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Helping to “get the message out” and “telling the story” are the commissions of the Communications Ministry Team. Working to inform, engage and empower, through a variety of electronic and print media, the Team supports the mission and ministries of the Iowa Annual Conference’s agencies, boards, committees and leadership.
As a premier resource, the Communications Ministry Team utilizes new media, including the Internet, presentation graphics and video streaming, and more traditional media, such as video and audio production, photography and print. It guides crisis and disaster communication, provides a connection with denominational and secular media, designs interpretive materials, offers training, supports special programs, helps manage event display details and makes equipment available to further the ministries and work of the Annual Conference.
The official electronic presence of the Conference provides breaking news, a video portal, photo galleries, information about ministries and related groups, vital links, resources, forms, current directories, calendars and a connection to The United Methodist Church. Each of the eight Districts has a presence on the website as does each of the individual congregations of the Annual Conference through the “local church dashboards.” Working through the website the mid-week update (distributed to nearly 4,000), messages from the Bishop, topical electronic “news blasts,” “downloadable” and printable bulletin inserts and flyers and periodic messages from ministry leaders are distributed.
Special graphic presentations for event and major meetings can be prepared and/or members of agencies, boards, committees and leadership can be coached to create their own presentations. Two programs PowerPoint and MediaShout are particularly effective.
Live streaming, via the Internet, of major events and presentations is available. A streamed event can be seen as it happens by people, worldwide, over the Internet. (Internet service compatibility will determine whether an event, to be held at a location other than the Conference Center, can be streamed.”
The main publication is the Iowa Conference Edition of the United Methodist Reporter. Printed on a bi-weekly basis, the Reporter contains current news, promotion, features and a message from the Bishop. Distributed to more than 7,000 local church and Conference leaders, the Reporter also includes denominational news and features. Special supplements have been prepared and included in Reporter editions, including a four-page camping promotion and special annual conference listing of clergy appointments.
The Communications Ministry Team is available to work with agencies, boards, committees and leadership to produce effective and engaging video. Pre-production planning, videotaping, editing and final distribution – by posting on the website or on DVD’s, are all offered.
The members of the Communications Ministry Team are accomplished, and award-winning photographers. Whether a news event, major presentation or individual photograph, images can be edited and printed, in small and large format. PowerPoint and video presentations from photographs are frequently requested and can be prepared.
Audio recordings can be made of major presentations, such as key presenters at the Annual Conference session or guest lecturers at special events. The edited recording can be posted on the website or made available on CD.
The Communications Ministry Team has been specially trained to be able to guide crisis and disaster communications. With a sensitivity to all parties effected in crisis circumstances, a tested pattern that both eases pressure from parties most directly impacted and coaches related persons how to communicate most appropriately and a working knowledge of public media the Communications Ministry Team is equipped to train agencies, boards, committees and leadership, in non-crisis moments, so that persons are know how to respond effectively when a crisis or disaster occurs.
Graphic design is available, including logo creation, brochure and booklet creation and business correspondence packages. Promotional items, such as tee shirts, hats and other commemorative items can be designed and made available in cooperation with suggested vendors.
Training workshops can be presented for conference-wide, district-wide or cluster groups in areas such as newsletter writing and production, worship presentation graphics, website development, video production and, in conjunction with United Methodist Communications, ministries of hospitality through the Igniting Ministry program.
Beginning in 2009 the Communications Ministry Team will be able to assist agencies, boards, committees and leadership to conducted small-scale (up to 16 participants) video conferencing and web meetings. (While no special equipment will be necessary, advanced planning is required.)
Large presentations, such as the Iowa State Fair “booth,” and smaller event displays, such as at Annual Conference, workshops or gatherings, such as the Orders and Fellowship event, can be designed and prepared.
News releases and event promotion publicity can be composed and distributed through the network of denominational and secular press contacts. In addition the resources of United Methodist Communications are available through the contacts of the Communications Ministry Team.
Equipment available for the use of agencies, boards, committees and leadership includes:
LED computer/video projectors, notebook computer, TV’s, wireless microphones (for use in the Wesley rooms of the