Surviving A Church PR Crisis with Justin Dean (PCP158)

What would you do if the unexpected happened? Is your church prepared to weather the storm of a crisis?

March 28th, 2017

Justin Dean, author of PR Matters, aims to help your church avert, manage, survive or navigate the inevitable crises that arise. Even a bad review can constitute a crisis. Is your church ready to deal with a storm when it comes? Justin worked in the PR trenches during the dissolution of Mars Hill, and offers top-level advice for every kind of crisis.

What’s In This Session?

  • Navigating the PR nightmare of Mars Hill Church through 2014 (9:42)
  • Why PR is a pre-emptive measure (12:17)
  • The importance of selecting a point-person (15:25)
  • Brainstorming potential PR scenarios (17:42)
  • Tips for writing pre-written statements on controversial topics (23:11)
  • The most overlooked key to church public relations (26:34)
  • Big mistakes churches make with PR (35:27)

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. Build your strategy before the crisis. Have a spokesperson in place — someone who will reply to the local media, if it gets to that point. Know your church’s stance on five hot topics in case you are challenged on them, and have some pre-written responses for specific situations. A possible scenario might include being challenged on how church funds are being spent.
    2. Build up equity before the crisis. Form relationships with your community. Build rapport and connections on social media by answering comments and engaging with people. Reach out to local media before they reach out to you.
    3. Don’t run from a crisis. Pretending nothing happened isn’t a strategy. Deleting every negative review on your social media isn’t as helpful as responding positively to them. Your church doesn’t get stronger by hiding from conflict.