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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Sharing Your Message with News Media Should Start with Enthusiasm   (Misc News: November 10, 2011)

For Robert Shane, a successful interview with the media starts with showing his excitement for the movement.

Shane, chief operations and business development officer for Grand Valley Co-op CU in Grand Rapids, said that a good news story such as increasing membership and the advantages of banking at a credit union should be something to get excited about. In fact, he thinks his attitude is as important, or even more important, than the actual message.

“It’s more important that reporters hear my enthusiasm,” Shane said.

Shane has spoken to several media outlets recently and he’s found that the reporters have been genuinely interested in hearing the credit union story.

“They’re not looking to trip you up or trick you,” he said.

Recent talk about the big banks increasing their fees, coupled with Bank Transfer Day, have provided numerous opportunities to engage the media, he said. The stories those reporters write are opportunities to explain the credit union difference.

The current story about big banks raising their fees starts out as a negative story, but Shane said credit unions can help reporters put a positive spin on it by explaining how credit unions are different.

“From my experience in the last 48 hours, that’s exactly what the news media wants to hear,” Shane said.

Doing a little preparation will help when speaking to the media, he said. Develop a plan for what you want to say.

Shane was quite happy with the article in The Grand Rapids Press where GVCCU was mentioned four times. For future articles, Shane has challenged himself to more succinctly express his message. One of the keys for him is to remind himself that he’s trying to convey a message through another person.

Shane took his media outreach one step further, connecting with the public relations department at MCUL & Affiliates where together they crafted a joint press release that was sent to additional outlets in West Michigan. The PR department can also provide media coaching and additional services to help individual credit unions better communicate their message. Click here to download a public relations kit including a press release template or contact Mona Shand at (800) 262-6285, ext. 246, or for more information.

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