One of the biggest criticisms I get at this blog is from people who mistake my criticism of an organization’s program, project, marketing, branding, or perception for my opinion of the organization’s integrity or intentions. The truth is, the two are very different things – although, in a perfect world, they should be totally in sync. Many non-profit or religious organizations out there have the best of intentions, a passion to share a great message, and wonderful motivation. But the problem usually happens somewhere in the execution.
When we discuss the marketing or branding of an organization, the divorce of a high profile religious leader, or the sorry result of a television program or movie – we’re not necessarily questioning motives, intentions, or integrity. We can’t see the heart. But in a media-driven culture, we need to be asking questions about perceptions, and how the culture sees people of faith. From cause marketing to religious broadcasting, if we don’t ask these questions, believe me, the culture is asking them, and if we want our message to have integrity and be heard, we’d better have answers.