More Stories and Voices through Episcopal Relief & Development’s New Blog

On September 9, Episcopal Relief & Development launched its new blog. With regular contributors, a more user-friendly layout and stories directly from the field, the blog will help deepen the organization’s relationships with its supporters and partners worldwide.

Daryn Kobata, Church Engagement and Social Media Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development, has been developing the new blog and preparing for the transition. The biggest change, she said, is being able to have multiple authors contribute through their own profiles, instead of having to post “guest blogs” through a single profile. “This will allow users to search for and follow particular authors, and posts from a wider range of program areas can be presented in a way that makes sense.” Even friends and supporters will be able to share posts on the special “Episcopal Relief & Development Stories” page.

Episcopal Relief & Development introduced the President’s Blog in 2008 as a way to increase direct communication with the organization’s supporters and friends. The blog has been a useful tool in building connections with individuals and other organizations, and in fostering dialog on domestic disaster relief and international development. Blog posts are often linked on Facebook and “tweeted” on Twitter, increasing the potential audience and generating useful feedback.

With the advent of the new blog, Episcopal Relief & Development hopes to further expand its circle of readers and encourage churches and dioceses to become more aware of its activities around the world. The blog will also provide a window into Episcopal Relief & Development as an organization, and highlight the partnerships that help bring its mission to life.

“What we want to do with the blog,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development, “is make it possible for our staff to post stories and impressions directly from the field, wherever they are. We are a living organization, working every day to support our partners as they build up their communities and help people improve their lives. This blog will be a celebration of our commitment to the work we are supporting, and a big ‘thank-you’ to everyone whose efforts and contributions are making such a difference.”

Radtke’s blog on the new site will be called “Thoughts on Healing a Hurting World,” and will include archived posts from the current “President’s Blog.”  Joining the president as authors on the new blog will be a number of Episcopal Relief & Development staff members, including Nagulan Nesiah (International Program Officer) and Xerxes Eclipse (Director, Donor Services). “My work focuses mainly on countries in Asia, and my first post is from Sri Lanka,” Nesiah commented. “I’m definitely excited to be sharing stories from our partner there.”

“Working with and talking to donors is great,” Eclipse remarked, “because I get to hear these wonderful stories about how people get connected to us. Our supporters are passionate about the work we do, and there’s so much creativity out there in the ways people are raising money for our programs. I think sharing these stories on the blog will really encourage people and give them ideas for how they can help.”

Increasing its digital media presence is a priority for Episcopal Relief & Development, especially as more dioceses and congregations are using the internet to coordinate activities and broadcast information. Updated logos and buttons that link to Episcopal Relief & Development’s website are available online here, and can be easily inserted into any webpage. The organization can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“The new blog really rounds out our social media presence,” Kobata said. “By expanding our reach into the blogosphere, we can hopefully connect with new audiences and potential partners.  I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the fun ways our friends are spreading the word about our work and helping to support our programs.”