by: Randy Smith, Publisher/Managing Editor CUinsight.com
Over a ginger ale or two at conferences I’ve been witness to the age old discussion of a national credit union campaign. It’s here. It wasn’t started by a credit union or marketing company. It wasn’t started by a trade association. I give full credit to an art gallery owner, Senator Durbin, a drum circle and our friends at Bank of America.
It doesn’t matter if you like the name “Bank Transfer Day” or believe in everything the Occupy Wall Street protests stand for. The fact is more attention has been paid to America’s credit unions in the past few weeks then anytime I can think of in our history.
Are you throwing a Bank Transfer Day party? Is your credit union open on November 5th? If not, it should be. An awesome opportunity presents itself this week for the credit union movement. More media attention will be paid to alternatives to big banks than ever before. Your local news papers and televisions stations will need people for their stories. Want free advertising? Submit press releases to all your local media outlets. Going to be open November 5th? Let them know. Every news paper in the country has an opinion section. Write an article. There’s a good chance you will be contacted by a reporter for a story they are working on for the week.
Carpe Diem… seize the day. The backlash against big banks won’t last forever. Some big banks have come out this week letting the public know they will not raise fees. I’ve had more questions from friends on what credit unions are and if they can join one in the past two weeks then I have in my entire career. Now is the time to tell the story. Now is the time to let them know we have online banking, thousands of ATMs, lower rates and more. Bring them in for the debit card and checking but let them know about everything else we have to offer. Let them know that as a member they are the owner not someone else. Let them know all the good you do in the community.
Saturday is Bank Transfer Day. The occupy protests are growing stronger and getting more coverage. This week should be Occupy Credit Unions week. Be prepared. Have your switch kits ready. If you’re not open normally on Saturday’s change your hours to accommodate people who work 9-5. Make it easy for new members and tell the world you exist and you’re there for them with open arms.
If a long lost friend on Facebook asks you about finding a credit union in their area send them over to www.aSmarterChoice.org or www.CULookup.com. How many members will belong to credit unions this time next year? Will the number go up? It should.