Jonathan Howe, vice president for communications at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee (EC), announced the reorganization of the communications department on Oct. 16. The changes will create a new position to lead Baptist Press, the convention’s news arm.
“Since 1946, Baptist Press has faithfully served Southern Baptists by providing news and information through a variety of methods,” said Howe. “For decades, Baptist Press focused on print journalism, and many of our methods still follow a schedule compatible with that platform. While our journalistic standards must remain high, we also must improve and diversify our communication to best serve the next generation of Southern Baptists through all means possible.”
The reorganization will delineate the communications office into convention news and convention communications. Baptist Press will represent the convention news arm, while SBC Life will represent the convention communications arm. Today (Oct. 16) the Executive Committee will launch a nationwide search to fill the position of associate vice president for convention news, mirroring a similar position recently filled by Amy Whitfield.
She has served the past five years as director of marketing and communications at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
“When I first came to the Executive Committee on May 20, it was clear that changes were needed so that we might create a healthier culture in the SBC and the Executive Committee,” EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd told Baptist Press. “Part of developing that healthy culture deals with how we communicate through Baptist Press and SBC Life.
“We are continuing to take steps toward that end. What started with the hiring of Jonathan Howe and Amy Whitfield now involves us finding new leadership at Baptist Press that will better serve all Southern Baptists. I look forward to the future of Baptist Press under this new leadership.”
Several new technologies are also in development, including a complete overhaul of all convention websites as well as an update to the Baptist Press app. Included in the technology overhaul are improvements to the daily email and the coming launch of a new morning briefing email.
“Nearly 75 percent of our website visitors are consuming our content on a mobile device,” noted Howe. “We have to provide our content in a way that is both visually appealing and best communicates the story of Southern Baptists. Our goal for redesigning our websites should accomplish both of these.”
Those interested in the Associate Vice President position can find out more information here.