As the Nov. 6 mid-term election approaches, credit unions have a lot at stake in the new Congress. The 115th Congress brought major wins for credit unions, and CUNA, leagues and credit unions are already focused on continuing the momentum in the next Congress.
In addition to its normal advocacy and political activities, CUNA launched a new campaign under its Member Activation Program (MAP) this year, called “Credit Unions Vote.” The campaign includes a website, CreditUnionsVote.com, that allows members to check their registration status, register to vote, participate in early voting and find their polling place
CUNA launched the campaign in September. Kyle Frick, vice president of marketing at Mid-Oregon CU, Bend, Ore., said the early timing was critical, since it allowed Mid Oregon to go out before the majority of election-related e-mails found their way into spam folders.
Frick said Mid Oregon decided to combine the content from the Credit Unions Vote campaign and CUNA’s “Stop the Data Breaches” campaign, and worked with CUNA to combine the two messages in a way that fit.
Frick added that Mid Oregon, a regular on many MAP campaigns, saw one of its highest response rates, with a 27% open rate and 3% click-through rate to the Credit Unions Vote site.
“This week we heard from a congressional candidate, and member, who appreciated us sharing the ‘Get out the vote’ message. It was nice to hear that kind of feedback,” he said. “I think the [MAP campaign] process is getting better, and we are building an audience who are open to hearing our message.”
GECU, El Paso, Texas, has participated in all of CUNA’s MAP campaigns to date.
“We had a special focus on the credit unions vote campaign because we feel strongly about encouraging our members to use their voice,” said Monica Galindo, an analyst with GECU. “The Credit Unions Vote website made it simple to obtain all voting information members would need in one central location.”
Galindo added that GECU’s e-mail communication efforts generally reach around 110,000 members, and it also maintains an advocacy page on its blog highlighting different reasons to support the credit union.
“GECU believes in educating members about the legislative issues that can affect the credit union they own. We focus our messages on the topic, the credit union movement, and making your voice heard,” she said. “GECU’s mission is to elevate our community. We have an important role and responsibility to be a voice for the credit union movement, its members and for legislation that benefits the credit union movement.”
Linda Armyn, senior vice president of corporate affairs with Bethpage FCU, Bethpage, N.Y., said they thought a “get out the vote” campaign was a natural part of Bethpage’s corporate social responsibility efforts.
“A get out the vote campaign makes perfect sense for us. It reminds our members that we are engaged in our communities,” she said. “Our communication was non-partisan, we tried to keep it very generic, although readers may not view it that way. We saw this in a few comments. We sent out 175,000 emails with nearly 50,000 opened. We got about 10 responses, and four were asking why we were being political. The rest were thank you’s.”