The World Council of Churches (WCC) was honoured as a top non-governmental organization for its work during 2020, receiving a second-place Geneva Engage Award on 18 February for effective and inspiring social media outreach and engagement.
The WCC accepted the award during an online ceremony, along with other organizations in the category of “Non-profit Organizations and Associations.”
The award, presented by the Geneva Internet Platform and DiploFoundation, encourages convergences around development, human rights, digital and other policy issues between communities worldwide and International Geneva, host of many international negotiations with an impact across countries and continents.
WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca said the award is a joyful recognition of the sharing and support within the WCC fellowship and beyond.
“Thanks to the WCC fellowship’s strong interactions, our common voice resounds clearly in social media,” said Sauca. “May we continue to be messengers of hope, unity and faith!”
WCC communication officer Annegret Kapp reflected that social media has helped the WCC bring people from different regions and Christian traditions together to raise a common Christian voice. “Our member churches are doing great and creative work, and social media is one of the tools we use to help them learn from and be in solidarity with each other,” she said. “I am glad that in a year when many contacts were disrupted, WCC social media channels helped people stay connected across borders and barriers.”
Valter Hugo Muniz, also a WCC communication officer, said that analyzing social media statistics has helped track the impact of the WCC’s social media.
“We implemented a more campaign-driven approach combined with appealing visuals to help shape our voice in the various social media channels,” he said. “This award is a recognition for our effort to work more strategically, inspired by WCC’s mission to promote unity and hope, even online, particularly now, during a pandemic.”
In its communication strategy, the WCC envisions itself as a catalyst for change for a world with unity, justice and peace at its heart, said WCC communication director Marianne Ejdersten.
She added that WCC’s communications also strive to be inclusive; the core of its work involves participation and, most of all, hope. “Our task is to ignite hope for a better world where human dignity prevails,” said Ejdersten. “Human dignity and equality must permeate all communications.”
One concrete example is the campaign #ThursdaysinBlack towards a world without rape and violence. The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Share your Thursdays in Black photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using hashtags #ThursdaysinBlack and #WCC!