Kelly Clark aka “the Pew Lady” has a new column, this time examining the Boston Globe‘s castigation of Cardinal Law for doing bad PR. On the one hand, she is right to say the Globe goes overboard in criticizing the cardinal for how he released the information that Msgr. Michael Foster was innocent of accusations made against him. Not the way he was handled in being twice suspended for the same accusations made by an apparent liar, but for issuing a press release at the wrong time.
On the other hand, I have long maintained that the Church could do a better job of getting her message out. She lets all stories be defined by those who are antagonistic toward her. When the archdiocese decides to close a parish, the first we hear of it is the loud protests from parishioners who have run to the closest reporter. We don’t hear the whys and wherefores and the logical arguments. The same thing has been consistently done with the Scandal—the story is consistently defined by antagonists.
Kelly, we should expect the Church to do a better job at public relations, because she’s been doing it for 2,000 years. PR is just good communications and shouldn’t the Church be the greatest communicator of all? After all she has the greatest and most important message.
Other than that, I think her column contains much wisdom, especially her take on the Boston Priests’ Forum and people who say the cardinal should act more like a CEO.