Monday, March 23, 2009

Pandering or PR

In the past couple of years, I've had a few of experiences with church PR that have made me jealous -- and made me wonder if I should be jealous of another church's PR skills or if they're just pandering to a particular audience:

The first was the UCC comma logo, and the motto "God is still speaking." I love the message of a living word and world in which God is still working with us and continually giving us new experiences to help us understand the message. The oversized comma makes an easily recognizable, powerful, and very simple logo that is easy to produce and very versatile. You see commas every where you look!

The United Methodist church up the street has a "progressive" service that they refer to as Ignite. I've never been to the service and don't know if I agree with the message or not, but they've done an outstanding job marketting it. They have a great logo and a powerful, single-word message that seems exciting!

And today, I got a provocative flyer in the mail today about the opening celebration of a new church in St. Louis that really spoke to me. It simply says "church." with the "ur" offset with a different color scheme. So, the message is "u r church." I don't know much about this non-denominational movement either, but I do know that it caught my attention enough to make me visit their website and post this message.

This kind of PR excites me. The contrasting feeling I get, though, is one that hesitates to believe that some of these can possibly be backed up by a sound system of faith and beliefs. I want faith that I have to chew, not faith that melts in my mouth. If a church is putting so much energy into the face they show the outside world, can they possibly be putting enough energy into understanding and practising?

Do I have the wrong impression of churches that put that much energy into PR? Are there examples of really solid, hard-working, learning/service focussed churches that have also been very successful from a formal PR perspective?

No comments: