United Methodist Communications’ Annual Report Showcases Power of Communication


United Methodist Communications’ Annual Report Showcases Power of Communication

Nashville, Tenn.: United Methodist Communications today released its 2020 annual report which highlights the agency’s efforts to resource church leaders as they grappled with the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. 
“2020 marked our 80th anniversary – and it was a year when communication took center stage as the world adapted to connecting in new ways,” said chief executive Dan Krause. “Now, more than ever, we need the power of communication. The report uses an engaging video format to recap our journey to resource church leaders during an unprecedented year.” 

United Methodist Communications (UMCom) offered new resources, training, grants and technology solutions to help churches adapt to virtual worship including 1,000 Zoom licenses and sermons by phone, as well as marketing and communications support for 2,500 churches. More than 97,000 people visited the online worship listing on UMC.org and there were more than 2 million page views on Find-A-Church.

Social media provided opportunities to connect with people who were isolated due to COVID-19. The UMC member social channels were used to lend encouragement and support, share online worship and spiritual content, and provide a place for people to be in dialogue. Across all social channels, engagement was up 37 percent and UMCom reached more than 78 million people.

A national advertising campaign, “Let’s find hope together,” was launched through digital media and video, including social media, websites, search engines and advanced television, creating nearly 234 million impressions. The ads directed viewers to the website UMC.org/hope.
Amid heightened racial tensions, UMCom supported a multi-level church initiative to work toward racial justice and launched UMC.org/EndRacism, where readers can find content and resources. The agency also conducted messaging research, garnered high-profile media placements and designed t-shirts, billboards, banners, advertisements and videos.

UMCom also continued to build capacity to communicate in the languages of the church and provide easily accessible content in those languages.

Other highlights include:

  • Downloads of giving resources increased 41 percent 
  • Usage of the ResourceUMC.org website nearly tripled
  • UMNews.org had more than 1.7 million users
  • The number of persons trained online doubled from the previous year 
  • 540,000 messages were sent and delivered via the text messaging platform UMConnect
  • Church advertising was expanded beyond the U.S. to Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire
Watch the annual report video at https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/2020-annual-report. Annual and financial reports from previous years are available at https://www.resourceumc.org/en/agencies/communications/about-us/annual-and-financial-reports.