Church Communications Director or Public Relations

Church Communications Director or
Public Relations
A church communications director or public relations officer serves as the main “voice” of a
church, sharing information with the community about the organization’s mission, needs and
activities. The public relations officer works with many audiences, from church employees and
parishioners to community leaders and the media.
Roles of a Church Communication Director:
Educates — those trained in theology, Greek, etc., as well as those in the pew, on the
effective use of marketing and communications strategies in “church work.”
Recruits — volunteers and others to assist in their work.
Trains — others for the work he/she just recruited them for.
Produces — a church’s communications materials: worship guides, brochures,
Internet sites, etc. This is the aspect that everyone sees and expects to see come out
of their office.
Leads — others and provides leadership in strategy and ideas. (Leadership is one of
the areas I am working to improve myself in this year.)
A church communications director is usually responsible for:
Web site(s)
Print production
Marketing and advertising
Video production (Yikes! This is not always an area of responsibility.)
Here are some of the computer programs more frequently used:
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Word
Adobe Acrobat
Adobe/Macromedia DreamWeaver —This makes it easy to do Web stuff.
Other less-used programs might include: Video-editing software like Avid or Final Cut
Pro(depending on if you do video), Audacity for audio editing, Microsoft Excel for
budget sheet or neat graphs, and who would forget PowerPoint.
A church communications director wears many hats [compare it to being a Swiss Army Knife,
for the church) this can include:
 Community Reporter — As a comm. director, you will inevitably become the hub of
information about events and activities in your church. As people realize this, they
will come to you to figure out when or where stuff is.
 Graphic Designer — Someone has to design the church directory, or new members’
 Public Relations Practitioner — You’ll write the releases about your big Fourth of July
Celebration and give ideas to reporters for stories.
 Media Liaison — You’ll help schedule and coordinate media interviews and
sometimes even escort camera crews around your building as they interview your
people or sit in on your worship services.
 Image Guardian — This could probably be lumped into another job role. As a comm.
director, you can feel in charge of preserving (and promoting) your church’s image
in the community. Everything you do sends a message — both to our people and
those outside our fellowship. When producing media for your church, always ask
yourself, “How will this be viewed by a guest, or someone in our community?”
 Marketing/Advertising Coordinator — Get ready for the yellow book salespeople,
they’re coming already! You’ll have an opportunity to install strategy — often with
abyssmal promotional budgets — for reaching your community with your church’s
 Copy Editor — Carefully weed out those errors in the bulletin before they’re
distributed to many people on Sabbath. What you do is seen by everybody. And they
quickly find out who you are, what you look like, and make suggestions about
everything you do. (Of course, there are also many who will stop you in the hall and
thank you for the work you’re doing.)
 Photographer — Have a digital camera surgically attached to your hand for all the
events you’ll cover.
 Web Site Designer/Webmaster (aka Webminister) —More and more, people are
looking to the Web for information. I find this job function to be one with near
limitless potential in reaching people with the Gospel without pouring out a lot of
money. It just takes time and sweat. A good servant-hearted volunteer helps too!
[See the 20 things learned from redesigning a church's Web site]
 Information Technology — Although it might not be in most comm. director’s job
description, if you know how to turn on a computer and then operate it with relative
ease, you’ll get asked to troubleshoot everyone’s tech issues (especially if you’re the
“Internet guy” or “gal”).
 Firefighter — Put out fires, leap tall buildings, accept complaints with a smile … oh,
and occasionally, walk on water.
A worthy job indeed.
By Cory Miller