Communication and public relations can sometimes be put on the back-burner at credit unions, but it is critical that credit unions tell their story so they aren’t defined by other less consumer-friendly competitors. Whether it’s through a strategic social media plan, outreach to local media, or other communication tactics, don’t let your credit union’s mission and story fall into a black hole.
Like any other business, credit unions must connect with their members and potential members on a deeper level to establish trust, build relationships, and convey values and mission. Storytelling provides the means to achieve these objectives in a compelling and relatable manner.
Telling your credit union story through strategic communication has numerous benefits, including:
- Building consumer trust: Trust is the foundation of any successful financial institution. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions put their members first. However, without sharing unique stories about credit unions helping members when other financial institutions wouldn’t, there can be a lack of awareness about the CU Difference.
- Creating an emotional connection: Stories have the unique ability to evoke emotions. When credit unions share stories about their community involvement, member success stories, or charitable efforts, they tap into the emotional aspect of human psychology. These emotional connections can lead to more engaged and satisfied members.
- Highlighting community impact: Credit unions often pride themselves on being community-oriented. Sharing stories of the positive impact they’ve had in the community, like helping small businesses come true or supporting local initiatives, not only showcases commitment but also encourages community involvement among members.
- Personalizing member experiences: Each member has unique financial goals and needs, and sharing member testimonials can be a huge asset to showcase how credit unions uniquely help them. By sharing these stories, credit unions demonstrate their member-centric approach.
- Attracting new members: Storytelling can be a powerful tool for attracting new members. When credit unions share stories of their commitment to the community and the financial wellbeing of members, they can capture the attention of potential members who resonate with their values.
- Fostering employee engagement: Storytelling is not just for external communication, it also helps internally with employees who are on the front lines interacting with members every day. When credit unions encourage employees to share success stories or anecdotes of how they’ve helped members, it can boost morale and foster a sense of purpose among the staff, and engaged employees are more likely to stay.
- Enhancing brand identity: A credit union’s brand identity is integral to its success, and storytelling helps define and reinforce that identity. Whether it’s about the historical roots, commitment to the community, or dedication to financial education, stories shape how the credit union is perceived by members and the broader community.
- Supporting financial education: Financial literacy is a significant issue in many communities. Credit unions can use storytelling to support financial education initiatives. By creating relatable narratives about budgeting, saving, or managing debt, they can help members make informed financial decisions.
Storytelling is a critical tool for credit unions to engage, educate, and inspire both current and potential members. It goes beyond the dry numbers and financial jargon, providing a human touch to a financial services industry that could seem transactional and impersonal.