It's been a fun week to watch the Mormon PR machine cranking up. There was an interesting post on this board regarding those pesky words that continue to dog the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (phew! long name).
weird, secretive (28%)
and family-oriented (44%)
Two PR firms have been hired, and the church is rolling out a "Missionary Media Initiative" starting in October. It'll start out in 8 areas -- San Antonio/Austin, TX; Indianapolis/Ft. Wayne, IN; Omaha, Lincoln-Hastings, NB; Seattle-Tacoma, WA; Spokane, WA; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA, and Phoenix, AZ.
It's nice to see that the Sacred tithes will be used for the church's image problem. I can't help but think that if Jesus were here, he would never spend money on improving his image among the Pharisees and Sadducees.
The timing is also interesting here. Why did the Mormon leadership decide to address this image problem now? Mormons have had an "image" problem since the foundation of the church in 1830.
I think it has a lot to do with Mitt Romney's run for president. Mitt Romney's Achille's heel seems to be his Mormonism. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that only 45% of registered votes have a positive opinion of Mormonism. 32% have an unfavorable opinion of them.
It's true that the Mormon church has told top officials that they should not participate in campaigns in any way. But launching a PR campaign that attempts to address the main issue that dogs Romney ends up being back door support for Mitt Romney. Bravo Mormons.. Bravo.