In a bid to harness the power of social media for the promotion of the Catholic faith, Jesuit Communications (JesCom) conducted a three-day Social Media Workshop for the Clergy of Gumaca from November 14 to 16, 2023. Hosted at the serene Regina RICA complex in Tanay, Rizal, the workshop aimed to equip 65 priests and 2 pre-deacons, averaging 40 years in age, with essential knowledge on the responsible and effective use of social media.
Spurred by Rev. Fr. Mon Abril, Rector at the Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer, the collaboration with JesCom unfolded in response to a shared vision of utilizing digital platforms for effective communication. Acknowledging the potential of social media as a formidable tool, the Clergy of Gumaca demonstrated eagerness to learn during the workshop.
The workshop, moderated by JesCom Executive Director Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, featured a comprehensive lineup of modules facilitated by JesCom staff. Their blend of educational backgrounds and hands-on experience ensured a dynamic learning environment, striking the right balance between theory and practice.
Day 1: Media Education, Literacy, and Basics of Production
Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, JesCom Creative Director, led the first day. Participants delved into the intricacies of media education and literacy, uncovering the curated nature of media content. The basics of media production, including scriptwriting and practical editing tips using the latest software tools, were also explored.
Day 2: Social Media Design, Campaigning, and Monetization
The second day featured Mark Inton, JesCom Graphic Artist, explaining the basic principles of art and e-design for social media. Joanna Armenta, JesCom Digital Marketing Manager, navigated through designing social media campaigns, the concept of virality, and the power of platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Meanwhile, Jennifer Chua, JesCom Finance and Administration Manager, delved into the intriguing topic of monetization on social media, specifically exploring funding options, platforms, and content ideas for Church fundraising.
Day 3: Ethics, Ministry Work, and Digital Citizenship
Paolo Antonio Gonzalez, JesCom Multimedia Training and Production Manager, and Assistant Instructor at Ateneo de Manila University, spearheaded the final day. The discussions revolved around the critical subjects of social media ethics and its role in the digital landscape. The clergy explored the concept of ‘digital citizenship’ and how to navigate ethical challenges. The concluding session unveiled the positive potential of social media for ministry work—evangelization, fundraising, public campaigns, and advocacies.
Expressing gratitude for the active participation of the Clergy of Gumaca, JesCom plans to extend similar workshops to more dioceses, underscoring the pivotal role of social media in advancing the Church’s initiatives, as well as adhering to its commitment to media training and responsible digital engagement.
With a focus on media literacy, leadership communication, and crisis communication, the media arm of the Society of Jesus’ Philippine Province aspires to empower individuals and organizations with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the digital age. The ultimate goal remains fostering a culture of respectful dialogue, integrity, and authenticity in the online community.