Does Your Church Need a Public Relations Strategy?
The term public relations is defined by PRSA as: “A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
But, do churches really need to manage public relations? Should they care about building relationships with its members and the community?
The answer is yes. The church represents Christianity and has the responsibility for making that representation reflective of who Christ is.
And, one way to do that is by giving back to the community and maintaining a positive public image.
We often hear of PR nightmares during times of crisis and, how an organization responds, can have a positive or negative effect on the public perception of the organization.
There have been a number of church-related events in recent years that received lots of media attention.
The unfortunate shooting of a pastor as he preached, the sex scandal of the leader of a megachurch or the Catholic Church child abuse scandals are all examples of times when the church needs to have a public response.
Anyone who followed any of these stories can only imagine the behind the scenes efforts that went into its damage control and communication efforts.
The way a church responds and communicates during a time of crisis can influence how they are perceived by the general public.
Developing an effective Public Relations Strategy is not only good church management, but it is also instrumental in influencing a positive public image.
A good strategy can help build rapport with members, employees, and the general public.
The goal would be for the ministry to have a good reputation within their community and a plan for responding quickly in the event of a church crisis or emergency.
A public relations strategy provides direction for communicating information and responding to the public and members.
Oudney Patsika is a strategic thinker who is dedicated to Digital Missions and Church Administration Training by offering consulting services, online courses, and helpful articles to help churches and nonprofit organizations better manage the resources God has provided: people, time, and money.