For ten years I served as editor for the website of a large religious organization, the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. While my role ended when the Archdiocese made budget cuts to free up desperately needed resources for Syrian refugees, I am continually grateful for the opportunities afforded to me in this position.

The work was dynamic, and my professional expertise deeply needed as Internet publishing technology and social media transformed large scale organizational communication and influence. This quote from an article I published in the monthly print magazine of the Archdiocese not long after taking on the role emphasizes that I served as publisher for a passionate cadre of citizen journalists, and had to continuously design and innovate in order to best present their collective efforts.

It is critical that we work to use the Web well, because it is fast becoming the most important method of public conversation in our society, particularly for those without a lot of money to spend. I’ve heard it said that much of the Internet is a collective exercise in citizen’s journalism, and it’s a useful metaphor for our efforts as an Archdiocese. We at the Department of Internet Ministry are the publisher, and you are our “stringers”, in newspaper jargon—the writers, recorders and photographers who provide us with the source material for us to publish on Antiochian.org. This is the model that we’re working to incorporate, one where we create and maintain a conduit or platform for your messages.

My ongoing work with the department was extensive, and included these highlights:

  • Established department, structuring ongoing work in focus areas of Administration, Design, Editorial, and Technology.
  • Hired, trained, and directed staff of up to ten remote contractors across multiple time zones.
  • Recognized for leadership excellence while remaining within budget and implementing best practices.
  • Documented processes as model for organization-wide changes.
  • Coordinated media coverage of people and events.
  • Led development of over 25,000 pages of new content for primary organizational site, microsites, and social media platforms.
  • Directed large projects to ensure site usability, performance, and security, including multi-year redesigns and upgrades of Drupal-based technologies.
  • Reported on site analytics and editorial decisions.
  • Led market research and analysis projects to identify opportunities for online audience growth.
  • Crafted editorial language and implemented SEO-driven content development practices.
  • Tripled monthly site audience.
  • Responded to requests for position statements from the media and public.
  • Planned marketing strategy with executive leadership on event promotion and registration, online product promotion, donations and fundraising, and more.
  • Met daily with senior staff, including fellow department chairs and executive aide to ruling Archbishop, to identify needs and plan solutions.
  • Presented results at annual leadership meetings with Synod of Bishops, Board of Directors, and key constituent groups.
  • Member of ten-person delegation sent to 2014 Antiochian Unity Conference at Balamand University in Lebanon.