External Communications Best Practices
As your members grapple with the reality presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, being a calm, reassuring voice is a way to help lead your community through this emergency. Please use the below guidelines to inform your communications to members and media stakeholders.
Developing Talking Points and External Statements
Prior to announcing any changes to your business operations, ensure you have prepared staff to respond to any questions from your members, the media and other stakeholders.
- Identify lead spokespeople within your credit union
- Develop talking points that answer frequently asked questions
- Prepare a holding statement to share externally to press
Communicating Business Decisions that Impact Members
If you make any changes to your business operations that impact your members, including closing your lobby, instituting drive thru-only services, changing hours, etc. make sure you take the following steps:
- Develop a timeline for deploying information that reaches all of your key audiences
- Inform your Board of Directors, as appropriate
- Update your website and call center
- Send a direct email to your members
- Send a press release to the media
- Share information on social media
- Prepare staff with talking points to respond to member questions
Using Your Voice in the Media
Financial services are essential services, and our communities and members want to hear from their credit union about how you’re ensuring folks maintain access to your services.
Work with your communications team to field and rapidly respond to reporter inquires:
- Find out the reporter’s deadline
- Gather as much detail about their story as possible
- Follow-up to find out about the go-live date of the story
- Share final story internally
- Share final story on your social media channels, tagging the news outlet.
Identify the appropriate spokesperson or subject area expert for all interviews:
- Draft and/or edit talking points based on the topic of discussion to prepare spokesperson
- Use a conference line so that communications leads and/or other stakeholders can listen in and provide feedback after the interview
- Encourage them to be a thought leader – whether it is using their social media platforms or drafting an opinion editorial piece or letter to the editor.
Provide quick resources to members of the press even if it is not a formal press release.
Get acquainted with the credit union industry press (Credit Union Journal, Credit Union Times, CUInsight, CUToday).
For questions, templates or additional support, reach out to your League and/or CUNA’s communications leads.
Reaching People Through Social Media
Social media is a quick way to amplify the impact credit unions have on their communities and to share information about business operations.
Messaging should come from credit union social accounts or CEO accounts.
- These posts can then be amplified by MCUL and CUNA
Social media posts should include:
- Photos, graphics or videos to share a visual element
- Tag MCUL so we can see the posts