Religious and non-profit organizations go through periods of crisis. No matter how good your intentions and motives, eventually, stuff happens. Employees turn out to have problems, things fly out of control, and whether they might be true or false, allegations can come from a variety of sources and directions. There are many challenges to confront during a public relations crisis, and many of those issues we discuss in this blog from time to time.
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood is understanding your audience. Too many religious and non-profit organizations don’t respond the right way to the right audiences, and when that happens, it undermines the trust of your supporters.
For instance, if you’re a religious organization facing allegations of financial improprieties, then a “spiritual” answer isn’t appropriate. Trying to assure supporters that God will deliver you, or that Satan won’t destroy the ministry isn’t what donors are looking for. They’re looking for professional assurances that financial safeguards are in place, and integrity is your priority. If it’s a financial crisis, don’t respond like an pastor or evangelist. Respond like a professional.
Whatever the problem, respond to that issue from the perspective of that issue.