Reflect Your Mission in Your Message

by Michael Touchton

How your public relations efforts can support your credit union’s mission statement

If you look at the “Top 100 Credit Unions in the United States” (by total members), you’ll notice a great deal of similarity among credit unions’ mission statements – most notably the inclusion of such terms as “leadership,” “responsibility,” “commitment” and “dignity.”

Credit unions pride themselves on superior member service and commitment to their surrounding communities, and that is reflected in the language they choose to describe themselves and their mission. The pitfall for most mission statements is in preventing it from morphing into meaningless lip service – simply “feel-good” messaging dropped into a boiler plate or website.

This isn’t to say being colloquial is wasted effort; in fact it can be quite effective. But PR professionals working for credit unions should charge themselves with eliminating any mediocrity by earnestly “practicing” as much as “preaching.”

Much of credit union PR is about effectively relating your institution’s activities to build general public awareness and establishing yourself as a viable and respectable component within the community. The types of messages and how you choose to convey them are entirely up to you, but an important caveat of “effectively relating” to “build general public awareness” lies in the recognition of two profound, yet often-overlooked, concepts: message and presentation.

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