LEARN A LITTLE—OR A LOT—FAST
Search the web for blogs, sites and information about current topics in religion. Read international and local religious magazines and newspapers for windows into what religious communities care about. Pay attention to movies, books, television shows, computer games and other places where religious themes are present. Sign up for email newsletters and Google Alerts to help you spot big religion stories. Stay on top of Google trends, top tweets and Facebook posts that touch on faith.
Out where people of faith gather, that is. This could include a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, bookstore, quilting group, sports field, festival, conference or meditation center.
GETTING TITLES RIGHT
Getting religious titles wrong is one of the quickest ways to lose your audience’s trust. They’ll think you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t care enough to get things right. Some titles indicate an official position and endorsement from hierarchy; other titles people bestow upon themselves. Some, such as rabbi or reverend, are familiar; but many—mufti (in Islam), metropolitan (in Eastern Catholic or Orthodox churches), rinpoche (in Buddhism), primate (in Roman Catholic churches) or reader (in Christian Science)—might not be. Ask people what their titles are and what kind of authority they represent. If someone uses a title you’re not familiar with, check it. More guidance on religious titles can be found at ReligionStylebook.org.