‘Financial First Responders’
CU Marketers Step Up to Promote Member Security During COVID-19 Crisis
By Donna Adinolfe
Some credit union marketers have seen their CUs through the recession of 2008 and natural disasters, as well as the 9/11 attacks. However, for most, the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as a time when their members most needed comfort, security and answers.
Amid constantly changing news, safety guidelines and grim statistics, credit union marketers have been called upon to keep their members informed while assuring them that, even though their world is changing, their credit union is there to help them.
“Our primary message to our members is that we are here for them, here to help them with our caring, personal service and the flexibility to help them get what they need to get through this, said Erica Dias, vice president of marketing, community banking and communications at SAFE Credit Union, headquartered in Folsom, Calif.
Likening the CU to “financial first responders,” Dias added, “We know that members’ access to their money and their local credit union is so important at this time, and we’ve stayed open to serve while doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.”
Cindy Kurtz, marketing communications manager at Ideal Credit Union, Woodbury, Minn., adds, “We are committed to serving our members to the best of our ability at all times. Our seasoned staff is here to work with our members to find solutions fitting their individual needs and help ease the financial burden they may be facing.”
Whether they use a general email, a segmented email that’s targeting a specific group or a simple Instagram meme of a dog wearing a face mask, marketers nationwide are telling their members that they are all in this together, and together, we will get through it.
“Social media, particularly Facebook, has been our best method,” said Brittany Libbey, director of business and community development, Lincoln Maine FCU, Lincoln, Maine. “Our engagement has increased and continues to increase since the start of this outbreak. Members are engaged in the posts with comments, shares and likes.”
Glen Stacy, social media and public relations specialist at Sunmark Credit Union, Latham, N.Y., added, “We have segmented some messaging depending on topic. We have used email to support all members, business members, and financial services. We have supported our communities through our foundation and we are even helping local musicians with our bankNOTES music series on Facebook.”
Since demand for ad space is low during the pandemic, Daniel Bradshaw, business development officer at Marion Community Credit Union, Marion, Ohio, says now is the time for marketers to get their messages out affordably. It may even be the perfect time to try a new platform like podcasts or video.
“Grab a phone and do a quick video for one of your announcements rather than just typing it out,” Bradsaw said, adding, “Start a podcast of simple tips to help people. Or you could even make it an entertaining/inspiring show where you share positive news. It doesn’t have to always be about money.”
Stacey added that members are craving valuable content during these uncertain times.
“This is your chance to get your brand in front of (members) to help them, inform them and be the trusted provider of information, he said, adding, “Don’t forget to entertain, whether it be a seminar, articles like working from home tips, ways to protect yourself from coronavirus scams, and spotting fake news … now is the time to make your CU memorable.”
Dias said now is also the time to be real and be relevant.
“Be genuine in your messaging,” she said. “Credit unions are special because members rightfully feel a strong connection to them, and your focus needs to be on them when it comes to the products and services you’re providing and how you’re sharing that with them.”