Why your church or organization needs a designated spokesperson
“Whatever the size of your church, nonprofit, or business, you need a spokesperson. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a crisis or disaster, but my advice is to always be ready. The question isn’t “if” a crisis will happen, but “when.” Even if you’re involved in assisting after natural disasters you’ll encounter the media on many levels, so it’s always good to put your best foot forward. So what makes a good spokesperson? Here’s what you need to consider:
1) They know how to deal with the outside media. Today, media interviews can be tough, and it’s not unusual for some media professionals to be deceptive in pursuit of a better story. So an inexperienced spokesperson can be a disaster of its own. If you don’t have anyone with media experience, consider media training, which can make a dramatic difference in his or her ability to perform well at a press conference or media interview.
2) They should be articulate and professional looking. You want them to represent you in a crisis, so they need to speak well, use good grammar, and be credible.
3) They need to know your organization. There’s nothing worse than a spokesperson who doesn’t have answers – especially if they don’t know your organization and it’s position, capabilities, or policies. If they’re not an in-house employee, take the time to teach them about your organization. If they don’t have answers, they’ll lose credibility quickly.
4) They need to express trust. If the media believes they aren’t telling the truth, or holding back for any reason, things won’t go well. They need to express confidence and credibility or the media will look elsewhere for answers.
5) They need to be ready quickly. In a crisis or disaster, the vast majority of everything happens in the first 24-48 hours. That’s when you have the media’s attention, it’s when the most fundraising happens after a disaster (people are impulse givers), and when most people are watching. Lose that window, and you lose your voice.
6) They are calm. During a crisis, everything hits the fan. Of all people, your media spokesperson needs to be calm, collected, and professional. If they lose their cool, you lose the trust of everyone. No matter how tense or hostile things get, you need a point person who looks in control.
You never know when a crisis will happen, so don’t be caught unaware. Start today looking for the right spokesperson for your organization. It can be the CEO, board member, a communications director, or outside consultant. Whoever it is, help them represent you as well as possible to the media. The value of an effective spokesperson can’t be calculated.
Phil Cooke is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.
- Thousands sign petition to stop Franklin Graham entering UK
- Unicef: Kids at risk of ‘bedroom culture’
- Explosion Suspect Identified After Subway Explosion Near Times Square
- Pastor rebukes John Piper for taking swipe at ‘dictator’ Trump
- Asia Bibi faces another lonely Christmas on “Death Row” in Pakistan
Franklin Graham calls for prayers for those injured in New York
Franklin Graham has called for prayers for the injured in today’s attacks in New York. New York police have named 27-year-old Brooklyn resident...
The Ten Crucial Church Trends for 2018
Never in my lifetime have I seen local congregations at such a critical juncture. Cultural Christianity is all but dead. The “Nones,” those...
In need of a vacation? Try this in the meantime
Yes, it’s true that we all need a good break. It’s good for the soul, it’s good for the family, and it’s good for your mental health....
When excellence becomes a natural part of life
Last night I went to my daughter’s end of year dance concert. It was a major extravaganza that only went for 4 hours and 50 minutes… I end up...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE