2017 was quite a year for United Methodist Communications. To start with, we took a cue from John Wesley and adopted a new mission statement: Communicating all the good we can, in all the ways we can, to all the people we can, in all the places we can.
We engaged people with the story of God's work in the world through The United Methodist Church, working to communicate in five languages, and telling stories of mission and ministry around the globe.
We hit the road on a multi-city tour to unwrap the true meaning of Christmas. Through advertising and social media, we encouraged the world to Embrace Love amidst violence and turmoil, and invited questions about all things United Methodist.
Our social channels nearly doubled their reach and our Facebook page surpassed a major milestone. Our members’ website, UMC.org, saw a record number of visitors, and we launched new e-newsletters targeted to the interests of our audiences.
We equipped church leaders to communicate more effectively by providing training, both online and face-to-face, including on-site workshops in Zambia, and developed new communication resources such as the Art of Story and a new handbook. We provided grants to help churches boost their marketing and outreach efforts and worked to form stronger relationships with local churches in the U.S. and Central Conferences.
We provided communication support for relief efforts as disasters left destruction in their wake, and promoted giving to ministries that change lives and special offerings such as Global Migration Sunday. We said goodbye to Interpreter magazine after nearly a half century and created a new e-newsletter for church leaders.
As the strategic communications and marketing agency for the global denomination, we used research and evaluation to guide all of our work. We placed a new focus on aligning our messages to three target audiences, and began developing a comprehensive communications plan and the systems to support it.
We worked to develop infrastructure that helps build capacity for the church to communicate better globally as well as locally. We demonstrated good stewardship of our resources and nurtured our staff, endeavoring to embrace our agency’s values as we seek to live out Christ’s love.
We’re looking forward to working together in 2018 toward our vision: Changing the world by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ!
For information about United Methodist Communications' 2017 financials, download the audited report here.