Key findings in the report, which was commissioned by the church and carried out by strategic communications consultant David Kenning, are the need to improve internal communications, address the ‘fortress mentality in relation to the press and media’ and to ‘educate the press and media more about the church’.
The findings, based on interviews with church figures, also show the church has failed to accomplish its three communications objectives of appearing united, confident and outward-looking.
Senior church body the Archbishops’ Council has now backed Kenning’s key recommendation of bringing back the communications director role to carry out changes to the PR operation. It also backed another recommendation to set up a communications taskforce from within the church to assist the new director.
The last director of communications, William Beaver, left in March last year to join the British Red Cross (PRWeek, 22 February 2002).