Your Financial Institution is Fake News

Back in my old journalism days, a crotchety, pipe-wielding, testy newspaper publisher once asked the team why we were in business. To break news? Nope. To ensure a well-informed citizenry? Not it. To speak the truth and protect the First Amendment? Nada.

“To make money,” he said.

He went on to explain that without sales, there would be no newspaper for us to put our talents, passion and energy to work. And it got me thinking of one of my very first assignments.

In a very small rural town, a special needs 17-year-old, who was also a quadriplegic, was swindled out of a small inheritance. He lived with his grandmother as both parents were out of the picture. Another grandparent on the other side of this low-income family had passed away and left him some money. He used his money to build a wheelchair accessible ramp and add a room to their mobile home. Only, the contractor started the job and skipped town, leaving the home exposed to severe water damage.

The police caught the contractor. A local building materials supplier saw my story and helped supply, build and complete the job for the family free of charge. It was the power of the press – a power that wouldn’t exist if the newspaper didn’t make money.

Now, think about the primary reason your credit union or community bank exists. I know, I know. You are itching to say everything but “make loans.” I promise, this isn’t a “gotcha moment.” It should be an “aha moment.”

The key is keeping it in context. If you aim to inspire, nurture and foster lasting financial change for the people you serve, you need to grow in order to serve.

In the media world, great editorial leads to more eyeballs, which leads to more advertisers. In your world, what’s the story consumers are telling themselves about their own financial situation? What answers do you have?

Are your answers real… or are they fake?

Pay attention to where you want to go. Consumers don’t care for your need to be seen. The better you get at understanding their needs, the closer you are to making more loans and a difference in your community.

Flip the Switch: Develop a Brand Attitude for Your Financial Institution

For many credit unions and community banks, branding has been put on the backburner. Loans may even be up, but market share is down, and you are just now mustering up the courage to admit you’re stuck. Fill out the form below to download our free teal paper. Now is finally the right time to set a clear and direct path to take action with your brand.

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Frank Allgood has more than 17 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As a Relationship Development Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email frank@yourmarketingco.com.