Frequently Asked Questions about PDA support of the RCC Wilbur Award Event
Why did you support the Wilbur award?
The Wilbur award is named in honor of Marvin C. Wilbur, a Presbyterian communicator and public relations expert who served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for more than 40 years and also served as executive secretary of the Religious Public Relations Council, the predecessor of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). This year, the RCC conference was held in Philadelphia, where papers and documents from Marvin C. Wilbur are housed at the Presbyterian Historical Society.
What are the Wilbur Awards?
The Wilbur awards are given to “recognize excellence in communicating religious issues, values and themes in the public media.” Many communicators in secular organizations treasure the recognition that these awards provide, as they convey appreciation from faith-based communicators for their work. PDA saw this as an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among media producers (film, TV programs, broadcasts, and published materials) for Presbyterian mission, including disaster relief.
What funds were used for this effort?
PDA has funds set aside in its budget for the promotion and interpretation of its work. Since most Presbyterians hear about pressing disasters through the secular media, PDA used a portion of these funds, this year, to increase the awareness of secular media with PDA’s work.
What was the benefit to PDA?
PDA continually seeks ways to inspire, equip and connect Presbyterians with the story of how the church responds to disasters. Recognizing the changing dynamics of how many people receive and use information, and understanding the crucial role played by the media in today’s disaster response climate, we chose to sponsor the Wilbur Award ceremony as an avenue to increase media awareness of work by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
As a part of our sponsorship, PDA was able to reach out to well-known members of the national media present at the awards and to obtain current contact information for an additional 250 national media outlets.
Are there additional benefits to PDA or PC(USA)?
PDA believes that garnering a relationship with individuals in the media who have won a Wilbur increases the opportunity to have positive stories of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) lifted up by the national media—stories similar to “Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina Five years Later,” which was broadcast nationwide on NBC — and this, in turn, inspires the faithful response of Presbyterians to show Christ’s love to people in need.