The Michigan credit union community showed positive resolve and opportunity in the midst of the nation's economic crisis. After meeting with our larger credit union leaders in Northville Twp. and conferring with the whole Michigan credit union community by phone the same day, credit unions rallied to a call for an expanded "Credit Union Difference" campaign. The supplemental cooperative advertising initiative was put together by the MCUL and CUcorp's CU Growth Solutions division in a matter of weeks.
Again, Michigan credit unions have shown their great capacity for unity and cooperation. Within just a few short weeks, three radio ads were produced with input and collaboration from the CU Difference Committee and our entire credit union community. Once the message of safety and trust was solidified, fundraising began in earnest, and by Oct. 31, over $500,000 was raised from credit unions with close to a 60 percent participation rate, and 100 percent support from Michigan's 20 largest credit unions.
Ads began running in markets across the state the week of Oct. 20 and would continue to run for six weeks. These paid ads were supplemented by press releases and radio and newspaper interviews that generated scores of good news stories in Michigan and nationally. These stories can be seen in the Press Room section of the MCUL website – www.mcul.org.
CU Growth Solutions, in cooperation with the MCUL and CU Village, is now developing a plan for an expanded CU Difference campaign in 2009. Now is the time for every Michigan credit union to plan for participation in this initiative. Preliminary plans include radio commercials and potentially television commercials, and new in 2009, lots of collateral marketing materials and web site content plug-ins that will allow participating credit unions to tie their individual marketing into the campaign.
As the ads began to run in October, one credit union contacted the MCUL and said that a new member had made the decision to move away from his bank and open an account with the credit union, and that the ads had impacted his decision. This, of course, is one of the results we are looking for. We are also hoping that these ads will shore up trust and confidence in credit unions during these tumultuous economic times.
The MCUL and Affiliates will always look forward to collaborating with our credit union community to find better ways to promote the Credit Union Difference. These are incredibly challenging times for credit unions and for our nation. In the midst of the crisis, however, we take pride in the fact that our well-run credit unions provide great opportunity for their members and the communities they serve.
Thanks again to our fantastic credit union community and the leaders who prove every day that there is no better deal for consumers, in good times and bad, than a credit union. Let's continue to spread the word so all Michigan consumers can benefit from the credit union idea.
Michigan Credit Union League