Geneva Engage awards 2023

WCC communication director Marianne Ejdersten (second from left) was joined at the award ceremony in Geneva by members of the WCC communication team Ivars Kupcis, Valter Hugo Muniz, Rhoda Mphande, Gregoire de Fombelle, and Xanthi Morfi.


WCC communication officer and social media coordinator Valter Hugo Muniz said that, during the last three years and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCC communications team worked hard to make social media a strategic tool to connect to different audiences globally, create clear procedures, train communication colleagues, and develop a production flow of content crafted for social media.

As a result, three years later, we have more than 55,000 followers on Facebook, plus a steadily growing audience on Instagram and Twitter,” he said. The vital question is how we journeyed from an organization where social media was just an appendix to the communication work, to a crucial element for connecting and communicating with our different audiences. We can summarize it in three steps: a clear structure, an efficient methodology, and dedicated content.”

The Geneva Internet Platform is supported by the Republic and State of Geneva, and DiploFoundation, a non-profit foundation founded by Malta and Switzerland.

Xanthi Morfi, WCC communication officer and member of the social media team, reflected that the WCC work on unity, justice, and peace—as significant it may be for the world in terms of peace-building and faith-based diplomacy—is not always easily comprehended or captured in news pieces and titles. Faith and love in Christ along with the inspiration and hope we bring to communities around the globe go beyond traditional communication,” she said. Social media gives us daily the tools we need as a team to *intepretate* for all audiences and contexts what it is that WCC offers to the oikoumene and why it is now more important than ever.”

Morfi added that the goal of the social media team is to speak to audiences of all ages, all regions and educational backgrounds, with a voice that is clear, strong, and contemporary but also meaningful to all. Of course we follow concrete social media strategies in order to do that, but the ultimate strategy is to always communicate truth, regardless of the cost that brings,” she said. The WCC is this bold and prophetic voice in the world today, and this is actually the one and unique element that shapes our communication more than any other or leads us to awards year after year.”

Engaging content is key

Anam Gill, who served as a senior communicator at the WCC 11th Assembly, reflected that, as she collaborated with the team working on the Instagram strategy during the assembly, the importance of engaging content became obvious.

The WCC 11th Assembly was a historic event, and no wonder the content created during that time reflected the voices of people from all over the world on diverse issues and topics,” said Gill. The diversity of voices—be it ingenious youth active on climate justice during the pre-assembly to delegations talking about unity and reconciliation contributing to positive change—all managed to create multi-platform activity and led to the growth of followers on Instagram."

Albin Hillert, WCC communication officer and photo coordinator, said this strong affirmation of the work that the WCC does across its communication channels is encouraging, particularly because photos are integral to such visual communication.

”In a world more and more geared towards visual communication—not least across social media—its also deeply encouraging to see such recognition of the impact of the WCCs work in an area where, for a number of years, the organization has been both strategic and intentional in efforts to show what the fellowship is and how it lives out its mission not only through words but increasingly also through visuals,” Hillert said. 

WCC communication officer Marcelo Schneider reflected that the WCC 11th Assembly brought an opportunity for the WCC to open an unprecedented *digital window* to the world.

The communication operation developed for the WCC 11th Assembly, held in Karlsruhe, Germany, 31 August – 8 September, incorporated the many lessons learned and the formats explored during the pandemic, when most WCC activities were held online through webinars, conferences, panel discussions, and podcasts,” he said. The WCCs *digital window* during the assembly enabled viewers from around the world to follow live all prayer services, plenary discussions, and special interviews. The daily *assembly news* edition, broadcast live from a studio built at the heart of the events venue, brought to light the vivid expressions of the ecumenical voices attending the assembly.”

WCC communication officer Ivars Kupcis said he was not only overjoyed at the award but also at the record number of visits—two million—to the WCC website during 2022. Particularly during and after the WCC 11th Assembly, monthly attendance doubled compared to the rest of the year.

WCC social media channels have been instrumental in sharing the WCC stories throughout the year, inspiring the global WCC fellowship to work together for justice, peace, and unity,” Kupcis said. One hundred and thirty stories—including news, features, and interviews—have been published just in relation to the WCC assembly last year, and sharing them on social media has contributed a lot in amplifying the common voice of churches and engaging with the WCC audiences worldwide.”

Agnes Souisa, social media manager of the assembly web team, said she was grateful to have been a part of the team, and that handling social media was a new skill for her.

“I learned how to process information to be an interesting and credible post for many people in many places, and of many different ages, on various social media platforms. I found the organized and well-directed way of working, the spirit of togetherness, and a solid work team was motivating even when we had many things to complete,” she said. “It was a precious experience for me. I hope many young people will get to work together at a WCC assembly so they can see the real unity when we work together for Christ."


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"WCC receives top honor from Geneva Engage for online engagement with the world" - WCC news release 1 February 2023

"Geneva Engage Award will be revealed—and WCC is among finalists" - WCC news release 31 January 2023

WCC 11th Assembly