Do you realize that as a credit union employee, every professional interaction you have can potentially work to the advantage of your credit union? Public relations spans across all interactions and relationships – not just the media. And how you understand that can dramatically influence the perception of your credit union – and help members or potential members in the process.
Think about it. When you are attending various functions on behalf of your credit union, how will your message resonate with your audience, whether it’s a presentation or just sitting with a group at a luncheon? When someone asks you how a credit union is different than a bank, do you rely on standard answers, or can you personalize it so the recipient can relate and get a truer picture?
Consider these guidelines:
- How am I saying it?
- What is my main point?
- What data or example will back my point?
Develop your elevator speech – a quick, to-the-point response that communicates in a way that is memorable and understandable. This can be done following some simple rules.
First, determine what the recipient/audience needs from you. What specific examples will resonate with the person or group you are interacting with? Next, pull three points that you want to communicate – identify three components that drive home your message and be sure to include them in your response. Last, make the point memorable – give a real-time example that’s helps what you said stick with the recipient.
If you’re trying to express how your credit union serves its members:
INSTEAD OF THIS: “We have more than 50 branches and serve 90,000 people in our region who rely on our innovative products to help them achieve their goals.”
SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS: “We serve folks like Paul. Paul is a single dad with three children. Around August his budget is stretched to buy school supplies. A back-to-school loan is an example of one of the products that our credit union offers to its 90,000 members in the region who face challenges similar to Paul’s.”
INSTEAD OF THIS: “There are 90,000 people who are unbanked in Colorado.”
TRY THIS: “There are 90,000 people in our region who don’t have access to banking. That is enough people to fill three Coors Field Stadiums.”
With a little thought and preparation, you can utilize nearly every interaction as an opportunity to communicate the difference that your credit union is making in a very tangible way. And that will benefit both members and your credit union.