Fieldwork in Religion, Vol 4, No 2 (2009)

Hacks or Flacks? Roles Played by Religion Communicators in the United States

Douglas F. Cannon
Issued Date: 28 May 2010


This project surveyed members of the Religion Communicators Council in 2006 and 2007. A second survey in 2008 sought responses to similar questions from faith group leaders who supervised respondents to the 2006–2007 survey. Answers from religion communicators were compared to those of their supervisors and secular practitioners in earlier studies. Comparisons showed that religion communicators in this study were a distinct subgroup of US public relations practitioners. RCC members worked primarily as communication technicians, not managers. That made them different from practitioners in the 327 secular organizations studied by Grunig, Grunig and Dozier (2002). Religion communicators did not know what their supervisors expected from them. Faith group leaders said they wanted communicators to be managers more than technicians. Top executives were looking for expert prescribers and problem-solving facilitators. Religion communicators were not filling those roles.

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DOI: 10.1558/firn.v4i2.168

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