Every credit union does tremendous work in its community. The efforts are genuine and tied to the mission of credit unions – people helping people. While no credit union engaged in this type of activity is doing it with a goal of self-promotion, there can be some benefit to letting those outside the reach of the credit union know about your work.
When credit unions get involved in their community, people benefit. From fundraising to service projects to providing financial education, community members are well served when credit unions are active.
For example, a community experiences a natural disaster, such as a fire or a flood. Recovery and relief activities can include a credit union taking donations or coordinating efforts for financial assistance. When those functions are publicized, through media relations and social media promotion, the impact on the fundraising efforts can be strong, increasing the reach and potentially, the amount of money raised to help the community.
Another example is when credit unions get involved in efforts to help during things like back to school. Many credit unions are tied to school systems, so it is a natural extension of their mission to help gather school supplies and backpacks for children in their community. When a credit union gets the word out beyond its membership, donations increase, and there is the potential to gain new members.
Financial education, a driving principle of a credit union’s purpose, is a strong gateway to the community. When a credit union provides services such as budget planning, financial education and even things like reality fairs – experiencing real-world scenarios like poverty simulations and budgeting for everyday living – it is a way to reach people in the community who may have never heard about a credit union or know what the difference is in having a credit union membership.
When a credit union’s community efforts strike a chord with people within that community, a door is opened. There is an opportunity to educate those who may not know what a credit union is, to talk about the benefits of becoming a member of a credit union, to highlight those services within the credit union that could possibly help serve the needs of potential members.
Public relations and social media efforts provide simple tools to help get the word out to both your existing membership, as well as others in your community who might resonate with the activity you are promoting. Encouraging members to share your social media posts is a simple way to organically spread the word about your efforts. Working with your Association’s public relations resources can provide you with tools that can get the word out to local media to promote your programs.
When credit unions take the time to tell their story, many people benefit.