How effective are your communications? Are you using the right method to communicate with your core audiences? Every impactful communications strategy should include, at various point, an audit of your tools, audiences and uses in order to ensure that your messages are being received and utilized by the right audience.
For example, if your membership base is highly skewed toward a millennial population and you are printing statement inserts or mailing newsletters, you may be missing the mark with them. This audience is heavily digitally focused, so a more effective (and likely less expensive) method of delivering your message to them would be digitally – either via in-app messages, texts or possibly, email.
Similarly, if your audience leans toward an older population and your current communications are primarily digitally focused, you risk not reaching them if they prefer more traditional methods of communication.
So how do you look at your current methods and evaluate them? There are varying degrees to the intensity you can employ in this practice. If you have the budget, there are communications firms that specialize in this area and can help you. If money is tight, you can take this on in-house. Simply pull together all the various types of communications vehicles your credit union is currently using with your members. Create a list, including the audience segment that receives each communication. Take a look at the overarching message themes – are they consistent? Are there areas where you can consolidate so members aren’t receiving multiple pieces of communication from you and are possibly feeling inundated? Streamlining communications not only increases value to the member, but it will likely help your budget by reducing duplication.
Once you have your list and input, you can look into conducting some research. Small focus groups of your members and employees and leadership can give great insight into what messages are important to them, and how you can better communicate with them. In these sessions, you’ll want to ask questions seeking their priorities for what they need and value in the credit union, and get insight into their preferences for methods of communication (digital, etc.) and their preference for the amount of communication they are comfortable receiving.
This input will help you create a strategy that both delivers critically important information to your key audiences, and it will do so in a manner that increases greatly the likelihood that the message will be received and put to use by your key stakeholders.