The Greek Orthodox Church in America has emerged on the national and international scene as a vital and vibrant religious presence and thus the Archdiocese is increasingly involved in issues of concern to its faithful and to the society at large.
The Archdiocese Press Office, News and Media Relations cultivates and maintains the relationships of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with Press and Media organizations in the United States and abroad in order to best communicate the Church’s mission and message of hope and love. The Press Office has a pivotal role in explaining how the ministries, offices, programs and policies of the Archdiocese have an impact on the parishes, the community, the clergy and the faithful. In the words of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Press Office has the role of “representing the Archdiocese in an excellent way and facilitating her sacred work of promoting the Orthodox Faith and the universal values of Hellenism.
“In a democracy, dealing with the press is a duty,” writes Stephen Hess, a Senior Fellow on Governance Studies with the Brookings Institution and Distinguished Research Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. St. Paul in his second letter to Timothy writes: and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:4-5). Dealing honestly and truthfully with the Press is keeping with St. Paul’s charge, a Christian duty and an important ministry.
The Press Office is the daily conduit through which the Press gets information on the life and workings of the Archdiocese. Its role is dual; on one hand to deal with the Press and on the other to keep the Archbishop and senior staff informed on press interests.
It strives to provide advice and ways on how to deal with the news media and, using news management techniques, helps the Archdiocese to maintain a positive public image and avoid negative media coverage.
In particular, the Press Office is responsible for:
- Responding and answering journalist’s inquiries
- Writing, editing and distributing press releases, media advisories, fact sheets, press packets, and media kits
- Initiating and developing feature stories in print and electronic media
- Arranging and organizing press conferences, news briefings, media interviews, photo opportunities, visits and public events
- Coordinating photo coverage and dissemination of photos and video to Press
- Cultivating new relationships and monitor and nurture existing ones with national, ethnic and international media
- Keeping up to date with current national and international issues, situations and public opinions
- Monitoring, researching and evaluating news
- Developing and reassessing clear goals in cooperation with other departments of the Archdiocese
- Developing and maintaining a crisis plan and procedures
- Assisting in Archdiocese special projects and in staging large public events
- Developing and maintaining relationships with other press offices (church, religious, governmental, organizational)
- Maintaining Archdiocese membership with media professional organizations associations and commissions, religious or otherwise.
- Coordinating media contacts with the Metropolises, offices, departments and ministries of the Archdiocese
- Maintaining a comprehensive event calendar
- Maintaining media lists and databases
The director of the Press Office also represents the Archdiocese in community public interest organizations, develops pertinent community relations, monitors community events and activities and interfaces with various event organizers.