Telling the Credit Union Story So the Media Pays Attention

By Tim McAlpine

I attended a fantastic breakout session with Elisabeth Leamy today. Elisabeth is a best-selling author and a 14-time-Emmy-Award-winning consumer correspondent with ABC’s Good Morning America. Her passion and specialty is helping consumers save money. In her position, she is pitched by companies and PR pros hundreds of times a day. In the last year, she has acted on only three of those thousands of pitches.

It was really valuable to hear from someone in her position on what actually works. Elisabeth broke it down into the six R’s and offered really common-sense advice to credit union executives trying to get their stories picked up locally, regionally or even nationally.

1. Right

The story needs to be right. The right story for the right outlet for the right reporter in the right format. This takes some work, but you need to understand the reporter’s style and what she writes about or features in her news segments. A great idea is to look out for a reporter that is doing a series of articles or segments and pitch an idea that would fit within the series.

2. Righteous

The story pitch must benefit the audience and the journalist before it benefits you! Credit unions have lots of positive news to offer. The key is to think of the audience first, not how can we get in the paper or on TV so we can sell more loans? Think about how you can help the reporter with her job or make her a superstar.

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