Preston Guy took his education seriously while he was at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.
Professors there stressed building relationships with audiences and media connections through engaging communication.
The result: “We’ve had an exciting 24 months at Neighbors Federal,” says Guy. “We went from 11,000 to 31,000 social media followers, giving us one of the largest credit union followings in the country.”
As marketing communications specialist at the Baton Rouge, La.-based credit union, Guy is the resident expert in social media.
“There’s been a rapid change in social media over the past few years,” he says. “For example, there’s far more use of video than photos, and changing algorithms affect the words you use on social media to garner maximum engagement.”
Before joining Neighbors Federal, Guy held another position in communications. But when he heard about the credit union job, he was instantly intrigued. “They offered a different perspective on company goals. Typically, the objective is to maximize profits. At a credit union, our purpose is improving members’ lives and empowering the communities we serve,” he says.
One example of bettering lives is the credit union’s community involvement. Guy recently tallied its 2018 contributions, both in money and volunteer time: $406,869. “Neighbors has a great story to tell. It’s my job to tell that story. Quantifying all that incredible work was invigorating,” he says.
Those contributions haven’t gone unnoticed. Guy shared many life-improving moments, gaining unprecedented news coverage for Neighbors Federal. The credit union was even featured online by national outlets such as The New York Times and Fox News.
Accolades such as these have helped the credit union grow to $944 million in assets from $820 million when Guy started two years ago.
His marketing department is always open to entertaining wild ideas and determining which ones to put into action. “I always aim for content that is relevant and unexpected.
“One campaign that was unfathomably successful was our ‘Mascot Madness’ social media challenge. Our Mascot Checking Account gives money to the schools for every swipe. It raised just under $41,000 in 2018,” he says.
“We decided to create a 14-team bracket as a parody of March Madness,” Guy says. “We encouraged schools to vote for themselves on Twitter and Facebook polls to advance to the next round. That drew 315,000 organic impressions and 18,000 votes from students, coaches, teachers, alumni, journalists, and local celebrities.”