WASHINGTON (2/25/14)--At the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference Monday, former ABC anchorman and GAC master of ceremonies Paul Berry lead a panel of journalists for an in-depth discussion about how credit unions can better communicate their message to the media.
The panel featured several accomplished Washington, D.C., journalists including Fox News' Tucker Carlson, The Washington Post's Ylan Mui, and Politico's Lauren French.
The panel covered a variety of topics including the Target data security breach, the National Security Agency spying scandal, online privacy, regulatory policy, tax reform, inaction in Congress, and tips on how to pitch stories to journalists.
One memorable moment came from Carlson, when asked, "How can credit unions help people understand the difference between banks and credit unions?" Carlson said banks are the greedy reckless ones who ruined the economy, and no one likes them. Credit unions are the ones who did not. It's a simple story.
In the end, each journalist offered tips to help credit unions communicate with the press.
French told GAC attendees to always know who they are talking to and what that journalist covers.
Carlson encouraged credit unions to slow down with the jargon and "industry speak," and avoid being patronizing to the journalist. Most importantly, he said, credit unions should expect some pushback on their story. Journalists are meant to ask challenging questions, he said, adding, "You should expect that and have an adult response."
Mui told credit unions to be accessible. Lunches, coffees or informational interviews are helpful to journalists who are trying to better understand the credit union story, she said.