Loyal members, stronger movement: 4 ways credit unions make International Credit Union Day® count

first_img 46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeremiah Tucker Jeremiah Tucker is a Consumer Engagement Program Lead at the Credit Union National Association. He specializes in creating financial education content and member engagement. Web: www.cuna.org Details Any International Credit Union Day celebration—big or small, elaborate or modest— can boost both the movement and the credit union. Credit unions worldwide have participated in ICU Day since 1948, setting aside one day a year to band together and highlight their shared principles and philosophy. It’s a simple way to support the movement and celebrate what makes it powerful. But participating credit unions have also learned there are other benefits to celebrating, such as: Increasing member loyalty, connecting with their communities and improving staff morale.    Whether they’re using ICU Day for member appreciation or community outreach, celebrating ICU Day gives credit unions a reason to talk to people about why they’re awesome in a way that’s fun and genuine. Regardless of how a credit union chooses to celebrate on October 19, here are four ways credit unions make ICU Day count. 1. Ensure the celebration’s fun—for staff and membersAt Atlanta Postal Credit Union, ICU Day decorations play a big part in creating a festive atmosphere. But Jeremy Carleton, member communications specialist at the $2 billion-asset credit union, said the posters and balloons featuring the official 2017 ICU Day theme “Dreams Thrive Here” are also strategic. “Once a member notices a decoration and asks about ICU Day, we have a wonderful opportunity to educate them on why they are members, as well as services we can provide to them and their family who may not yet be members,” Carleton said. Decorating, handing out giveaways to members and reminding staff that they belong to a movement for social good by involving them in the celebration all pay dividends. Portland Local 8 Federal Credit Union will outfit staff in ICU Day t-shirts, hand out aluminum water bottles to members and serve a lunch. “Our main goal is to engage our membership and get them talking about the credit union with their families and friends, as well as taking the time to acknowledge (them) and thank them for their continued support,” said Jaime Garver, CEO at the $35 million-asset credit union in Portland, Oregon.2.Get out in the communityAndrea Finn, digital marketing manager at Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., said her team treats ICU Day like a birthday party—a reason to celebrate and have fun. Last year Finn and her team at the $2 billion-asset credit union had 1,000 face-to-face interactions with members and potential new members on ICU Day.They performed a number of cash mobs and pay-it-forward chains, handing out giveaways and leave behinds that made an indelible impression. “Many people were surprised we even had a free checking account they could open,” Finn said. “What was really neat was watching them light up as the conversation continued.” She actually heard people say, “Wow, that sounds like a better way of banking.”3. Use social media to turn ICU Day into a month-long celebration“Dreams Thrive Here”—overwhelmingly the top choice in two online polls voted on by hundreds of credit union people—is a message that CUNA consumer research found consumers need to hear.“Credit unions are pretty good at showing how we’re the socially responsible choice, but we also need to remind people that credit unions are the best place to bank if you want to achieve your biggest goals,” Tucker said.By promoting your ICU Day celebration in the weeks leading up to your event, you ensure this message connects with your audience. CUNA provides a free ICU Day social media toolkit featuring playful art that expands on and supports the theme.  4. Tailor the event to your credit union While ICU Day is a movement-wide celebration, how you celebrate can reflect what matters to your credit union. But many savvy credit unions use that message to reflect back on their particular credit union. “We are celebrating 75 years of helping our member’s dreams thrive,” said Linda Meza, AVP for Business Development and Marketing at $120 million Cooperative Center FCU. Meza said she loved the theme, and that her credit union—from helping members avoid predatory loans to helping them qualify for their first home—is a place where dreams do thrive. She purchased the 2017 ICU Day Design Bundle to gain the extended licensing, access to vector logos and other ICU Day designs to create custom materials that fit the credit union’s celebration. “We’ve already started by personalizing our cornhole set,” Meza said. “We plan on using the bundle on our social media channels, our lobby displays and banners to help create a fun, festive atmosphere.” last_img

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