficult to ascertain which of the media sites are worth the extra time it would take to set up and maintain a presence on the additional outlets.

O’Boyle’s presentation – a Constant Contact seminar – was a little basic for the more social media savvy of the group, but it was completely appropriate for the guests and some of the members. However, regardless of a person’s level of familiarity with social media, a refresher presentation – or simply an affirmation of what they have already learned. Which is one of the benefits of chapter meetings. There is something for everyone.

At the United Methodist Reporter Communications Conference in March, Mike Baughman, a coach for Social Phonics, had an interesting reason for why they call themselves coaches of social media rather than social media experts.

“There is no such thing as a social media expert. A social media expert is like a unicorn. Everyone is looking for one, but they don’t exist.”

The idea being that things are changing so fast that no one can really get a handle on them before they change again. But whether you are a novice or a pro at social media, there are a few standards that you can count on – as Nicci O’Boyle pointed out in her presentation. Social media sites are the current marketing channels. Each social media outlet has its own particular use and should be linked to other outlets across your network.

Cherrie Graham, Chapter PresidentAnd, as always, content is key. Once you have quality content, distribute that content across your social media network, including email. Content should be well-written, relevant, and engaging. The content should also reflect your brand and purpose across channels.

Setting up a network serves little purpose if you are not actively interacting and networking. Include content that encourages response or engagement. Be sure to make it easy and convenient for visitors to like your content and share it with all other media sites. While it is not necessary to have a presence at every social media outlet, visitors to your site may share your content with the other outlets.

Check back for news of the next chapter meeting. Whether you are a member of the communications committee at your church, a professional on staff at a faith-based organization, or any volunteer or professional in faith-based communications, there is something for you in the RCC. Guests are always welcome.

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April RCC Chapter Meeting

Join the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council to hear Nicci O’Boyle give us the scoop on Social Media Marketing Made Simple at the April meeting set for Thursday, April 26.

Nicci O’Boyle comes to us recommended by the folks who bring the world Constant Contact. She is a small business owner who has been successful using email marketing and social media marketing tools.

Her information-packed seminar offers a basic review of the essential strategies and best practices a business or organization should understand to successfully get started with social media marketing. She’ll cover:

What social media marketing really is and why it’s important;

Various social media networks and tools: how they interact, ways to leverage their strengths, and how to evaluate them for best use for your business or organization;

How other businesses are using these low-cost tools to gain visibility, develop relationships, and drive sales and engagement;

How to incorporate social media marketing into your business life without losing productivity.

We’ll meet from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch (2807 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch 75234). Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Please reserve a place by emailing or calling Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147 by noon on Wednesday, April 25.

A small added bonus from this speaker: As well as educating other small businesses and organizations on these tools to help grow their business, Nicci works with private clients by helping them achieve a healthier lifestyle through nutrition and exercise.

I look forward to seeing you to hear about this topic that all communicators need to know.

Deb Christian, Secretary, Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of RCC

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