4 Reasons why PR is a worthy investment for churches
What could you do in three hours? Maybe you could read a book, do some housework or go to the grocery store. Three hours is quite a bit of time, so maybe you could complete your whole to-do list by then. According to studies done by eMarketer, the average American spends three hours a day on their mobile device; 90% of that time is spent in apps with music/audio and social media dominating.
Considering the time that users spend scrolling through various social media platforms, it is not surprising that organizations are making an effort to tap into the online world. Big brands have affirmed their images and created incredibly functional online brands, even personal branding has hit the ground running. Scrolling through any media page will reveal the absence of non-profits or church groups; social media activity that is lacking or altogether non-existent.
For most churches there is some basic understanding that a media presence, and other forms of public communication, is necessary; however, the obstacle of limited resources causes many of them to hesitate. The gamble of placing limited funds into public relations development seems to come with too much risk and not enough gain. If the simple factor of time spent by users in media isn’t convincing enough, here are 3 more reasons why PR is a worthy investment:
1. PR is so much more than marketing.
- While marketers sell products, PR practitioners build brands. Churches don’t tend to sell products, instead they promote life transformation. PR is meant for telling stories and presenting reputable imagery in regards to organizations.
2. PR is perfect for increasing reach and impact.
- Social networking is designed specifically for building connections. PR practitioners
specialize in utilizing that design to reach the masses and empower churches by using the right tools, at the right times, to engage with the right people.
3. “What happens when...?”
- What happens when a church faces a crisis? More specifically, what is a church to do when they are facing a crisis that is picked up by local (or national) news sources? Putting resources into building good PR creates a cushion when crisis hits, as well as having the right people to respond and manage crisis control.
Churches may be small, and their resources limited, but investing in a worker or two who specialize in PR could be transformational in creating access to all that these organizations have to offer.
Madison Burton is a sophomore public relations and Christian ministries double major.