Inside Marketing: Why Credit Unions Need to Have Media Sections on Their Websites

February 2018: Vol 41 No 2
Mike Lawson
Make it easy for reporters to connect with your organization.
graphic of a webpage titled “MEDIA PAGE” overlaid with icons representing texting and email

I’ve visited hundreds of credit union websites over the years, conducting research for various projects and reviews. Many of them are excellent. In the last few years, the quality has gone through the roof in a good way with compelling graphics, helpful text and vastly improved layouts and navigation.

But there’s one section that seems to be lacking on most of these websites: a media or press section for reporters and editors.  

Why? Well, here you can get a quick history of recent company activity, milestones, new customers/clients, issues and trends or events. It’s a one-stop location for a quick glance at everything your credit union in this case is doing. Editors love this stuff, and I would think your members would, too.

The media section is a smorgasbord of content for anybody looking into your organization. It’s all right there. A good media section will include:

  • recent press releases;
  • articles about your credit union in local and industry publications;
  • bios of your credit union’s top executives and board; 
  • links to your social media accounts;
  • recent annual reports;
  • upcoming events at your CU or that your CU is sponsoring;
  • videos that you produce; and 
  • contact information for press inquiries. 

So why don’t more credit unions have a media section? Not sure. But I do know it would be wise for more to create these pages and make it easier for reporters to research the latest activities occurring at your shop. This section increases the possibility of your credit union being included as a resource for a story in the local newspaper, an appearance on the evening news, a news spot on the radio or a resource for a well-known financial blog.

Editors and reporters don’t have a lot of time when producing stories. Deadlines always loom and anything you can do to make their jobs easier and more efficient is a huge win. Believe me, they will remember. It will prompt them to come back to you again and again—especially if you provide them with great, helpful content that benefits their audience. This, in turn, benefits your credit union with increased, educational exposure.

One of the most common themes I hear at credit union conferences nationwide is “we need to be relevant,” “we need to tell our story,” or “we need to share what we do in the community.” And the media is an excellent place to express these messages, which can be received by the masses easily. That’s what you want, right? Media exposure saves a boatload on advertising dollars and gives you additional material to share on social media and create a new conversation.

There are numerous benefits to working with local, regional and national media. I’ve written about this subject many times in the past : Doing so essentially propels you to a trusted leadership position in your area of expertise. So, again, why aren’t credit unions making it easier to connect with reporters?

One editor friend (CUES’ Lisa Hochgraf) told me: “If you’re not in your local media, you’re not in your community.” So true.

If you want to become a trusted and consistent news resource, create an informative and easy-to-use media section with pertinent contact information on your website. And be proactive in letting your local media know about this section so they know where to go when a finance-related story arises and they want a go-to person to get the information they need.

Sounds like a winning scenario to me. What’s stopping you from creating a media section on your website today?

Mike Lawson, principal and founder of the PR/marketing firm DML Communications, and host of the online CUbroadcast show and the Parting Shots video series, has two decades of journalism, public relations and marketing experience. His unique and robust knowledge allows him to meet the varied needs of editors, end-users and clients. Lawson's expertise enables him to enhance his clients' market exposure through media relations, social media tools, advertising efforts, target marketing strategies and more. He also speaks on PR, marketing and media issues to audiences nationwide.

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