The WCC 11th Assembly held in 2022, as well as its lead-up and follow-up, brought a marked increase in both output of communications as well as in the reading and listening audience across the world.
With more than two million visits, the WCC website saw a 7 percent increase in 2022 attendance compared to 2021. The month with the highest attendance was September—during the WCC 11th Assembly—when 257,000 visitors clicked in, twice the average number of monthly visitors during the rest of 2022.
During 2022, each month the WCC website offered on average 60-70 news stories, reaching up to 130 news stories during and following the WCC assembly. The most popular news stories in 2022 were related to the announcement of the 11th assembly, the response of Patriarch Kirill to the WCC’s call for peace, and the election of a new WCC general secretary. A news story on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 was the most popular story in German, French, and Spanish versions of the website.
During the assembly, online and onsite press rooms open nearly around the clock worked with more than 360 media representatives, sharing the story of the WCC with record numbers of journalists.
The WCC also helped usher in the next generation of ecumenical communicators. Participating in an online course covering communications related to peace and ecumenism, 65 young communicators completed 12 modules and received a certificate in June 2022. Then, all of them—either onsite or online—joined the assembly communications team.
Every Thursday of the year, the WCC weekly news summary was prepared in the four working languages of the WCC, and sent out to all member churches, partners, media, and subscribers.
Award-winning social media
In 2022, WCC Communications invested in a new management and analytics tool that allows the team to get more accurate and targeted information on different social media channels.
A main achievement during 2022 was the third place in the Geneva Engage Awards, acknowledging the WCC among the top three non-governmental organizations in Geneva using social media. This makes the fourth time the WCC has been honoured by Geneva Engage.
During 2022, the WCC’s social media channels—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—drew more than 92,000 followers, including 5,808 new fans. The WCC published over 2,000 social media posts on the three different channels that reached over 2 million people and appeared on different timelines 3.5 million times.
WCC's social media posts got over 143,000 total engagements during 2022, with the most popular posts on the three channels related to the election of the new general secretary and the WCC presidents.
The WCC 11th Assembly material drove many people to social media channels for inspiration and motivation on the Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity.
WCC published 100 different interviews, segments, and features from the 11th assembly on the WCC YouTube channel. All public sessions are still available on the channel, and the most-viewed assembly-related production was the assembly opening prayer, with almost 9,000 views.
The WCC YouTube channel obtained almost 1,000 new followers, primarily because of the assembly content. Total views were over 126,000, and the content appeared on browsers over 900,000 times.
The WCC blog continued to be a space where reflections of Christians and people of good will from all over the world shared how they are engaging in promoting justice and peace. During 2022, the WCC received contributions from a large variety of voices, including academics, youth, church, and ecumenical leaders, and WCC staff.
Publications and journals
WCC Communications coordinated 55 publications in 2022, with 51 completed and four still in process. Twenty-one of these were specifically for the WCC 11th Assembly.
WCC Journals—Ecumenical Review, International Review of Mission, and Current Dialogue—continued to be available in more than 5,000 institutions through publisher agreements and additional institutions in low and middle-income countries.
From August to November 2022, full-text downloads of articles from The Ecumenical Review (Including Current Dialogue) increased by 32 percent, while downloads from International Review of Mission increased by 88 percent.
The archives and the library continued their digitization programme of historical sources, adding on the titles already available on the internet archive website, digitized issues of former WCC journals such as Contact magazine, Risk, and the Ecumenical Press Service, enabling researchers from all over the world to access freely these most significant resources for the history of the ecumenical movement.