With the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 61st General Conference (GC) Session just less than four weeks away, GC administration is ramping up communications and finalizing details in time for the official launch on June 6, 2022. Specifically, the GC Communication Department is focused on ensuring this first-ever hybrid Session—held locally in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as online—is accessible for Adventists across the globe.
ANN recently sat down with the GC Communications team to explore their approach to circulating information during Session this year, and to clarify the best ways to access news and stay up to date with what’s happening.
FOUR LANGUAGES—MORE COMPLEX COMMUNICATIONS THAN EVER BEFORE
“This will be the most complex operation in communications of any GC Session before,” explains GC Communication director Williams Costa Jr. “This is the first truly digital GC Session. We’ve had social media in the past, but people didn’t expect the same first-hand experience like they do now. Now, it’s digital first. We want people to feel a part of this global movement, even if they can’t come to St. Louis in person.”
To ensure that as many people as possible can access the daily business sessions and other programs, the GC is producing all Session content in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Certain programs will also be available in Russian as well as in sign language.
“The GC has taken the responsibility of providing the ‘face of the church’ in the languages that span multiple divisions,” explains Costa Jr. “In the past, the GC only communicated through its Divisions, and the Divisions would then choose what they shared with local members through print, radio and television. Google disrupted that. Now when people search for Adventist content, they find our global channels first, and then the local channels. This means we need to put our best foot forward. We are the window of Adventism to the world.”
OFFICIAL CHURCH PLATFORMS—WHERE TO ACCESS CONTENT
“We have consolidated all GC Communications through the official Seventh-day Adventist Church channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. ANN also has its own Twitter account. ” explains GC Associate Communications director Sam Neves.
To make this process possible, the Communication Department has approximately 50 people working from across the globe—writers, designers, videographers, and management staff.
“Coordinating this process is a monumental task,” explains Neves. “We want to represent the Church in the best way possible. We are also blessed to have the Adventist Review Ministries running a seperate team of experienced communicators covering every aspect of GC Session. They have been doing this from the first GC Session over 150 years ago.”