Council Publicity and Public Relations

Members of the Knight of Columbus are continually searching for new ways to enhance our Order’s mission and contributions to the Church, community and fellowman. Public relations can be a very useful communications tool, advancing Knights of Columbus principles and building community support for our Order and its activities. This guide is designed to provide your council with the “tools of the trade” needed to carry out a successful public relations program.

Public relations is based on communicating a message to an audience. To build a truly effective public relations program, the council’s messages should be ongoing to strengthen the Order’s image and broaden its impact on society.

Following the guidelines in this site, you will be able to conduct effective and consistent publicity programs for your council. There are many rewards and benefits to a well-planned public relations program. For the Knights of Columbus, an effective program can:

  1. Create awareness in the community for our Order and its contributions.

  2. Build a positive image for the Knights of Columbus as a whole, and your council in particular.

  3. Create valuable exposure for the council and its activities.

  4. Communicate key messages to target audiences.

  5. Clear away misconceptions.

  6. Strengthen community support for the Knights of Columbus and its mission.

  7. Assist in recruiting new members.

Public relations is communications designed to create positive, widespread awareness of an organization, its role, programs and mission. A critical part of public relations is publicity. Successful publicity efforts result in editorial media exposure in the form of news or feature articles in newspapers and magazines, and references, announcements or interviews on radio and television stations. Publicity is a very effective way to inform the public about the many aspects of the Knights of Columbus in your community.

Public Relations and Publicity vs. Advertising

Like advertising, public relations relies heavily on the media to convey a specific message to key audiences. But unlike advertising, the publication space and station time resulting from public relations efforts are free. For example, a half-page advertisement in a major newspaper might cost up to or over $15,000, while the same amount of space for an editorial article generated by public relations is free. Unlike advertising, public relations cannot guarantee control of where, when and even if coverage will occur. The media will make those decisions. But when successful, public relations can create a major impact, since the media present the desired message on editorial pages and news broadcasts as opposed to paid advertising space and broadcast time. This is called a “third-party endorsement” and is very valuable to the credibility of an organization and its message.

Use the links to various topics concerning building pulbic awareness for your council and other related programs.