Add More Cowbell to Your Credit Union Messaging

By. Christopher Morris, NCUF

Let’s admit it. Talking about the credit union difference can sometimes be boring. “No shareholders, let’s compare rates and fees, zzzzz…”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since the first Young & Free spokester created this genius Youtube video  highlighting the difference between banks and credit unions. It’s funny, simple, and insightful as well as one of the most watched credit union-related videos.

I was hoping that video would generate a spark in terms of how credit unions talk about themselves yet there is still room for improvement. If I learned anything as one half of a credit union rock band, music and humor go a long way. In fact, it was the great response to our first credit union-related music video (created for a Young & Free contest coincidentally) that set The Disclosures on a path to create an album and education session around credit union music as well as more credit union-related music videos on YouTube.

Laughing leads to learning. Studies have shown that, but you probably know it to be true already. For example, think of conferences you’ve attended – you remember the presentations with a more personable, humorous speaker right? Whether it’s your credit union’s newsletter article, website information, video, or anything online, remember you are competing against everything on the internet. You have to be engaging if you want to be heard.

Sure you might not play guitar or sing. But do you draw?  Good at design?  Video director at heart? Like to write? Don’t stop at yourself either. Tap into the talents and skills of your staff, particularly young adults who are looking to get more involved and gain job experience in another area.  You might find that folks outside the marketing department might have some great ideas about your credit union’s messaging. For the next project, it could be as easy as getting a pizza and a diverse group of folks together to brainstorm. Or have an internal contest for ideas – you’ll be surprised what useful ideas will be generated for something as small as a $50 Starbucks gift card.

You don’t have to go from zero to 60 mph. Start with yourself. Add some personality to your next presentation. For example, I used to give a social media presentation punctuated with LOLcats and I once did a training presentation entirely made up of stock art with word balloons (the response was beyond anything I could have imagined). Be memorable in your documents and emails. And don’t worry – you can still be “professional” and have a sense of humor.

Creativity is contagious. A little staff empowerment and personality demonstrating will translate into a stronger workplace culture too.  (Pssst: don’t forget to make sure your employees understand the credit union difference and all the great work you do while you are at it).

Credit unions do amazing things. We aren’t boring. We’re already playing the right song, but sometimes we just need a little cowbell is all to get folks to listen.

Christopher Morris

Christopher Morris

Christopher Morris is currently an engagement consultant at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), providing specialized attention to broad and diverse stakeholders throughout the Midwest Region. Previously, Christopher was a ... Web: Details

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