Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Beyond Today Initial Test Results

The Church has now successfully aired two of the new 30-minute format Beyond Today television programs in five U.S. Designated Market Areas (DMA).

From a test perspective, it has thus far been a solid experience in an intensely cluttered media landscape. Since we are in the planning stages for a potentially much broader distribution in the top DMA U.S. television markets, these test programs provide us with critical information for the refining and honing of how to effectively reach viewers. These new commercials stations, located in DMA second- and third-tier cities in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio, are fitting in with our existing strategy of cable distribution and Internet availability of the program.

Watch "The Secret of the Mind" presented by Steve Myers

For the week of April 18-24 we had 137 direct responses to our toll-free phone number, which includes all responses from free cable outlets and the new test commercial stations (all airing in a wide variety of time slots or dayparts). This is a 10% increase in direct response over the previous week, and virtually identical to two weeks ago. Twenty-four direct telephone responses came from the U.S. commercial test.

Those of you who had an opportunity to see the new programs know that we follow the effective contemporary strategy of encouraging viewers to log on to the Beyond Today Web site and immediately read (or request) additional information. That approach is consistent with proven winning strategy for this kind of programming, and rewards viewers instantly. That online option was obviously not available in prior generations of preaching the Gospel on air. The response numbers from this integrated approach will be available in early May, which will provide additional important information and feedback.

Watch "Untouchable to God?" presented by Gary Petty

While the level of direct response for our commercial television test may appear initially modest, both the numbers and the experience are highly useful. To maximize the ultimate impact of this new television opportunity, we deliberately bought media time in second-tier DMA markets where we could effectively test content and programming without incurring the high costs that are common in premium time slots in first-tier DMA stations like New York. It is also a true axiom that you only get one chance to make a first impression, good or bad, so we want our content and presentation strategy to be on target as we move into larger television markets with God’s truth. This current strategy gives us critical space to make improvements as we prepare for an integrated broader outreach.

The process of building television audience loyalty and response includes the fact that viewers typically have to see a program or part of a program a number of times before they will respond to it. Our presenters are new visitors to our viewers’ homes, and repeat experiences will help develop a relationship. That will obviously take time.

We all want big numbers and big impact for this critical message. Given our progress in content, our presenters and production staff are excited. Millions of people prefer to receive information by commercial television, so we will continue to monitor and adjust our overall strategy, which includes our print, radio and online programs. Our goal is and will remain to maximize our reach, impact and success in announcing the truly good news of God’s coming Kingdom.

Please pray for the success of our integrated strategy, for the preparing and refining of our presentations, and that our message will fall on fertile ground.

Thank you for your continued support of all of our media efforts.

Peter Eddington

Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

April 27, 2010 - Posted by | Beyond Today, Home Office, Media and Communications |


  1. It is very hard to read this when the video keeps popping up over the text.

    Comment by Glo | April 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’m just curious… Out of the 24 responses to theUS commercial test how many were new responses?

    Comment by rolanda | April 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. Please could you advise your broadcasting in Australia? thanks Lyn

    Comment by Lyn | April 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. Obviously, people who are looking for religious guidance and information don’t look for it on TV.

    Comment by Chloe Atwood | April 29, 2010 | Reply

    • We’re working with a model that worked in the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties. That was a long time ago. We shouldn’t just do what we’ve always done and assume the world is static. We should look at the techniques of people who are getting results and start asking ourselves how we could be more effective. What we’re doing now used to be smart, but it just isn’t smart anymore. 161 responses for the week. How much did we spend per response. What was the average age of respondents? I’m guessing in both cases, the answer is “extremely high”.

      I am well aware that the responses is not the only indicator. There’s a lot of people who are never going to respond. There are some people who we reach that we don’t know about. My point is that if there’s something else we could be doing that would capture people’s attention, resonate with people more effectively, then we should be doing that. How much money do people spend to make a video on the internet go viral? Zero dollars.

      People are looking for something. People want to know how to be happy. People want to know how to live their lives better. People want to know If we want to get better at getting our beliefs into the minds of other people, we’d better start figuring out what people really need. What people really desire. We’d better be telling them something they don’t already know that will make a difference in their lives, not the same old stuff they’ve been hearing all their lives at their neighborhood church, from their parents, etc. What we’re doing right now just is not very effective in today’s world.

      Sorry, but it’s true.

      Comment by Anthony Bergstrom | May 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Why does a video go viral? Because it does something for people. So much so that they immediately want to pass it along to others. What is our stuff doing for people? You can tell by the response. If we could figure out how to teach people something they really wanted to know, they would get excited about it. Perhaps not as exciting as Susan Boyle, but, you get my point.

      Comment by Anthony Bergstrom | May 3, 2010 | Reply

  5. Many people look for religious guidance on TV. That is why there are so many, dozens and dozens, of successful televangelists with TV ministries.

    Comment by United Church of God | April 29, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hmmm….looks like my earlier comment was erased. Please clarify your earlier statement – are you saying that you believe UCG should join the ranks of televangelists on TV?

    Comment by Chloe Atwood | May 2, 2010 | Reply

  7. Hello,

    Is there an update? This was almost two months ago.


    Comment by Rhonda Waddle | June 16, 2010 | Reply

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