We have been talking about the Public Information Officer (PIO) in a church this week. One thing that most churches do not realize is that while there is usually one individual that deals with the media, who gives interviews, and who essentially is the face of the church, a whole team should be incorporated to handle the Public Information as a whole. The reason is the same as why we have a public safety committee, many heads are better than one.
In day to day PIO duties, everyone can take care of a little piece of the overall pie, then come together once per week, or even once per month, to plan what should be released (and when) and review what is planned to be released. They can look at editing, finding things that may be offensive and might drive away non-Christians, or something that might make the church a target.
In a crisis situation (active shooter, sexual misconduct, etc.), the team can share the work so that the face of the church appears to be frazzled. They can help write the script, help stay on point, provide press releases and more. While I hate to state this, a team also provides several back-ups in instances where the person that would normally take the lead is a victim.
When looking at the PIO Team, you will want to choose the criteria that would provide similar types of people that was used to choose the PIO. To some churches, especially the small country church, this may seem like overkill, or they may be even think that they do not have the people to have a committee. I say, you can’t afford to not have a PIO committee. It only takes three to five people. Please strongly consider implementing a PIO Team in your church.
Tomorrow we will provide a link to some amazing free training that every church PIO and their committee, and many church members should watch. Until then, … Mark