Friday, June 15, 2007

The Gospel According to PR

In my past lives in the technology industry, I served as a PR Manager. For those unaware, "PR" stands for "Public Relations." It was my job to handle all external and internal communications initiatives. In laymen's terms, I made us look good to the media and put the words in the mouths of the management team when speaking to our company.

There are two times in the life of a company that you have to be ultra prepared as a PR professional - in times of crisis and in times of acquisition. Many companies that may easily fall prey to a crisis have extensive plans in place to respond. Although, many companies do not and end up scrambling at the last minute to put together ka-zillion pieces of communication. During my uber dot com days, I was part of a PR team that had to handle quite a few acquisitions - some for companies or entities we acquired, others were for the acquisition of our own company.

We'd spend days, even months, preparing multiple versions of press releases, creating FAQ documents to answer potential questions the media and others would ask, and briefing management on how to properly reply to employee and media questions alike. Contrary to what you may know about PR, "no comment" is an unacceptable way to respond. It screams "I'm lying or guilty" like nothing else can.

In I Peter 3:15, it says "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Every time I read that verse, I think of the world of public relations and how it relates to us as believers. Peter is instructing us to first, set apart Christ as Lord, which is mandatory as a Christian. Then he tells us to always be prepared.

That's the life of a PR professional - always prepared. We planned and worked for weeks for the chance to share our good news with the press. Sometimes we got the opportunity, but a lot of times we didn't. Nonetheless, we remained prepared.

And that's the life of a Christian - always prepared. We should be living daily, studying God's Word, understanding what it says, and being ready to answer. Sometimes we'll get the opportunities, but sometimes we won't. More accurately, we get a lot of opportunities, some we take, and some we don't.

If you have Good News to share, always be prepared. You never know when you might be used to comfort in a crisis or plant a seed for the next Kingdom acquisition.

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