Understanding Public Relations Practice Through Jesus Christ’s Teachings
It is not an exaggeration to say that our Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings profoundly have bearings on any profession anyone can think of; even when the profession is yet to emerge or rather evolve. Base on the strength of His divine influence on every profession on earth, He no doubt has professional names in every area of human endeavor.
For instance, the Archeologists would call Him “The beginning” as written in (John 1: 1), the Animal Scientists will call Him “The Good Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4), The Botanists call Him, “The Tree Of Life, The Food Scientist call Him, “The Bread of Life” (John 6:35) while Carpenters will call Him, “The Door” as recorded in John 10:7.
In the same vein, Zoologists call Him “The Lion Of The Tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5: 5), Evangelists call Him “The Love of God” (John 3: 16), Medical Doctors call Him: “The Great physician” (Luke 8:4) and Morticians call Him: “The Risen One” (Luke 24:6) and Photographers call Him: “The Image of God” (John 14: 9), Sportsmen call Him: “The Strength and Energizer” (Nehemiah 8: 10) Industrialists call Him: “The great Supplier” (Philippians 4: 19).
Analyzed from the same perspective, Peacemakers call Him: “The Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), Oceanographers call Him: “The River of Living waters” (John 4: 10), Horticulturist call Him: “The First Fruit” (1 Corinthians 15: 12), Transporters call Him: “The Way” (John 14: 6) and Political Scientists call Him: “The Governor” (Mathew 2: 6), Journalists call Him: “The Truth” (John 14: 6).
Biologists call Him: “The Life” (John 14: 6), Gardeners call Him; “The Rose of Sharon” (Song of Solomon 2: 1) and Leaders in every sphere of life recognize Him as the “Supreme Authority” (Matt 28:18).
Still in the same nexus, Professors call Him: “The Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), Theologians call Him: “The Baptizer” (John 1: 33), The Evangelists call Him: “The Soul Winner” (John 4: 7- 21) The Publishers call Him: “The Author” (Hebrew 12: 2) and the builder call Him: “The Chief Cornerstone” (Ephesians 2: 20): “The sailor and his crew whose Ship is about to sink pray fervently, and call him Captain” (Hebrew 2: 10)
The Judges call Him: “The Righteous Judge” (Isaiah 11: 4), The Electricians call Him: “The Light” of the World” (John 8: 12) while the soldier call Him Mighty Man in battle. (Isaiah 42:13).
At this juncture, it is not unexpected of the reader of this piece to disappointingly ask, “Given the headline of the piece, how has this writer buttressed the fact that Public Relations as a profession can be understood by anyone through Jesus Christ’s teaching?”
Before responding to the foregoing question, it is expedient to say that business leaders often wonder where they can find the best business advice and counsel in order to build their businesses. Although, good business counsel can be found in plethora of books, but there is only one book that contains all of the best business secrets that business leaders need to know of to build successful business and life. That sacred book is the Bible.
Analyzed from the foregoing perspective, it suffices to say that to anyone that is versed in the field of public relations with specialization in media relations that the scripture that has in all its ramifications encapsulates what the dynamics of media relations are is Matthew chapter 16 verse 13 that says, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” In his response to the foregoing question which his fellow brothers in Christ could not answered correctly, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
To professionals in the field of Public Relations, and Journalists, the foregoing scripture, aptly encapsulates and explains the dynamics of media relations. For the sake of clarity, “Media relations refer to the relationship that a company or organization develops with journalists, while public relations extend that relationship beyond the media to the general public. It is possible for communication between the media and the organization to be initiated by either side”.
At this juncture, it is expedient to say that when the scripture is interpretatively brought to bear in the practice of public relations profession that the philosophy behind the profession is bound to become obvious, particularly from the perspective of media relations.
There is no denying the fact that the exploratory questions that are commonly asked in public relations research are not different from what Jesus Christ asked: “Who do people say I am?”, Who do you say I am?”
An organization that sincerely wants to build its reputation must surely ask the question, “What does the public think XYZ Company is?”, “How do the staff see XYZ Company?, and so forth and so on before the communication strategies can be decided. The same also goes for an individual who wants to build his image and it equally applies to products. Questions about what the publics think must be asked, before action is taken.