Responding to Media Inquiries: Best Practices for Local Churches

Responding to Media Inquiries: Best Practices for Local Churches

Heather Kimmel, UCC General Counsel, writes:

Does the person who answers the phone at your Local Church know what to do if the caller is a reporter from the local news network?  What if your office administrator or pastor receives an email from a reporter asking for information on a recent crisis in your church?  Perhaps your church and pastor have recently parted ways less than amicably, or some members of the community are unhappy with the church’s recent decision to sell its property or close its preschool.  United Church of Christ Local Churches have attracted media attention in many ways.  If a Local Church is unprepared for a media inquiry, the pastor and church leaders may experience panic, have their focus turned away from their ministry in a time of great need, or damage the reputation of the church or create legal liability for the church through their reactions.  But if a church has a media relations plan, it can take advantage of media inquiries to tell the story of the church’s ministry from the church’s perspective.

For this article, I’m grateful for the wisdom, experience, and advice of Maic D’Agostino, the Editorial Communications and News Strategist for the United Church of Christ National Setting.  He oversees the weekly UCC News Digest and is the main point of contact for media relations.  Before joining the UCC, he worked as a journalist for an independent newspaper.  He answered all my questions about how churches can be prepared to respond to the media, and the strategies in this piece arise out of his expertise. 

Read the full post here on


Heather Kimmel

Heather Kimmel is the United Church of Christ General Counsel

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