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Public Relations and Your Church

Mar 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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pub·lic re·la·tions 
ˈpəblik rəˈlāSHənz/
noun

  1. the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.
  2. the state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person.

Defining Public Relations

When defining public relations, I continually see two words in various versions:

Relationship

Public

The first word is the most important – relations/relationship.  We talk about our relationship with God as Christians. When I consider my personal relationship with God, I look to everlasting life with him through Jesus Christ.

We also speak of our relationships with family and friends. Relationships with friends and family always goes through ups and downs. They are something we continually work on to maintain these relationships.

In business, we speak of public relations. Most often we see it as a favorable image with the public. But how can we, as a church group, have a good relationship with the public without comprise to our beliefs? There are some basic concepts we can follow.

Goals of Public Relations

Public Relations is very important for any brand, company, organization, or church, for numerous reasons. Here are some goals and how you can work towards them.

  • Create and foster awareness: It may appear as bragging, but when your congregation has held an outreach event that has had a positive impact in your community, let people know about it. Let people see the work you do in the name of Jesus Christ. Allow them the opportunity to learn about Christians and how they follow Jesus through acts of kindness and generosity.

  • Build credibility: Has your school been awarded a special recognition? What about a teacher or church worker? Letting the local community know about your accomplishments helps to build credibility. Letting the community know about any technology advancements or improvements within your church or school can help as well.

  • Help shape a likable image: People love friendly and community-engaged groups. By maintaining a positive image, you are create a strong connection with your community. I’m going to expand further on this as the timing on having a positive image could not be more important, especially in social media.

    Never bash, demean, attack or denigrate in your communications. There is a positive way to say everything.

    People tend not to like others who beat them. If you have a point to make, beating people over the head with the information in a negative way will never win their respect let alone their understanding of a point you are trying to make.

    Telling people how “bad” they are will not enable you to have a good relationship with them either. Show them them the way to peace and eternal happiness through Jesus Christ.

    Your communications should always be respectful and loving. WWJD.

  • Strengthen community relations: You can further build relations within your community by being active in community groups. Some of these groups can be an outreach to the underprivileged or disabled. Participate in supporting other charities’ causes. This does not have to be monetary. In fact, having members from your congregation supporting through their time and talents will help build actual relationships with the community.

Building Relationships

In order to have a relationship with your community, your church and school must be familiar with their attitudes and concerns in order to establish and maintain cooperative good relationships. Get to know your community. Let them get to know you through good public relations!


For other helpful ideas and topics, visit the CTS Blog Technology & Your Ministry.

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Ann Ciaccio

Written by Ann Ciaccio

Ann Ciaccio is the Communications Assistant for the LCMS Northern Illinois District. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she studied Marketing and is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Batavia, Illinois. Ann enjoys the challenge of using her marketing skills as a tool to help carry out the mission and ministry of the Northern Illinois District. She is married and has two daughters, a junior in high school and a freshman in college. Her motto: “dark chocolate works.”

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