Strategic Communication Beyond Organizational Purposes: Lessons Learned from Organized Religion

Big Ideas in Public Relations Research and Practice

ISBN: 978-1-83867-508-0, eISBN: 978-1-83867-507-3

ISSN: 2398-3914

Publication date: 3 October 2019


While the relevance and rationale of strategic communication in organized religion are prevalent in academic and professional literature, there exists a dearth of both theoretical concepts and empirical knowledge, especially from a European perspective. Therefore, this chapter examines how strategic communication can be modelled in organized religion with its specific characteristics and logics by building a framework for strategic communication in this field of research. The framework questions perspectives of strategic communication and communication management that only concentrate on entities like famous persons, groups, movements or organizations and less on belief systems, organized and less organized entities interacting with each other. Religious organizations follow other rationalities like companies or non-profit organizations. Therefore, theories of corporate communication or public relations do not fit within the realm of organized religion, whose mission goes far beyond the organization. Taking into account religious institutions in strategic communication, this chapter delivers new theoretical insights by demonstrating how strategic communication can contribute to the specific purposes of organized religion. Furthermore, the study indicates the specific challenges communication professionals working in the area of religion are confronted with. Finally, it offers practical solutions for the specific field of organized religion by evolving specific target horizons of organized religion. Activating and developing the communication function of more or less independent bodies are main tasks for communication professionals working in organized religion and other meta-organizations.



Wiesenberg, M. (2019), "Strategic Communication Beyond Organizational Purposes: Lessons Learned from Organized Religion", Big Ideas in Public Relations Research and Practice (Advances in Public Relations and Communication Management, Vol. 4), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 99-114.

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