New Vatican PR’s First Announcement: I’m the New Vatican PR

 New Vatican PRs First Announcement: Im the New Vatican PR

The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for the Vatican not publicly backing their new press rep, Greg Burke.

Are the Vatican’s PR troubles coming to an end? The Vatican has been looking around for someone to help its beleaguered image, following a series of ongoing PR disasters. The center of Catholicism announced earlier this week the appointment of a new Communications Director–Greg Burke, a 52-year-old American who has covered the Vatican for Fox News. Presumably he will be taking the organization into a new world of “fair and balanced” PR.

When organizations look externally for a PR adviser, it’s usually due to the unhappy realization that no one likes its messaging. In this case, when dealing with a 2,000 year old institution, it remains to be seen how much flexibility Burke has to fashion messages. Announcing his appointment, he explained to the media what a Communication Director does, describing the position as a “strategy job.” He said, “It’s very simple to explain, not so easy to execute: to formulate the message and try to make sure everyone remains on message.”

Strangely, the key person commenting to the media on his appointment seemed to be Burke himself. Where were the Vatican’s leaders welcoming him to the fold and confirming that its PR is about to turn the page?

The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for the Vatican for its handling of the announcement and hiring of its new head honcho.

PR Takeaway: Start as you mean to go on. If a new hire is being brought in to change things up, then a strong public signal of this intention needs to be sent. Having Burke speak to the media about his own appointment without ringing endorsement from the people who hired him already makes him look lame and isolated. Next time, bosses, give your new hire firepower by welcoming and backing him publicly so that the organization and its stakeholders understand change is coming. And new hire, leave your announcement to the bosses and start talking only once your feet are under the table.

Can announcements about new public relations staff ever be made by the PR staff themselves, or does this send the wrong message? Give us your PR Verdict!

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What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. Regarding the PR stuff – Jesus and or God did not have a PR team to try and mitigate mistakes and wrong-doings. If we accept the premise that the Disciples were the PR team, then their task was to help spread the “good news” not help Jesus wriggle out from under “bad news.”
    To quote from Burke himself… “You’re shaping the message, you’re molding the message, and you’re trying to make sure everyone remains on-message,” Burke said. “And that’s tough.” Why would a message of ‘truth’ need to be ‘shaped and molded’ to make it acceptable or palatable to the receivers? Surely the truth is exactly that – FACT! To try and suggest otherwise is being patently dishonest (doesn’t sit well with Christian principles, does it?) Burke’s statement reflects how sick the Vatican and what it stands for, really is.
    The Pope and Vatican has managed to get into this awful messy situation through a range of misdemeanors by clergy, apparent ‘shuffling of resources’ and so on. Essentially an air of repression abounds. Well done to the butler for blowing the whistle. Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes the ‘bigger they are, the harder they fall.’ Neither the Pope nor anyone else is immune from scrutiny.
    The best PR exercise that the Pope and Vatican could engage in would be to realise on the massive assets owned by the Vatican and use the money to eliminate world poverty overnight. Instead, the ‘followers’ are implored to give more in never-ending Mass collections to help prop up an ailing system. Time to get real, people!

  2. The announcement of new P.R. appointments should definitely be made by senior management, not by the new employee. I think this is one of the best ways to show that p.r. matters to the organization. Ideally, the CEO or someone very close to the top should make such announcements indicating that the leadership of the organization takes it as a top priority and that the communications chief will be involved and consulted in future decision-making of the company/organization. Obviously, for the Vatican it is just a necessary evil and deep down they hate openness , fear nothing more than transparency and probably despise most journalists.
    Ingrid recently posted..PEACEKEEPING IN OUR TIME: PAST THE AGE OF CONSENT?My Profile

  3. madam x says:

    wondering.. why are all these ceos of hugh banks and financial firms.. all called ” Diamond”. no matter the spelling

    what a lovely coincidence… good work.. de beers
    where are the next ” Diamonds”… coming from….


  1. says:

    New Vatican PR’s First Announcement: I’m the New Vatican PR…

    The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for the Vatican for its handling of the announcement and hiring of its new head honcho….

  2. teebaumoel gegen pickel…

    New Vatican PR’s First Announcement: I’m the New Vatican PR…

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