Overview, Mission, and Method
The Seventh-day Adventist Church requires journalists and public relations professionals to serve in its corporate communication positions worldwide. Consider the following two quotes:
"Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."
—Acts 6:3 (NKJV)
The book of Acts notes that the growing church needed other people to fulfill the Dorcas ministry so pastors could focus on their work of studying the Bible and ministering. Certainly, ministers are the key employees in the denomination, but other Spirit-filled people with specialized professional skill sets are needed to offer support for ministers and the church.
"Let the press be utilized, and let every advertising agency be employed that will call attention to the work. This should not be regarded as nonessential."
—from the book Evangelism (Ev 103.1)
That was Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White's advice written in 1875. Today, qualified professionals are needed and communicators will help the advance the church's mission.
In 1912, the Adventist Church world headquarters hired Baltimore Sun newspaper reporter Walter Burgan to establish the Bureau of Press Relations, the precursor to today's Communication department. Church administrators realized they needed help in responding to the media's attacks on church doctrines. Leaders realized the importance of having a specialized professional to respond to media--someone who could speak their language.
Today, experienced reporters and public relations professionals are needed to continue this legacy of communication in all administrative levels and regions of the Adventist world church.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a global Protestant Christian denomination of 18 million members. More than one-third of its members live in Africa, while another one-third live in Central America and South America. The denomination officially launched in 1863 in the United States.
Established in 1994, Adventist News Network is the official news agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ANN provides content for publications and websites around the world. It is produced by the Communication department at the church's world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
Regional offices are located worldwide:
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Berne, Switzerland
- Miami, Florida, United States of America
- Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America
- Goyang City, Korea
- Pretoria, South Africa
- Brasilia, Brazil
- Wahroonga, Australia
- Tamil Nadu, India
- Cavite, Philippines
- St. Albans, England
- Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Adventist News Network is the Adventist Church's news voice among the mainstream media. Many stories that fit ANN's news values will also meet the news values of the mainstream media in your local area. Thus, investing time, effort, and research in writing for ANN or a local church news service often results in a ready-crafted news release that can also be pitched to local media outlets. Good internal communication often translates to good external communication.
Adventist News Network mission
To connect and reflect the Adventist community of faith around the world.
The news format is almost universally recognized and accepted. It speaks to audiences who may never read Adventist evangelistic material.
While Adventist News Network provides news and pictures, it does not seek to replace church publications, but to complement them, providing material they can reproduce.
Adventist News Network is also featured on the front page of the Adventist Church's website at adventist.org. This website is often the starting point for journalists who are researching some aspect of the Adventist Church. The site also attracts individuals who are merely curious about the church and its beliefs.
While ANN serves the world church, it is hoped that each regional administration will commit to keeping members and publics informed of news in their area. Adventist News Network will only fulfill its potential and mission to the extent that it develops a strong partnership with each of the church's world regions.
ANN provides the church's world regions with an avenue to:
- Share successes and challenges with the broader Adventist community.
- Challenge Adventists around the world to see the diversity and global nature of the Adventist community.
- Help present a picture of the Adventist Church to ANN's external audiences.
- Raise awareness of the activities and programs of the church's world regions.
- Have greater input and control in how news from a church world region is presented, especially with sensitive issues.
- Foster a community of Adventist communicators within each world region.
- News on prominent speeches by church executives, commenting on church life or social issues.
- News on significant policy discussions and voted actions.
- News on money received and how the denomination is spending it.
- News on prominent or new methods of outreach and ministry.
- News from one part of the world that could affect or inspire the church's operation in another part of the world.
- News features on prominent members, church life and quirks--issues of a lighthearted or challenging nature.
- News reflecting on the beliefs and conduct of Seventh-day Adventists, including lifestyle, education, health interests, inter-faith relations, community involvement and religious freedom developments--encouraging and otherwise.
- Church members--the stakeholders and financial supporters of the denomination.
- Church administrators internationally.
- Church communicators and editors of Adventist publications--in print and online.
- Community members.
- Content seekers wishing to republish news and photos.
- Reporters brought to the site through a news alert on a subject, informing them of an issue of their interest, and, ultimately, more about the church.
- ANN publishes news and pictures on its website. Republication is encouraged.
- An e-mail news bulletin of the previous week's stories is sent each week.
- High-resolution photos for republishing are available in the ANN Flickr account (see ANN reproduction requirements).
ANN follows the writing style of the Associated Press Stylebook. In addition, the ANN Styleguide is used when describing church matters to offer a better understanding of the church, its doctrines and administrative structure.
When attempting to communicate to a broader audience in the community--especially the mainstream media--the church must speak language that will be understood. Using in-house jargon can be alienating.
While the majority of reports deal with positive topics, ANN also strives to cover more challenging issues: proposed changes in church policy, off-shoot movements, racial tensions, financial failure of institutions and apostasy rates.
Seventh-day Adventist Church mission
The church's mission is to show people the character of God's love, to invite them to accept His gift of salvation and to worship their Creator in a community of fellow believers.
The Adventist Church is committed to the development of minds and characters through education and joyous living in celebration of health--the denomination promotes healthful living and operates the largest Protestant network of hospitals and schools worldwide.
Adventists also strive to defend religious freedom of belief. The denomination launched in 1893 what is now the International Religious Liberty Association (irla.org), a non-sectarian organization promoting freedom of conscience for all people everywhere. The church also provides disaster relief and community development projects worldwide through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (adra.org).