Prepare for the PR Nightmare

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In this 5 minute session from Leadership Network's 2012 The Nines Conference, Phil Cooke, author and speaker on leadership, warns pastors to prepare for PR nightmares with a focus on restoring trust. Sometimes, leaders in these situations try to ignore the problem until it goes away or shift the blame, but these strategies will only make it worse.

Phil gave four steps to help the church leader in a PR crisis.
  1. Be Honest
  2. Confront it Publicly
  3. Create an Outline
  4. Take Responsibility 

Has your church ever had to deal with a serious PR crisis? How did your leadership handle it? describe the situation here. (If you have never been in a church that has dealt with this, then use a PR problem from another that you have heard of.)
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What positives came out of the way the church handled the situation?
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What negative fallback occurred because of your leaders' response?
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Regardless of how your church handled this past situation, use this space to create an outline (step 3) that you would present to the congregation (steps 1 -2) if you were the senior pastor (step 4). Think of this exercise as preparation in case you are confronted with your own PR crisis in the future.
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A PR nightmare could damage your reputation, but, if you are prepared to handle it, it won't destroy your ministry. Remember that the goal behind all of this work is to restore trust.

For information about Leadership Network's The Nines Conference, go to