Public Relations Guidelines

Media Relations:
The assignment of media relations is given to the Chief Administrative Officer in order to affect a coordinated relationship with both denominational and secular news media and to secure the best possible coverage of South Carolina Baptists and their witness to this state and the world. Additionally, any media regarding personnel (past or present staff) should be referred directly to the Chief Administrative Officer.

Policy:
The South Carolina Baptist Convention staff is committed to the highest level of honesty and integrity in dealing with the news media. Our policy is one of openness and full disclosure. To ensure continuity, all media contacts are to be coordinated through the Chief Administrative Officer.

Guidelines for Contacts with Denominational/Secular Media:
– Any Field Service Staff member should respond to appropriate media-initiated inquiries related to his/her own area of work. The Chief Administrative Officer is available for counsel and should be notified immediately of any media contact.
– Media-initiated inquiries not related to one’s area of work should be referred to the Chief Administrative Officer.
– In order to assure continuity in media relations, all convention staff-initiated media contacts, including but not limited to: news releases, letters to the editor, accuracy or editorial inquiries, advertising, and story suggestions, should be distributed through the Chief Administrative Officer
– When accuracy, reliability, or confidentiality of information is in question, verify the information before responding to a reporter or refer to the Chief Administrative Officer.
– Any comment to a reporter or editor should be considered “for publication.” Never speak to reporters or editors under the assumption that comments are “off the record” or “not for publication.”
– “I don’t know…” or “I’ll have to get that information…” or “Let me refer you to…” are appropriate responses.
– When speaking as a member of the convention staff, expressions of personal opinion, especially as they relate to controversial issues, will be avoided.

 WHEN ARE NEW STAFF ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY?
HR will notify the Creative Director when a new staff announcement is needed. During orientation, the new employee will complete a brief questionnaire and take a photo. The staff announcement will be made public in the internal newsletter and external media within 2 weeks.

The guidelines we use when making new staff public announcements are:
– Executive Leadership, Team Leaders, and Directors – A full press release article with photos posted on all SCBC platforms and sent to the Baptist Courier.
– Other Field Service – An abbreviated press release with photos via our website & SCBC social media platforms.
– Support Staff – An introduction to new staff with photos on social media platforms.