Salvation Army Today show marks 7th year telling Army’s story to the world
By: Christopher Priest
Since January 2012 Salvation Army Today has been sharing Salvation Army news from around the world to a worldwide audience on the web.
Initial research studied mainstream media outlets like CNN Headline, Fox News, the BBC and others where an anchor presents each story backed with images and video. For the first two years, we published a weekly show every Tuesday, and later added Thursdays to make twice-weekly episodes.
The show was hosted from our studio here at THQ with up to three stories lasting anywhere up to five minutes an episode. Episodes were posted to YouTube.com/salvationarmytoday and our own Salvationarmytoday.org website. News anchors were Roberta Simmons-Smith, Cadet Lindsey Galabeas, Lieutenant Christopher Raymer, Major John Carter, Christopher Priest, Jeremiah Hinson and Meagan Hofer.
One memorable highlight of the hosted shows was our daily coverage of the 2015 Boundless Congress in London, England. Morning broadcasts from the O2 Arena attracted about 10,000 views an episode as it was also distributed through the Boundless 2015 website.
In late 2015, we went back to the drawing board of studying developments in news gathering, especially with the escalation of mobile news distribution (on personal devices). This coincided with a sharp escalation of increased video on social media channels. The result and action taken was to feature a single story, un-hosted and shorter in time that is posted directly to Facebook, incorporating a new mobile friendly format of images, video and text. By eliminating the hosted audio, each episode can now be shown in any Army facility, and, of course, read on personal devices. We have shared over 200 episodes this way, resulting in a sharp spike in views and an equally important increase in sharing by users.
The largest benefit to the public and our internal audience is a seven-year archive of over 600 episodes – almost all original stories – that has become an increasingly valuable source of international research on The Salvation Army. Go to youtube.com/salvationarmytoday to view.
We encourage you to “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/salvationarmytoday and share the bi-weekly episodes with your friends and Facebook page followers.
Each episode of Salvation Army Today is also sent via electronic newsletter with three other Salvation Army stories. For example, the Jan. 3, 2019, edition has a Salvation Army Today episode thanking donors and volunteers for their Christmas giving, but also includes the New Year message from General Brian Peddle, a story from London, England, and another from Australia.
If you would like to receive the newsletter, please email Chris.Priest@uss.salvationarmy.org.
Do you have a unique program or event that would be a great fit for Salvation Army Today? We encourage you to email us at SAToday@uss.salvationarmy.org. In order to feature a story, we need photos or video and three-four sentences to make it happen. We would love to hear from you!
Christopher Priest is the territorial director of communications.